Engineered Mats are Strong and Lightweight

 In Insights

Construction professionals have typically had two material options when selecting a ground covering solution: hardwood and composite. But in recent years, another option has emerged that combines the strength of hardwood with the lightweight design of composite. These so-called engineered mats provide excellent performance and can potentially save users thousands of dollars on transportation costs.

Engineered for Strength

The engineered product used in these mats was first developed by the University of Main in 2001. Researchers had hoped to develop a high-strength wood composite made from a low-grade hardwood resource. They envisioned the end product used in residential and light commercial applications, but they ended up with something so unexpectedly strong and durable that the engineered product ultimately found a home with heavy industry.

The engineering process is fairly straightforward:

  • Hardwood boards are machined and ripped into the proper dimensions, then the tops and bottoms are surfaced in preparation for the laminating process.
  • Adhesive is applied to each lamination, then the laminations are set on edge and nested together to create billets.
  • Each billet is pressed using heat and pressure and then machined to their final dimensions.
  • Billets then receive connection hardware and are proof-loaded to ensure strength.
  • Finally, billets are fastened together to achieve the required mat width.

The laminating and pressure treating processes make these mats immensely strong and durable. Much stronger and durable than traditional hardwood.

Engineered Rig Mats

Traditional steel rig mats lock timbers and billets together using steel rails and beams. Engineered rig mats are different. Because engineered wood products are so strong, the extra steel beams become unnecessary. Instead, these mats include a single steel rail around the outer edge of the mat. The end result is a strong mat that weighs much less than other mat styles.

But the mat’s reduced weight doesn’t compromise performance. In fact, engineered rig mats carry ratings twice as strong as traditional rig mats.

Consider the following statistics:

  • An 80′ x 40′ engineered mat is typically 1,000 – 1,500 pounds lighter than standard rig mats.
  • Depending on the manufacturer, Industrial Matting engineered mats can be as much as 2,000 – 3,000 pounds lighter in weight.
  • Even though they’re lightweight, engineers rate these mats for 70,000+ pounds per square inch of down pressure.

Finally, construction professionals don’t have to sacrifice performance for weight. And by using an engineered ground covering solution, these professionals can save thousands of dollars on shipping while still enjoying the support they’d normally get from heavier hardwood options.

Contact Us Today for Custom Sizing

Industrial Matting stocks the most common mat sizes, but we can also customize our rig mats to order. Come of the customization options include:

  • Custom sizes ranging from 11 feet wide up to 40 feet long.
  • Users can select the number of ply’s based on the specific application.
  • Choice of hardware including pick points, shackles, or none.
  • Add 1/4 inch thik forklift protectors in 12 inch increments.
  • Wide flange or C channel steel edging available.

If you’re interested in learning more about this amazing product, we’d be happy to talk. Call one of our matting experts at (888) 543-MATS or you can fill out our contact page here. The pros at Industrial Matting are ready to help you create the perfect matting solution that fits your budget and project like a glove.

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