Since the company was founded in 1991, Haz-Safe has constructed its buildings with frames made of tubular steel covered in 10-gauge plate steel. The result is a strong, continuously welded building that is wider, longer and taller than units made of steel studs because tubular steel has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than even beams and channels. As a result, the use of tubular steel creates a significantly safer structure.
The hollow portion of tubular steel enables Haz-Safe engineers to implement multiple innovative safety measures. For example, the interior is used to remove heavier-than-air fumes from the building through a patented Posi-vent tube system.
The inside of tubular steel also accommodates Haz-Safe’s patented bolt-up method for joining the modules together. Bolt-up rods are hidden inside the structural tubular frame both horizontally and vertically so that the exterior and interior surfaces are clear and free from unsightly exposed flanges, nuts and bolts. In addition, this bolt-up method can withstand the impact of an explosion better than traditional approaches because the sag in the bolt enables it to act as a shock absorber.
Furthermore, the void inside the tubes can be filled with rebar and cement, adding to the strength and durability of modular buildings, if needed.
Tubular steel construction also enables the installation of crane hoist systems in Haz-Safe buildings, allowing workers to safely stack pallet loads or tote tanks, minimizing risk of ergonomic injuries. Haz-Safe’s patented wall construction methods also enable its buildings to meet stringent standards for fire and explosion safety.
In fact, Haz-Safe wall construction is Factory Mutual approved for 1, 2 and 4 hours. Furring strips are attached horizontally across the vertical tubular steel frames on one side of the wall. As a result, this provides fire protection inside the building. In addition, layers of fire-rated gypsum panels hold the furring away from the vertical members, creating a thermal or sound break between the inner and outer surfaces of the wall, dramatically slowing down heat or noise from penetrating the wall.
The gypsum panels, meanwhile, have a white porcelain ceramic finish, which reflects not just 95 percent of light but also radiant heat. This protects the steel protecting the fire-rated gypsum, adding to the time of the fire rating of the walls. Porcelain ceramics are so effective in high-heat applications that they are used as a part of spark plugs within combustion chambers and catalytic converters where gasoline “explosions” and hot gases are constant.
In terms of aesthetics, porcelain is the most permanent color finish available on metal. It’s impervious to aging, industrial pollution and the weather. It is stain proof, non-porous, non-absorbent and highly resistant to most acids.
Haz-Safe’s fire-tested approach for the manufacture of vertical wall members is so effective that it is Factory Mutual approved up to 16 feet high. Competitive technologies can reach no higher than 9 feet.
Haz-Safe buildings are also Factory Mutual approved for blast protection, meeting the 215-pounds-per square foot requirement established in 2009. In fact, Haz-Safe makes walls that can withstand more than 400-pounds-per-square foot of percussion.