In our latest blog, we look at Emtek Mats – a bit about the background, and why we’re proud to be a European distributor of this superior product.
There are some construction projects that require something more than a timber mat to create the necessary support for the equipment that’s being used. You might need to make specific load bearing calculations, or simply need to transport heavier loads than timber mats can cope with. I these circumstances, Emtek is the answer.
Engineered Mat Technology (do you see what they did there?) was first developed in America, in University of Maine to be precise. Jon Fuitak was investigating the potential to improve the properties of low grade hardwoods and create a high strength wood composite that could be utilised in residential and light commercial settings. By removing many of the natural defects that are found in wood, he created a high grade, laminated product which reduced the potential for stress fractures. Subsequent testing demonstrated that the product he had created was significantly stronger and more durable than wood, and had a resistant surface. Emtek mats were born.
Emtek mats are twice the depth and weight of standard hardwood mats so have a higher load bearing capacity. Another advantage of Emtek mats is that they are the only mats currently available for which load bearing calculations can be made. This means that for any project, you can determine the suitability of Emtek mats and work out in determining their suitability for any given situation.
Emtek mats are manufactured in America by Anthony Hardwood Composites. Hardwood boards are machined to the proper dimensions for laminating and ripped to a width that will ultimately yield the mat thickness. Once this process has been completed the boards are prepared for lamination. Adhesive is applied and each lamination is set on edge and nested into the lay up to create an unpressed billet – or plank – before entering the press. Heat and pressure is applied in the press then the planks are machined to the final dimensions, and to be fitted with the connection hardware. After testing for strength, the planks are fastened together to create Emtek Mats.
Emtek mats benefit from an interlocking clip that allows mats to be connected together. This video shows how they work:
Originally used in the USA for large infrastructure projects, the high load bearing capacity and durability of Emtek mats means that they are well suited to a variety of applications. As mentioned, it’s possible to calculate specific load bearing which is a huge advantage over standard hardwood mats. Typically used for swamp access roads, transmission line access mats, for crane support, oil and gas drilling, logging access, pipeline and highway bridge construction, dam and levy construction, barge decks, heavy lift and other speciality access applications in the States, there are many projects in the UK and Europe which benefit from the superior properties of Emtek mats. The variety of installation methods means that Emtek mats are suitable for use across a wide range of soil conditions.
At GJ Bogmats, we work with our partner Timbermat Ltd and hold the largest stock of Emek mats in mainland Europe, meaning we can meet the demands of substantial projects. Get in touch with us on 01269 888250 to discuss how Emtek Mats could improve access on your next project.