Historically, vertical bar balustrades were chosen as a cheap way of providing a guarding which wasn’t easy for children to climb. With the cost of glass significantly being reduced, this became a less common choice.
More recently vertical bar balustrades are being used to create distinction and architectural style. Rather than the industrial roadside railing look, with main posts and infill panels between, Sapphire have created a solution which enables individual fixing of bars to avoid vertical bar infill panels and to allow a consistent uninterrupted flow.
Vertical bar : uprights
When specifying vertical bar systems, the first design consideration is what the upright should be. With vertical bars, there are essentially two choices; rectangular sections or round bars.
Rectangular sections make installing a fascia a very much simpler task. They are typically formed using extruded aluminium which makes them light weight and cost effective. On the other hand, round bars are often machined from solid bars which can make them quite a bit more costly.
Vertical bar : fascias
Whether round or rectangular, vertical bars are each fixed mechanically which avoids welds. This also spreads the load, so that large intermediate, corner post, etc. aren’t required.
With fascia’s being slid into position and fixed after the vertical bars uprights have been finished, this means that fascia’s fixing from the outside are really only an option when using rectangular bars. Round bars can however have a fascia behind to hide the Cassette® skeleton. Round bars are typically made from solid stainless steel bar, with a milled flat surface where they join to the Cassette®. This makes it a considerable amount more expensive than the rectangular bars, which are typically made from extruded aluminium.
Vertical bar : handrails
On most vertical bar projects, Sapphire have provided a two part handrail. The first part is a core rail which sits on top of the vertical bars, with each infill bar being mechanically fixed through the corerail.
One of the four standard profiles, or a bespoke aluminium extrusion is then clipped into position and fixed. Corner joints are typically achieved using mitre joints, and where there are joint’s needed on a long straight run, they are typically butt jointed, with the handrail and corerails joints staggered to provide optimum strength.