Composite Matting Systems: Increased Safety, Reduced Environmental Impact And Minimized Costs
Industry Insight State-of-the-art composite matting systems are making it easier than ever for construction and drilling companies to carry out work on unpredictable ground.
If approved, the construction of the Energy East pipeline will require thousands of man hours to be spent working on unpredictable surfaces in remote locations, which can create a myriad of logistical and safety problems. The use of high quality composite matting systems will be key to ensuring the health and safety of the men and women who put in the hard work on unstable and saturated ground.
"The lightweight and buoyant characteristics of composite matting reduce the need for multiple layering and substantially increase the probability of 100 percent mat recovery ..."
Lightweight and environmentally friendly
The lightweight materials used in the construction of composite matting systems makes them much easier to transport and handle than traditional wooden and steel alternatives, especially in remote and rugged terrains. “Compared against composite mats, you need twice as many trucks to haul the same square metre of wood access mats and four times as many trucks to haul steel rig mats,” explains Scott Mydan, International Composite Mat Sales at TerraPro group. “Your carbon footprint is significantly reduced by using a composite mat. You’re also cutting costs in terms of people and resources.”
The non-absorbent nature of the composite mat materials creates an easy-to-clean surface that eliminates the possibility of vegetative and chemical site cross contamination. “If you’re working on a drilling site or in an environment where there’s noxious weeds, wood mats are more likely to absorb noxious weed spores and then transport them from site to site,” says Mydan. “You can disinfect composite mats effectively and economically — and that’s a huge benefit, especially in drilling operations or major power-line transmission construction projects when cross contamination needs to be eliminated.”
Composite matting is also designed to protect the underlying agricultural subsurface below as well as your workers above.
Using a composite matting system allows workers to access otherwise difficult to reach locations with speed and ease. With a strong, rigid and durable composite mat, work can continue smoothly during inclement weather and, most importantly, your work site remains a safe place where employees are able to stick to schedule and maintain productivity.
Unlike traditional wooden mats, the high-density polyethylene used in composite mats is 100 percent recyclable. “You can shred them up and then use the high-density polyethylene to make new mats or other products,” says Mydan. “Also, at the end of each mat’s life cycle, you can recoup between $300-$400 in recycled material per mat.”
The lightweight and buoyant characteristics of composite matting reduce the need for multiple layering and substantially increase the probability of 100 percent mat recovery, which plays in a key role in keeping reclamation costs to a minimum.
There are also significant cost savings to be made on the ongoing purchase of mats themselves. If handled properly, a composite mat will last 10-15 years, whereas a softwood mat is likely to last a maximum of two-and-a-half-years and an oak mat a maximum of seven years.
More accessible than ever
Matting systems that are fabricated from the latest in composite materials can now be bought or rented in various configurations. Conscientious matting vendors will work closely with you to provide the ideal solution to your entrance problems over various terrains. You can order customizable size mats that are manufactured to your specific needs.
From an economic, environmental, and human resources viewpoint, a composite matting system makes perfect sense. “Logistics is a major economical factor in the matting world,” Mydan says. “Luckily, logistics is one of the major benefits of using composite mats.”