IronRidge Approves Use of Gatorshield Tubing

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    IronRidge has approved the use of a new structural tube for use with their Ground Mount system.  Allied Tube and Conduit’s Gatorshield tubing is now an alternative to the standard Schedule 40 steel pipe.  This is a great step forward for installers actively installing ground-mount arrays. The Gatorshield tubing is more resilient to corrosion, stronger, lighter and less expensive for many different types of projects.


    The two alternatives available from the Gatorshield lineup for IronRidge Ground Mounts are shown in the table below.  Performance characteristics are described following the table.


    Schedule 40 Steel Pipe

    Gatorshield High Strength 50/55 Alternatives:


    Section 2.375” diam. x 12ga


    Section 3.500” diam. x 8ga


    Gatorshield is made from high-strength cold-formed steel with three corrosion-resistant layers applied to the exterior and one to the interior.  The first anti-corrosion application is a uniform interior / exterior 99.99% pure zinc coating.  The tube exterior receives a conversion coating followed by a Qwik Coat clear organic coating to provide a smooth, shiny finished appearance.  


    This custom application of coatings results in Gatorshield outperforming Schedule 40 pipe in Salt Spray Tests:


    Gatorshield’s strength also outperforms standard Schedule 40 steel pipe.  Even with a 30% reduction in weight, Gatorshield reaches a 58,840 psi pulling force yield point where comparable galvanized Schedule 40 pipe begins to yield at 35,300 psi. 


    In IronRidge Ground Mount applications, another benefit to Gatorshield’s strength comes from splicing two pieces together. Gatorshield tubing utilizes a splice tube instead of a Schedule 40 coupler.  This means that the splice can be located anywhere between two supports instead of having to avoid the middle ⅓ span.  The result: easier to design with as well as less wasted material. 


    So how much is Gatorshield compared to standard galvanized Schedule 40 pipe?  Based upon IronRidge’s research, Gatorshield would likely result in a cost savings of $0.01 per foot for projects under 300kW.  As projects increase in size, the cost benefit of using Gatorshield starts to diminish, especially when steel pipe is sourced from international manufacturers. 


    Courtesy of IronRidge


    The final benefits to using Gatorshield - it is proven product that has been used in constructing structures for more than 30 years.  Additionally, Gatorshield is manufactured here in the United States.  Product can be custom fabricated from one of the strategically placed manufacturing facilities across the US to meet the need of projects located anywhere in the US.

    6 years 6 months ago
    Written by
    Eric Lorenz
    Support topic
    Support keywords
    ground mount
    residential solar
    installation methods