Steel Gantry Vs Aluminium Gantry: Which Is Best For You?

When choosing a gantry to suit your loading application, the two most used materials are aluminium and steel. Does your choice of metal affect the performance of your gantry? In some ways, yes. Both metals have advantages in certain applications, and in this article, we will compare both steel and aluminium gantries to give you a better idea of what you need to consider when selecting one for your operation.

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Steel Gantries

What Are Steel Gantries?

Steel gantries are structures made of carbon steel beams and posts to support hoists and cranes, and are widely used on construction sites, warehouses, workshops, and other industrial settings in which heavy lifting is required. There are several advantages of investing in steel gantries, including:

1. Higher strength and load bearing capacity: Steel gantries generally have a higher load-bearing capacity and greater strength than aluminium, meaning they can lift considerably heavier loads. This makes steel gantries the application of choice for any project that involves heavy plant, equipment, or materials.

2. Durability and resistance: Steel gantries are extremely robust and resistant to a broad spectrum of damage factors, including accidental impacts, corrosion, and collisions – able to withstand impacts that would buckle a lighter-weight aluminium gantry.

3. Spark resistance: Steel gantries are preferable on sites that fall under the HSE Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) guidelines (2015), due to the metal’s increased spark resistance.

Aluminium Gantries

What Are Aluminium Gantries?

Aluminium gantries, on the other hand, are made of aluminium profiles and connectors that support the load-bearing frames of the gantry. These gantries have unique characteristics that make them ideal in certain applications. Let’s look at the advantages of choosing aluminium gantries and when they may be more appropriate than steel:

1) Lightweight and portable: Aluminium gantries are considerably lighter than steel gantries, making them faster, safer from a manual handling perspective, and easier to move around and set up, which may be a positive attribute in enclosed areas (eg. In a ship’s hull and plant rooms), or where a high degree of portability is needed.

2) Perfect for mezzanine and high-level plant areas : If you’re working on a high-level plant area or similar and logistics are difficult or the gantry requires frequent transportation, then an aluminium gantry is often more suitable than steel because of its lightweight material.

3) Corrosion resistance: The naturally high corrosion resistance of aluminium makes aluminium gantries the best option for high humidity environments, those exposed to saline spray or mist (eg. port side loading areas), and environments where corrosive chemicals are present.

To increase the life cycle all SHEARFORCE aluminium gantries are anodised.

Contact Us For More Information

At SHEARFORCE we also think about storage and logistics.  The steel gantry includes an optional innovatively designed, hard-wearing, weather-resistant PVC bag. The bag has grab handles at each end and wheels on one end to aid movement by hand. For more information or to request a quote, please contact us today.

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A steel gantry that rotates.