Superior Concrete goes ballistic in precast fence, site barrier engineering

Sources: Superior Concrete Products, Euless, Texas; CP staff

Branded Superior Ballistics, a new reinforcing feature doubles the strength of Superior Concrete Products (SCP) fence and barrier panels, making them impervious to close-range fire from high caliber ammunition.

“Security is an issue for many businesses, and protecting valuable equipment and personnel a major concern—especially for utility companies,” says SCP President Todd Sternfeld, who founded the company in 1986. “With recent attacks on electrical substations in California and Arizona, protecting the nation’s power grid is a top priority for utility executives and government officials. We recognized that the time had come to develop a new type of security fencing, one that fit seamlessly into the environment … without looking like a military bunker.”

The Superior Ballistics engineering couples a membrane and proprietary embedment process greatly reinforcing precast members. Prior to the brand launch, SCP subjected specimens to rigorous impact: Testing facility staff fired a .308 Winchester caliber round from a high-powered rifle into a Superior Ballistics-equipped panel from 30 feet; while the fence sustained damage, the bullet did not penetrate.

In view of sniper attacks on power generating equipment and other security threats, the Congressional Research Service recommended in June 2014 enactment of federal regulations requiring greater physical security around electrical substations. A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rule adopted just before Thanksgiving calls for power companies to identify key installations where damage could cause blackouts or power outages, and safeguard such facilities by 2016.

“Superior Concrete Products provides an affordable and safe option that can help utilities comply with [federal] mandates,” notes Sternfeld. Utility companies across the country have chosen the company’s fence and barrier solutions to protect and screen electrical transformers, he adds, owing to the precast products’ strength, affordability and low-maintenance design.