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Re: Fence Design

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Bruce,

My office did a study of a number of large existing gates in fences at a
secure industrial facility here in So Cal a couple of years ago.  We had to
develop some familiarity with local standards for the design of fences.  I
looked up our report and found the following list of references that might
be useful to you (some may be outdated, this was from 1998):
a)     CLFMI Product Manual:  a set of documents published by  the Chain
Link Fence Manufacturers Institute to establish minimum standards of overall
quality for chain link fence installations.
b)     ASTM F567-93 (Fences):  a general standard for chain link fence
installations.
c)      ASTM F626-96a (Fittings):  a general standard for chain link fence
hardware.
d)     ASTM F900-94 (Swing Gates):  a general standard for swinging gates.
e)     ASTM F1184-94 (Horizontal Slide Gates):  a general standard for
sliding gates.
f)        ASTM F552-94 (Terminology):  a general standard for chain link
fence terminology.
Watch out for "secondary" post forces created by tensioning the fabric --
they can be significant if you really have to check the stress in a post.

Be careful about assuming that the fabric is wind "porous" -- chain link
fences are often used as cheap billboards and can be retro-fitted with
"security slats" (plastic or wood inserts that make them wind "opaque").

In my experience, trying to get rigorous about the design of the fence
itself is tricky and may not be warranted (reference to the ASTM guidelines
may be more appropriate), but foundations might be worth a look and gates
can be a real bugaboo.  They are often "jury rigged" and the big ones can be
life safety hazardous.  I know of a case (at a correctional facility in
California, incidentally) where a large manually operated rolling gate came
off its tracks and fell on to the inmate (trustee, they call them) who was
operating it -- crushing him to death and resulting in a law suit and
significant costs to both the State and the architect who had designed the
facility and failed to specify proper end stops or lateral restraints.

Drew Norman, S.E.
Drew A. Norman and Associates
Pasadena, CA

----- Original Message -----
From: Trobridge, Bruce
To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org'
Sent: Friday, October 20, 2000 9:23 AM
Subject: Fence Design


I am trying to figure out the best way to analyze fence posts.  I am
considering 12 foot high chain link fence for a correctional facility.  How
is the post analyzed?  What percentage of the wind should be considered for
the chain link fence fabric?
Bruce C. Trobridge PE
Senior Building Structural Engineer
NYS - Office of General Services
(518) 486-1749