Technical brief - containment for industrial services in marine, offshore & petrochemical sectors

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Courtesy of Industrial Textiles & Plastics Ltd.

Conventional scaffold sheeting is an established method of providing temporary containment and weather protection for scaffold structures.  Material selection should reflect the application, the anticipated weather conditions and the expected duration of the project.  Furthermore, stringent Flame Retardant requirements for covering materials are specified on most projects.

There are some applications where conventional sheeting is inadequate.  Exposed sites, high winds and onerous applications, such as sandblasting and industrial painting, can lead to rapid sheeting failure.  This in turn adds significantly to costs due to lost working hours and the cost of repairing and replacing the sheeting.

Scaffold sheeting will increase the wind loading on scaffold structures.  A safety review and risk assessment of the scaffold design is normally undertaken to ensure that the structure will withstand the additional forces caused by sheeting the scaffold.  

Expert analysis of anticipated weather conditions is also conducted to ensure that an adequate and appropriate support density ( the number of fastening ties per square metre ) is used to attach the sheeting to the scaffold structure.  In windy conditions, an inadequate number of ties will inevitably result in the sheeting detaching prematurely and too many ties may put excessive forces on the scaffold structure which may lead to its collapse.  In high winds, the sheeting should be regarded as sacrificial in order to maintain the integrity of the scaffold structure.  

The manufacture and refurbishment of oil rigs is one application where Powerclad Filter Sheeting is widely used.  Exposed to harsh and exposed environments, oil rigs are lashed by high winds, rain and salt water leading to planned maintenance programmes and refurbishments.  Any containment solution is inevitably subjected to similar harsh treatment on-shore where these huge steel structures also undergo shot-blasting and painting that creates specific challenges for any containment solution.

Powerclad Filter Sheeting has many advantages over 'solid' sheeting.  It is almost twice as strong as the strongest conventional sheeting.  Whilst the mesh fabric marginally reduces the wind forces on the supporting structure, its principal advantage is providing a ventilated system without unduly compromising weather protection.  Even with wind-driven rain, Powerclad Filter Sheeting manages to keep rain out of the contained area with only a fine mist penetrating for a short distance.  During shot-blasting operations Powerclad Filter Sheeting contains dust and helps dissipate increased air pressures.  By providing a means for airflow, it also disperses fumes from volatile solvents during painting operations and reduces paint drying times.  In cold climates it reduces the wind chill factor and in hot climates it provides shade and ventilation to provide a comfortable working environment.

Due to its self-extinguishing characteristics, Flame Retardant Powerclad Filter Sheeting mainly used on petrochemical sites, nuclear and conventional power stations, marine and offshore yards and of course buildings which continue to be occupied during construction works.

Powerclad Filter sheeting is instantly recognisable because of its distinctive blue colour.  It available in two widths and shipped worldwide.

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