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It’s extremely durable and cost effective – the simplicity and speed of installation means a huge cost saving when compared to unsightly alternatives such as concrete.
AluExcel is the world’s leading brand in aluminium hard surface edge restraints. What are the benefits of using this system over the traditional approaches of restraining tarmacadam or paving and how is it installed to harness these benefits in the best possible way? We worked with a highways approved surfacing contractor in order to fully analyse the product. The clip above goes over the installation of a small section of roadway that was constructed in its entirety in just seven hours! The clip helps to illustrate not only the benefits and the potential of the system but also the best practice for installation.
The site is cleared, levelled and a well compacted sub-base material such as recycled crushed concrete or type 1 is laid. We recommend a sub-base extention of 100 to 150mm beyond the point at which the edging will be installed to ensure that the trim has a firm fixing.
The edge of the area to be surfaced is now marked out and the edging is installed. Due to the flexibility of the edgings, even the most intricate of designs can usually be achieved and simple curves and radii are extremely easy to set out.
It is important to lay a 5 to 10mm race of sharp sand beneath the foot of the edging to ensure continuous support of the edging. No other materials are required for installation. Due to the ease of simply nailing the lengths to the sub-base, the edging can be laid very efficiently at an approximate rate of 30 to 40 metres per hour.
Joining the lengths together is simply carried out using a connector strip. The connector strip is a small length of aluminium that aligns the edging lengths but still allows for lateral movement. Once the lengths have been connected, a fixing spike should be nailed in either side of the joint and hammered down firmly.
To curve the edging, it is often better to pre-bend or pre-stress a length before nailing it into place. Once this has been done, the length is connected to the previous length and is secured into the sub-base working along the edging and fixing into the shape required.
Pre-formed corners are an accessory that can be provided with the edgings and making stalling corners extremely easy however these can be created by metre cutting the edging through folding the connector strips and connecting firmly together.
Once the edging is installed, the surfacing is ready to be laid. In the case of the small area that has been set out in the video, the edgings were laid completely before the tarmacadam was started however on a larger scheme, the edges could be laid in front of the surfacing team and thus maximise productivity. When using compaction rollers close to the edging, it is advisable to run the first pass 50mm clear of the edging with the vibration turned off to pinch the edging into place. Following this, the tarmacadam can be fully compacted using the vibrating function on the roller. The roller is usually run over the edge of the edging to ensure full compaction right up to the edge of the surfacing.
In conclusion, AluExcel brings you significant benefits when installing edgings due to the speed of installation, ease of handling, effective creation of smooth curves and improved visual finish.