In this blog we will explore the benefits of using engineered purlin and side rail systems and the quality challenges firms face when breaking specification.

voestalpine Metsec plc has been delivering engineered purlin systems for more than eight decades. We pride ourselves not only on the quality of our product, but also on the service we deliver with it.

Our purlin and side rail systems give customers the advantage of using our design capabilities, ensuring they are using an engineered system designed to deliver optimum structural performance, such as a heavy end bay configuration – designed to deliver best structural performance for the minimum amount of steel required. All of our purlin and side rail systems are supplied complete with all the necessary accessories and our market-leading specification software MetSPEC.

Whilst it may seem obvious, the alternative to using all this added value capability is for customers to simply source product, calculate what purlins are required, with nothing but basic load table information, then having to perform all the necessary structural calculations themselves. Contractors then need to source separate accessories to work alongside the purlins they’ve purchased. This process means more work for the structural engineer, more work for the contractor and also introduces a substantial risk to the project overall.

Working with an experienced and established brand minimises the amount of work both the structural engineer and the contractor have to do as well as taking the risk out of the project.

Metsec products come with substantial experience and engineering expertise. We offer our design services and consultancy to produce a fully compliant and robust solution and work in partnership with our customers throughout a project. In addition to this, we have invested in the development of a range of accessories to help produce value engineered, efficient solutions.

There are other, lesser known risks to sourcing cheaper, off the shelf products.

Metsec has led the market in the UK in several areas, one being the development of an increase in standard yield strength. We have consistently worked with steel producers, to understand what grades are available, performing all the necessary structural calculations and carrying out the subsequent independent testing to ensure optimum performance. This has led us to using a 450 yield strength material across out entire range offering a strong and robust system while minimising the amount of steel required. The UK market has subsequently moved to almost entirely using 450 grade steel.

However that’s not the case in the UAE.

UAE standard yield strength remains at 350 gauge which is fit for purpose when the purlins system is designed with that in mind. However, we’ve discovered several instances where the design is based on the UK standard i.e 450 yield strength.

Breaking specifications is a common occurrence when contractors are sourcing product and systems for a project, however in these instances when the replacement product has a lower yield strength, it introduces a real risk that the solution is potentially not capable of doing the job required.

In these instances, when specifications are broken, the importance of yield strength values should not be comprised, as locally sourced products do not have the performance capability that was specified in the original system. This introduces substantial risk to any project, and serious consequences should a solution fail.

In order to protect both your business and your reputation, it’s imperative that those responsible for sourcing and selecting product for a build carefully consider the specification and review the alternative products in great detail to ensure their long-term viability before making the choice.

Established for more than 85 years, Metsec has a breadth of experience in designing, engineering and providing complex purlin systems.

That’s why, both in the UK and the Middle East, companies have confidence in us and we are specified on a significant number of purlin projects, including Abu Dhabi airport, Nakilat shipyard, Glasgow Velodrome and Next’s distribution centre.