The Many Commercial Uses of Flame Retardant Shadecloth

Sitemax Scaffolding

To understand the various uses of Flame Retardant (FR) Shadecloth, it is important to first understand what Shadecloth is. Shadecloth is a woven or knitted fabric made from High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). Shadecloth is defined by the Australian/New Zealand Standard as a type of containment sheeting used for both safety and environmental purposes (AS4576:1995 Guidelines for Scaffolding). It’s main use is to contain dust & debris, protect workers and the public via separation, and transmit light.

Shadecloth is an extremely versatile product. Depending on the material properties, it can be used in a wide variety of industries, along with commercial and domestic applications. Each industry or application has its own requirements for shadecloth. These requirements define whether or not the selected grade of shadecloth is suitable for the task. For example, shade & colour are the key concerns of shadecloth selected for a domestic project. These are most likely not the same factors that define product suitability for a construction project.

In general terms a construction site relies on defining processes and selecting products that reduce risk. A principal contractor must ensure that they minimise risk throughout their project for all workers and the wider public. On project sites, shadecloth is specifically chosen for Scaffolding Containment & Temporary Fencing applications. This provides screening as well as a physical barrier. Although shadecloth has some inherent strength, it is typically attached to some form of mesh or grid in these scenarios.

In addition to separation and dust suppression other risk factors must be considered. Given the prominence, coverage and location of shadecloth on a construction project, the material must be highly durable. Shadecloth must be designed to withstand certain environmental conditions and the high-risk work that occurs in close proximity to it. Commercial grade shadecloth is typically manufactured with a UV stabilised additive to increase it’s fire resistant properties. This is needed due to the materials experiencing long term exposure to sunlight during its lifecycle.

Flammability and combustion of construction materials is an area of risk that has always existed. Recent events in Australia, and around the world prove more consideration is needed for Fire retardant properties. This is for both temporary & permanent materials used on construction sites. Due to ‘hot works’ and other possible ignition sources operating nearby, new Flame Retardant (FR) options are becoming readily available. As a direct purchaser or principal contractor, it’s important to ensure that the right product has been supplied. A reputable manufacturer will be able to provide test data for the material in line with industry standards.

Another advantage of commercial shadecloth is its flexibility. A wide variety of base colours can be sourced and the material can be easily printed upon. This means that project & event branding along with corporate logos & messaging can be easily delivered on your next site. It’s obvious that shadecloth is a requirement for construction sites around Australia. but are you taking advantage of the ‘empty advertising space’ presented? On site branding can be made more affordable by adapting your required on-site materials to maximise their usage.

Sitemax provide Flame Retardant Shadecloth in an extensive range of options. Various colours, across all grades and sizes are available to suit the different needs of your individual project. Don’t miss the opportunity to advertise your brand, and draw attention to your project. Contact the Sitemax Sales Team today. At Sitemax, we make it easy.