For the longest time, businesses that wish to set up an above-ground conduit system only have two main options for their conduit material. Either they opt for PVC-coated steel, or they went with galvanized rigid steel. But then today more engineers are specifically calling for the use of fiberglass for their conduit systems when they’re set above ground.
The fact of the matter is that in many ways fiberglass is the superior alternative to the more traditional steel options. Its features offer excellent advantages that can’t be found in other materials.
These conduits need to be made a certain way for an above-ground system, and that means it has to be impervious to heat and chemicals as well as non-toxic to the environment. Fiberglass fits these requirements, and that’s why it’s become a popular choice.
If you’ve picked the right fiberglass material for your conduit, then it can withstand a very wide range of temperatures. The best ones can resist cold temperatures that go as low as -40 degrees F., but it should also be able to handle high temperatures that go up to 230 degrees F.
It should be chemically inert, which is another way of saying that it’s chemically non-reactive. It’s possible that the conduit can be transporting chemicals, or chemicals may come into contact with the conduit as it’s placed above ground.
Also, it should contain no toxic materials that can harm the environment. These will include halogen and chlorine.
So what else do you need? Since it’s above ground, you’ll have to think about the aesthetics. It may help if the conduits are available in different colors so that at least it doesn’t look ugly.
Conduits should be available in several diameters. A single manufacturer should be able to provide you with conduits as narrow as ¾ of an inch or as wide as 8 inches. There should also be a complete range of conduit bodies, fittings, and elbows so that the installation can go smoothly.
Now that you’ve picked the right fiberglass manufacturer for your conduit, you can enjoy certain advantages that you may not get with other conduit materials like PVC-coated steel and rigid metal conduits.
Perhaps the most important advantage for a business is that using fiberglass can be a very economical option. Since fiberglass is lightweight, a piece can be carried easily enough by a single worker, unlike heavier materials which may need more workers to have a piece carried from one spot to another.
The installation can also be much quicker, especially when there’s no welding or even threading of joints needed. Great conduit manufacturers tend to offer a simpler assembly with push-fit ends so that it’s easier and faster to connect the pieces.
Of course, the economic factors shouldn’t mean that the entire system is unsafe. On the contrary, fiberglass conduits are quite tough and often tougher than other alternatives. Other materials can’t match how fiberglass offers the best protection against corrosion. It is non-metal, so rust isn’t an issue at all.
The material is also non-conductive, and that’s very helpful especially when the conduits are housing electrical cables. It’s also fire resistant, and even if the fire gets hot enough to affect the material the conduit doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals that can be released into the environment.
Fiberglass can also offer a much lower coefficient of friction so that workers can pull through much longer wires.
All in all, fiberglass works especially if you’re opting for an above ground conduit system. It’s a much better choice than other materials.