C450PLUS: Perfect for clear spans

ILB Manufacturing has designed its buildings around using C450PLUS.

Friday 7 September 2018
Lockheed-Constellation-CAC-Canberra-bomber-at-HARS 840x440

Businesses in the aeronautical, industrial and agricultural sectors that require expansive working spaces often need to limit the number of columns used in their premises. Aircraft hangars are the perfect example of a structure requiring large clear spans.

Orange (NSW)-based ILB (Industrial Light Beam) offers an integrated prefabricated framing system that is perfectly suited to premises requiring these large spans.

Tim Lockrey, ILB General Manager, says 40–60m clear spans are a “walk in the park” for the company’s ILB framing system, but adds that double the span is also possible.

“When we go to our largest member sizes, depending on the environment in which they go in, we can get out to 120–130m clear spans,” he says.

What makes the framing system unique, according to Tim, is its significant strength relative to its weight. ILB’s patented ILB framing system utilises Rectangular Hollow Section (RHS) and Square Hollow Section (SHS) chord members, plus a trapezoidal folded plate web, to ensure a superior strength-to-weight ratio relative to traditional structural members.

The ILB system can also be curved more easily and effectively than traditional beams due to its improved torsional rigidity and bending capacity, thus allowing greater flexibility in design.

Ryan McCallum of Austube Mills says C450PLUS steel is the perfect material for use in ILB’s framing system: “ILB uses C450PLUS to manufacture its patented frames as it allows them to use lightweight structural tubular sections, but with the high strength of 450-grade material.”

Tim says the product gives the ILB framing system a nominal 28.5 per cent increase in strength over 350-grade product.

The components used in an ILB building are primarily prefabricated prior to transportation and then assembled on site. Because the ILB system reduces the steel required in construction, there are project cost savings not just in terms of the overall steel tonnage used, but in relation to reduced costs associated with transportation to site and handling on site.

“It’s very fast to install,” Tim says. “We can offer our clients a saving and ease of installation because they don’t need such big cranes to erect their rafters.

“There are three costly elements using a bigger crane – they’re a lot more expensive by the hour [than small cranes]; they work more slowly; and once you get out of the major cities, they can be difficult to find and expensive to mobilise. If you can use a smaller crane, not only are your costs reduced, but your lift times are reduced.”

Because the ILB system’s connections are all bolted and it has been designed to be inherently stable during erection, it can easily be deconstructed in the reverse order of erection.

There are significant sustainability benefits to be gained from using ILB’s framing system. The reduced amount of steel used results in reduced carbon emissions and water consumed during the production and transportation stages. In addition, all of ILB’s generated scrap is sorted and sold to local scrap merchants for recycling.

Tim says the company will always aim to work with its clients to find the best design outcome for their needs. This can range from simple supply of the materials needed to construct an ILB building through to managing the build in its entirety.

Among the projects the ILB system has been utilised for are the Queensland government’s New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) passenger train maintenance facility at Wulkuraka, west of Ipswich, the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) service hangar at Albion Park, as well as major infrastructure initiatives such as the NorthWest rail link, NorthConnex and Sydney Metro (Stage 2).

“We’ve also just completed the early works contract for the Melbourne Metro and we’re tendering a number of other upcoming major infrastructure projects,” Tim says. “It’s clear there are plenty of applications that the ILB system is well suited to.”

Photo: Lockheed Constellation airliner and CAC Canberra bomber in the hangar at the HARS Aviation Museum. Credit: HARS Aviation Museum