Clarksville, California -- Ekena Millwork's new product line, the FiberThane Balustrade System, is a hybrid system that the company says "utilises the strength of fibreglass and the architectural detail and elegance of high-density polyurethane."
According to Ekena, while traditional urethane balustrade systems are susceptible to denting, chipping, and warping, FiberThane's rails and newel posts using fibreglass makes them virtually indestructible. Utilising this material for the rails also allows FiberThane to span up to 16 ft sections while competing systems can only span 8 ft.
"When we were designing this system, we just weren't happy with many of the current balustre designs in the marketplace. It seems like every manufacturer simply copied another manufacturer's spindle designs, and thus the same poorly designed spindles were the standard. We wanted something architecturally correct; a full line of spindles unique to us and that would fit into any aesthetic design," said Daniel Milkie - diirector of operations at Ekena, in a company statement.
Milkie explains how Ekena consulted with its resident architect - Abi Ghorbani - on designof a full array of spindles for the new balustrade system."Each spindle style is available in 14 different combinations of height and block design, providing the most comprehensive and consistent line of balusters that exists in the market."
With rails made from pultruded fibreglass and spindles from aluminium and urethane, the system is "remarkably light-weight," at 14lb - 22lb per linear foot, says the company.
It is good for delicate balustrade s such as balconies or rooftops, but because the main components are fibreglass, the system can withstand the toughest commercial applications, says Ekena -- government buildings, bridges, and even hotels and resorts.
"We purposefully designed our system to be perfect for every type of application. Competing FRP systems are remarkably strong and durable, but they weigh over 100lb/ft," and so cannot be used routinely on balconies, decks, and rooftops. Urethane systems are light, but can only span 8 ft and are highly susceptible to denting and scratching. "Using fibreglass for the rails and newel posts allow us to solve the weight problem of FRP system, and the durability problem of urethane systems," Milkie commented.