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How to Determine the Type of Access Hatch You Should Use for Your Product

August 30, 2012
  1. Consider where the access hatch will be installed to choose a model of access hatch to be used:
    • If it will be in the road a High Density H20 Traffic Loading model is often used.
    • If it will be on the sidewalk a Pedestrian Loading Incidental H20 Traffic Loading model is used.
    • If it will be in a parking lot a Low Density H20 Traffic Loading model is commonly used.
    • If it is used for landscaping a No Traffic Pedestrian Loading model is appropriate.
  2. Determine if aluminum, galvanized steel or steel should be utilized for the access hatch:
    • Steel is vulnerable to rust and corrosion, therefore galvanized steel access hatches are more commonly used in outdoor applications. The hot dipped galvanizing process protects the steel from rust.
    • Aluminum is ideal for electrical vaults that will need to be accessed often due to its lightweight properties.  Aluminum is also a naturally rust resistant material.
  3. Evaluate if plate or grating is needed:
    • Grating can be used as an access hatch for roadways, parking lots and landscape
    • Whether grating or plate should be used is determined by what will be housed underneath.  For example, sidewalk access hatches are often made of plate to protect electrical components underneath.  However, roadways have bar grating access hatches for drainage.
  4. Research load requirements:
    • A general idea for pedestrian loading is 300 lb. / sq. ft. uniform load.
    • A general idea for H20-44 loading is 16,000 lb. wheel load, 32,000 lb. axle load.
    • Steel and aluminum access hatches are not always recommended for high traffic areas, unlike steel grates that are recommended for high traffic.
    • Consult a structural engineer and/or access hatch manufacturer before beginning any project.
  5. Consider safety:
    • All access hatches should have a slip resistant surface to keep pedestrians and motorists safe.   Bare metal doors can be extremely slick when wet, diamond plate can also be dangerous when worn and uneven.
    • SlipNOT®’s advanced technology coating is manufactured to withstand traffic and will not wear or chip.  It is easily applied to existing hatches if the customer ships them to the SlipNOT® facility or new hatches with the SlipNOT® coating can be provided.
    • To comply with guidelines set by the ADA and other agencies and municipalities, slip resistant access hatches transform walking areas.
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