People across the world have come to rely on shading systems to protect them against harmful UV rays, to make their days more comfortable and enjoyable, and even to protect the interiors of the buildings they occupy from overheating. In the past, simple shading systems like umbrellas and awnings were the most prevalent, but recent innovations in shading systems have brought new opportunities to the industry.
Modern shading solutions, including designs like shade sails, canopies, and other industrial fabric creations, are becoming more popular as they add to a space’s modern aesthetic while also providing a necessary function. But these types of systems are more advanced than the shading systems of old, and they require the highest quality industrial components to function properly.
Shade sails, for example, are typically drawn taut and can generate high wind loads when exposed to strong winds. To stay reliable and remain in place, these types of shading systems, among others, should be made only with products designed to withstand the expected loads.
Using Load Rated Hardware for Shading Systems
Just because a piece of stainless steel hardware is non-rated doesn’t mean it’s completely unreliable. It just hasn’t been load tested. Typically, commodity stainless steel hardware has a higher degree of variability in load capabilities. What may work for one application could fail on another almost identical application.
A piece of load tested hardware will have gone through a rigorous testing phase to determine the maximum load the piece of hardware can carry. Tighter production control and testing requirements allow for consistent product. This rating information is usually provided via a nameplate on the item or will be documented elsewhere, such as with the manufacturer.
If you decide to build your shading system with non-rated components, you can’t know the limits of your systems strength. You can certainly do your own load testing once your shade system is completed, but you won’t have a unifying standard for the components going into your shading system.
To ensure quality, longevity, and that your sun shading system can withstand repetitive stresses, always use load rated hardware such as pulleys, ropes manufactured using high tech fibers, stainless steel shackles, bolts, and more.
Building Shade Systems
Using rated components is also extremely important when shading systems are incorporated into the architectural makeup of a building. As these systems will remain in place for long periods of time, the components that hold them in place must be resilient enough to withstand age, periods of strong wind pressure, and the elements.
A good practice is to use products that are manufactured by companies who serve fields that require the highest quality materials to function safely and effectively. For example, look for a manufacturer that supplies safety products to the defense industry or to any other professionals who rely on the hardware to keep them safe at great heights. Most of their products will be load rated, so you’ll have a perfect understanding of the strength and reliability of your shading system by building it with their products.