We were commissioned to work on a factory site in Coventry to design compact cable containment and pipe support frames running the edge of a warehouse to safely support 340kg per metre of cable and 50kg per metre of pipework.
Quite often when running services around the edge of the building, services will run flush against the steels, but in this instance, it wasn’t feasible as the containment run area needed to be kept as small as possible. For this reason, the supports for said containment had to be perpendicular to the steel columns. This also made it easier for the contractor when pulling the cables through.
With the majority of designs, the two main challenges remain the same, the location & weight of the services and where is the most appropriate place to fix back to, to provide adequate support.
First, the design of the frame had to adequately support the load and after carrying out structural calculations it was decided that the best option would be to weld back-to-back channel to minimise stresses and deflection. The crossmembers were then pre-assembled so they could be slotted into place and adjusted as necessary to suit the cable placement.
One thing that is often overlooked when designing brackets like these is installation loads; the forces generated when pulling cables through can be very significant, so had to be taken into account.
The next challenge to consider was the actual installation on site. As the client was up against tight deadlines, it needed to be quick and easy to fix. The welded outer frames were simply lifted up and clamped or bolted to the main steels, and then the crossmembers were dropped in during installation of the ladder, tray, and trunking.
Because these were fabricated from traditional 41×41 and back-to-back profiles, the pipework bracketry could be easily attached using standard channel fixings.