Demonstration and Validation of Materials for Corrosion-Resistant Fencing and Guard Railings in Aggressive Climates
ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER CHAMPAIGN IL CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING RESEARCH LAB
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Standard galvanized steel chain-link fencing, including products coated with polyvinyl chloride PVC, can severely corrode in as little as 5 years in coastal locations where the atmosphere is warm, humid, and infused with chlorides. This problem affects fencing needed to secure military equipment, supplies, and buildings. Painted and galvanized-steel safety railings also can severely corrode in those environments, creating personal-safety hazards. This report describes a study that assessed several alternative corrosion-resistant materials for fencing and railings using atmospheric exposure coupons and full-scale installations. The research design compares the performance of the alternative and conventional materials to identify those that may reduce the Army s corrosion prevention and control costs. Tested materials included fuse-bonded PVC, galvanized steel, stainless steel, aluminized steel, a proprietary material called Galfan , aluminum alloys, and fiber-reinforced polymer FRP composites. The test exposure sites were Kahuku, HI Duck, NC and Treat Island, ME. The report provides cost justification for using specified corrosion-resistant fencing and railing materials that have a higher first cost than standard materials. The project return on investment using fuse-bonded fencing and anodized aluminum railings was calculated at 6.13 using fuse-bonded fencing and FRP composite railings instead of anodized aluminum railings, the calculated project ROI is 5.75.
- Laminates and Composite Materials