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Why Choose Steel Pipe & Plastic Handrail Over Welded and Painted Handrail?

In industrial and commercial settings, safety handrails play a crucial role in providing support and preventing accidents. When it comes to selecting the right material for safety handrails, several options are available on the market, each with its own set of advantages and considerations. Among these options, there are two that are quite common and that is the steel pipe sleeved in plastic and the welded and painted steel handrail. 

Here’s why you should choose Ideal Shield’s Steel Pipe & Plastic Handrail over the welded and painted handrail options: 

Ideal Shield's Steel Pipe & Plastic Handrail at loading dock bay

Ideal Shield’s Steel Pipe & Plastic Handrail in yellow at loading dock bay. 

Susceptibility to Corrosion: Over time, the welded rail’s paint will chip and peel, exposing the pipe beneath to moisture and air, leading to rust and corrosion. This is particularly true in outdoor environments or areas with high humidity. That issue is mitigated with the Steel Pipe & Plastic Handrail as the plastic sleeving will last much longer than paint and keep the pipe from being fully exposed to the elements, which will keep the railing stronger throughout its lifespan. 

Maintenance Requirements: Do you enjoy touchup paint jobs? That will be required with painted handrail. Regular maintenance is necessary to ensure the handrail maintains its appearance and protection against corrosion. Without proper maintenance, the handrail’s lifespan may be shortened. That obviously isn’t an issue with the Steel Pipe & Plastic Handrail as the plastic’s color will stay bright and bold for at least five years thanks to UV and anti-static additives. 

Photo Credit: COAT Paints

Painted handrails can need touchups and total repainting at least once per year. (Photo Credit: COAT Paints)

Welding Defects: Welded joints can sometimes have defects such as buildups, cracks, or weak points if not done properly. This could compromise the structural integrity of the handrail and pose safety risks. With the Steel Pipe & Plastic Handrail, the only welding that may be involved is with particular footings as the rest of the pipe is pieced together with fittings, eliminating the defects. 

Limited Durability: While welded handrails can be durable, the paint coating may not withstand heavy impacts or wear and tear as well as other materials like stainless steel or aluminum. This can lead to more frequent repairs or replacements over time. With the Steel Pipe & Plastic Handrail, any damage done from impacts can be fixed quite easily as the modular system can be disassembled in the damaged sections and replaced with new pipe and fittings. 

Ideal Shield Steel Pipe and Plastic Handrail Installed in Institutional Ale Co Black HRK Facility

Ideal Shield’s Steel Pipe and Plastic Handrail in black installed at Institutional Ale Co. Facility.

Overall Cost: While welding and painting may initially seem cost-effective compared to other methods, the long-term maintenance costs can add up, especially if the handrail is in a harsh environment where corrosion is more likely. When it’s all said and done, the painted handrail may end up costing more than twice as much as the Steel Pipe & Plastic Handrail. 

Shipping & Installation Costs: With welded and painted handrail, the full handrail is either built and shipped or sent in pieces and required to be welded together on site. Either way, that is a lot of extra work and money to deal with. Sending full pieces of handrail will cost a lot to ship anywhere, let alone across the country. And welding on-site can be an expensive hassle. With the Steel Pipe & Plastic Handrail, it is sent in sections to lower shipping costs and designed to be easily installed with speed fittings. 

Ideal Shield's shipment of Steel Pipe & Plastic Handrail

Ideal Shield is able to ship thousands of feet of handrail in one shipment. 

If you’re in the market for safety handrail for any commercial or industrial needs, leave the future problems behind that come with welded and painted steel handrail and give us a call here at Ideal Shield to discuss how our Steel Pipe & Plastic Handrail system can be the perfect fit for your project. We can also offer Aluminum Handrail if you’re looking for a sleeker handrail option. Contact our experienced team today!