PentaFloor discusses the key components of access flooring installations.

It’s not always easy to know what you’ll require from your access flooring. Not only is it tough to predict what you can expect from the completed installation, you don’t always know what your needs will be prior to installation. For this reason, PentaFloor has identified a few key components that comprise a successful access flooring installation.

The three main components, namely floor panels, pedestal and a stringer, are briefly discussed below:

Floor panels: These panels are definitely an important component of any access flooring project as these are used to create the final flooring within the room. The great thing about floor panels is that you are able to remove them to gain access to what is underneath; which is one of the reasons why access flooring is a popular choice within the professional fields.

Pedestal: This is the supporting structure for the raised flooring panels and will be placed and secured onto the sub floor. This is normally done using an epoxy resin based adhesive. The pedestal can be adjusted to whatever height of flooring is needed and will also provide a head for the panel location.

Stringer: Without the stringer, the pedestals would not be able to function properly. It connects to the pedestal head to create more support for the flooring. In essence, it helps to create better structural performance for the raised floor system.

Besides understanding the various components that are used to create an access flooring installation, it’s also vital to know the purpose of the flooring. One of the most common reasons why people choose access flooring is that it gives protection.

The various elements that go into creating a building include pipes and cabling, amongst others. In order for these items to protected, they need to be secured properly and remain out of view. This is where access flooring comes in. By using an access floor, you can protect all of these items, while at the same time having access to them when needs be. As in the below project examples, the access floor is usually used for:
•    General office space (New Sasol HQ, New Discovery HQ, New Old Mutual HQ in Sandton)
•    Auditorium Floors (New Outsurance HQ)
•    Call Centres (New FNB Contact Centre Randburg, Eskom  )
•    Data Centres (Existing Absa Randburg )
•    Casinos – All
And to cover:
•    Telecommunication cabling
•    Fire detection and suppressions
•    Water and drainage reticulation
•    Electric power (Eskom)

Besides safeguarding these elements in your office environment, access flooring can also be used to create different levels of flooring. While the same principles as mentioned above apply, the pedestals are now used to create varying heights, the ideal solution for a company needing a seminar room, for example. The access floor creates the different levels needed for seating, while keeping all of elements like cabling, safe.

PentaFloor is one of the leading access flooring suppliers in South Africa. The company has a long history in the access flooring market and provides their solutions in a number of finishes. PentaFloor’s solutions are high strength, cement filled and have specially designed steel corners to ensure durability. Their panels have undergone rigorous performance testing and they offer some of the most widely used panel designs in the world.

High strength corners
PentaFloor’s panels come standard with 90 degree drawn steel beam corners, filled with high strength cement. Any load placed on the panel will be transferred to the panel corners before traveling through the pedestals to the sub floor. Although their deep drawn beam corner is a difficult manufacturing process, it is done in order to achieve the ultimate load capacity necessary. This prevents upward bending of corners or dishing of panels. Cement is injected by high pressure pump to ensure complete saturation of the panel. The Strength of the corner areas of the panel is the ultimate determining factor for an excellent raised floor system.

Load capacity
Ultimate load capacity is defined as the point at which panel failure occurs. PentaFloor’s panels are designed and built with a minimum safety factor of 2.5x design load. This prevents failure that could lead to injury or massive equipment damage.

The point of failure or collapse is the single most important indicator of performance, as the cost of a failure would far outweigh the initial savings on a cheap system. Be sure to look at the ultimate distributed load and concentrated load value when selecting an access floor panel for your application. PentaFloor has the only accredited testing laboratory in South Africa outside of the SABS.

For more information, contact PentaFloor on Tel: +27 (11) 440 6759 or via www.pentafloor.co.za.