Expanded-aluminium floor grating and mesh, manufactured by expanded-aluminium products manufacturer Ampliform, ensure that end-users do not struggle with corrosion in outside areas, says Ampliform GM Sean Daly.
He adds that the company’s aluminium floor grating and mesh are also suitable for use in applications where the weight of steel is an issue.
Daly says the aluminium floor grating and mesh have been available in South Africa for the past 30 years, adding that they have been used in several applications, including access walkways, catwalks and bridges in South Africa and outside its borders. He adds that Ampliform products are popular for use outdoors in installations such as window screens, access guards, gates, screens and partitions.
“Our products are manufactured using an aluminium extrusion instead of traditional plate,” boasts Daly, adding that the Ampliform process requires punching slots in alternate positions along the length of the extrusion and then stretching it to widen the opening.
He adds that the company manu- factures a range of floor grating and mesh that can be used in almost any application where steel flooring and mesh can be used. “The differentiating factors of these products are their resistance to corrosion and their light weight,” says Daly.
He further explains that the aluminium mesh can be fabricated, cut, bent, drilled and welded in the same way that any metal can, which could then be powder-coated or anodised to the required colour.
The floor grating is available in three different load ratings, which enables the user to widen the support structure bearers for a predetermined load. Further, the flooring incorporates antislip ridging that makes it safer to use, adds Daly.
The expanded mesh is available in two different chord sizes, with various apertures and panel widths.
“We keep different sizes of both products in stock. These are available cut to length or in full panels, and all the sizes not in stock have minimum order-quantity requirements,” he says.
Daly says Ampliform’s expanded- aluminium floor grating and mesh are durable and that customers are impressed with them.
“As our products are niche products that never need to be replaced, we do not hear much from clients once we have completed an installation.”
Daly tells Engineering News that it is difficult to compare the costs of the company’s floor grating and mesh with other products on the market. He says that, on average, the products are initially more expensive than mild steel, but cheaper when considering life-cycle costing.
“Sadly, many times, developments do not consider life-cycle costs. I believe a lot of long-term costs of developments are incurred because of the unknown opportunity costs associated with using aluminium.”
He adds that people expect to pay a lot more for aluminium and that fabricators often take advantage of this and increase the price. “In the process, they do not do the aluminium industry any favours.”
Another limiting factor in the growth of aluminium as an alternative to steel is the lack of knowledge about its ability, particularly from the engineering fraternity, asserts Daly.
“Aluminium is considered a green material. “It is easily recycled and today about 75% of the aluminium ever made is still in use in one form or another,” he concludes.