Understanding various kinds of staircase railings, handrails & materials from which they’re made

June 16, 2020 10:13 am

There is a lot of ambiguity and therefore room for error when examining, choosing and fitting industrial staircase railings due to the extensive variety of designs and materials. In this article we will do our best to bring clarity to purchasing industrial railings and handrails.

First and foremost, let us answer the question most often misunderstood. Namely, what is the difference between a handrail and a railing. The answer may not be immediately intuitive, but there are some key differences.

Handrail and Railing – the Difference
A handrail is also commonly known as a banister and is the rail intended to be used for support and held onto by people climbing or descending a staircase. For this exact reason, it can be found on both the outer and the inner sides of a staircase where no barrier is needed but support is. In those cases it will be attached directly to a wall.

An industrial staircase railing is the barrier on the outer side of a staircase. It is there to prevent people or objects from going over the stair edge. It can be made of varying materials and can be solid or segmented but its purpose is to be resistant to impact. One can think of it as a staircase fence. Most railings also have a handrail as either an added or inherent part of their design.

The Applications of Railings
The difference having been explained, let’s go over the materials used by industrial stairs manufacturers to produce railings and handrails as well as their specific benefits and drawbacks.

The most common materials used for railings are:

  1. Steel
  2. Aluminum
  3. Wrought Iron
  4. Wood
  5. Glass

Since we are speaking from the standpoint of industrial steel stairs manufacturers, we will be focusing on the first three materials, the latter two being used in non-industrial settings.

Steel is a popular material of choice in most warehouses. It is far more preferable to wrought iron, which offers considerable strength but will require treatment and coating in order to withstand corrosion.

Compared to aluminum, steel provides a stronger, more reliable industrial staircase railing material that is safer to use in moist environments. It combines the sleek, modern look of aluminum and its notable non-corrosive qualities, adding to them a considerable benefit of strength and durability.

There is of course much more to be added on the topic than the scope of this article allows. If you need any additional information, contact Western Pacific Storage Solutions, www.wpss.com industry leading steel stairs manufacturers and experts in the field of industrial shelving systems.

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