A weld-free installation process has caught the attention of Victoria’s caving community. Parks Victoria and Australian Stainless Steel Development Association member Stainless Tube Mills Fences recently completed a visitor access upgrade for popular tourist sites, the Royal and Fairy Caves.
Stainless Tube Mills Fences’ patented assembly process for tubular panels allows for easy installation without the need for welding. According to Dale Calnin, Ranger in charge of Buchan, using this system meant installation was not damaging to the caves’ sensitive environment. The stainless steel balustrading is a well presented modular system and this process would be welcomed by the international caving community.
220m of grade 316 stainless steel handrails and balustrading were installed to provide strong and durable protective barriers. The application consisted of 50.8mm diameter top and bottom rails with 12.7mm diameter spigots, square mesh panels and fabricated stainless cable trays by Duraduct. Double top rails were also installed, using STM Fences’ innovative swivel cones to help with undulations throughout the caves.
A fine finish was applied by Stainless Tube Mills and fabricated components pickled and passivated by Duraduct for maximum corrosion resistance. Great caution was taken during installation to protect the caves’ delicate interior.