PermaStruct® was approached by a client who required eleven sets of ‘Safety Access FRP Stairs’ capable of coping with an extremely corrosive and highly alkaline environment.

The PermaStruct® FRP stairs were required for a brine pond in a mining environment and needed to be suitable for full immersion in a saline pond with a long life. PermaStruct® also had the additional design challenge of finding a solution that could cope with varying batter slopes and rest on the HDPE liner of the brine pond itself.

The solution was a series of custom designed PermaStruct® FRP Stairs. PermaStruct® Vinyl Ester was used throughout, as this has the correct chemical resistance to cope with the harsh alkaline conditions.

Perma Composites® worked closely with the Design Consultant – helping guide the whole design, construct and installation process. To reduce maintenance, PermaStruct® handrails were designed to be full PermaStruct® FRP dowelled and bonded together. The stairs themselves were manufactured as demountable modules – allowing for swift assembly.

Perma Composites® provided large bearing plates with a PermaStruct® FRP bracket design which helped smooth out the batter slope as well as reduce the static load on the HDPE liner. The stairs were colour coded to show any alteration in the slope.

PermaStruct® Stairs are R13 slip rated and are corrosion resistant so that every nut and bolt could become immersed in the brine pool without consequence. Each section of the stairs is less than 100kg per lineal metre run, with sections spanning up to 11 meters long, making this the most lightweight solution possible.

Logistically the stairs were easily transportable and light enough for the onsite equipment to handle without the need for specialised cranes. This delivered great savings as no significant and expensive cranage was required.

The successful delivery of the initial eleven sets has now been expanded to thirteen sets to help complete the project up to its current stage.

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