Access matting refers to portable platforms used to support equipment in the construction industry, such as camps, tanks, drilling rigs, and helipads. Access matting can also be used as a structural roadway to provide trucks safe passage over unstable ground surfaces.
Access mats’ names
Access mats have many different applications. The application of the access mat determines its name. Common names for access mats include swamp mat, industrial mat, or construction mat.
Types of access matting
There are three categories of access matting:
#1. Construction mats
These mats provide a smooth walking and driving surfaces in commercial or industrial construction settings, regardless of the weather. Construction mats help reduce the crew’s downtime and increase the probability of the timeous completion of tasks.
They also help with the overall safety of construction sites. Companies use these mats for projects, such as
- Temporary roads and pipeline terminals in the oil and gas sectors.
- The erection of towers when installing power lines.
- Construction of warehouses and buildings.
#2. Heavy-equipment mats
This type of access matting consists of mats made from durable, load-bearing materials, specifically for use with heavy equipment.
One example of heavy-equipment mats is crane mats, designed for exceptional heavy use. Companies use crane mats for applications, such as wind farms, module yards, pipe yards, and piers.
#3. Access mats
Companies use access mats to create temporary roads and work sites, especially in environmentally sensitive or remote areas, such as fens and wetlands. Access mats are sometimes called swamp or bog mats.
Different countries make swamp mats from different materials. In the USA, swamp mats are made from mixed hardwoods, while Canadian companies make these mats using coniferous species such as firs or pines.
Another type of access mat is the rig mat, also known as wood or steel mats.
Construction of access matting
Access mats can be made of a variety of materials, including:
- Wood: This is the most commonly used material and could include hardwood, fir, hybrid wood, spruce, or bamboo.
- Composite: Composite access mats are made of different materials to make the mat stronger and more durable. Composite access mats are more expensive, but they last longer and are cost-effective over the long-term because they are so durable.
- Composite materials for manufacturing access mats include fiberglass, rubber, plastic (HDPE), plastic (UHMWPE)
Access matting uses
Access matting is used in a range of commercial and industrial uses. They can be used temporarily for one-time use or repeatedly for different projects.
They can also be used for a semi-permanent feature. At times access matting is used in non-traditional settings, such as water throughs for cattle or temporary parking.
Installation and removal of access matting
In most countries, access mats are removed when they are no longer serving a purpose.
Most providers of access mats include the removal of the access mats, which they then rent out, store, or destroy, depending on the condition of the access mats upon removal.