Thursday, July 09, 2009

Q & A Interview With Gary Duncan of Powerflex :: Part Two

Here are the first two questions and answers from my interview with Gary Duncan of the Powerflex Fence company. Feel free to add questions of your own in the comments and I'll see if we can get some feedback from Mr. Duncan.

1.) Hi-Tensile fencing is something that is fairly new to me. Thanks to the readers of my blog I was turned onto this type of fencing and decided it would be a good fit for our fencing needs. Could you give a brief overview of the ins and outs of a hi-tensile fence?
Firstly, hi-tensile electric fencing is a physiological barrier rather than a physical one. Typically a traditional fence of barbed, woven or a board fence is a physical barrier and must be maintained taunt and tight to be effective. Electric fences work on the memory of the animal from a previous shock. Once properly trained, animals respect electric fences greatly. They simply learn not to challenge them. Hi-tensile wire itself is much stronger than the traditional low carbon wire used in agricultural fencing. 12.5 gauge hi-tensile wire has a breaking strength of 1300 pounds plus. Around 3X more than barbed wire. The finish on hi-tensile wire is also superior. It has at least a class III galvanized coating, which will last 3 to 4 times longer than class I traditional wires. Hi-tensile wire will also stretch up to about 2% of its initial tension, but once stretched, it will return to its initial tension. This feature reduces the maintenance that is normally required to keep other fencing tight and effective.
2.) Can you tell me more about the PowerFlex posts and all their benefits?
The PowerFlex Posts are an “oriented” composite. They are comprised of about 70% polypropylene and 30% wood fiber. The orientation process that they go thru during manufacture gives them grain vertically similar to woodgrain. This adds strength and flexibility. All material used is virgin and no recycled products are used. They are made of an insulative material, so do not require insulators. Only a cotter pin to hold the wire in place. I think that the greatest benefit that Powerflex Posts offer is that they are flexible. They will yield to pressure, then return to their upright position. Next is the fact that they are made of an insulative material. Anyone that has been around electric fencing very long soon realizes that much of their maintenance involves replacing broken insulators and finding shorts on conductive posts.
Make sure you check back tomorrow for more. Also, a big thanks goes out to Mr. Duncan for all of the time he as taken helping us figure out what we need and answering our questions!


Seth - said...

"All material used is virgin and no recycled products are used."

Interesting that he would use that as a selling point :-)

Rich said...

I know it isn't the best way to install hi-tensile, but what are the options for adding a hi-tensile wire to an existing barb wire perimeter fence?

I was thinking I could add a wire with t-post insulators to the existing fence, add an offset fence (10"-12" inside the barb wire) with Powerflex posts, or another option I am unaware of.

GARY said...

I' like to comment to Seth about the recycled products comment I made earlier. Good comment, BTW. We do use virgin Polypropylene, but we can use recycled wood fiber and we do. Powerflex posts are about 70% polypropylene. However, on the plastics side, we have experimented using recycled polypropylene blends but they lack the consistancy. Our process is a rather techincal process and we need the consistancy of a virgin material. It is my understanding, from our manufacturer, that when experimenting with the recycled products the flow of material is not as uniform and voids will occur in the material. It is too hard to control and not worth the risk of compromise.
Any round rod with a void inside of it is a potential broken rod.
Additionally, there is sometimes a confusion between polypropylene and polyethelene. Polyethelene is what milk jugs are made of, so we cant use them.
We can however regrind a powerflex post and recycle it into another post.
I guess my point is this: There have been many attempts to sell recycled plastic posts in agriculture. Most have been failures or not lived up to their expectations. We try very hard to offer consistancy and reliability. If we could utilize recycled plastice we could naturally lower the price, but run the risk of having a weak product.
In this era of "make it cheaper" or "import it", I applaud our Manufacturer for maintaining good quality control standards. Hope that doesnt sound too arrogant ?

GARY said...

I woke up thinking about this "recycled" topic last night.
First off, let me say that I am just an ol "fence guy", and I speak in broad terms. After my blog post yesterday I decided to visit with the engineer types at the factory to clarify. This is what I would like to pass along:
First off, I get weary of typing polypropylene, so lets call it PP. The main reason we dont presently use recycled PP is the fact that we haven't progressed far enough in the process to allow us to deal with all the inconsistencies of recycled PP. It is something for the future. We are continually experimenting and working on it and hope to some day be able to use it. PP is, by the way, a food safe plastic.
Additonally, unlike CCA or ACQ treated lumber, there are no environmentally hazardous materials in our process and our products are 100% recyclable.

Seth - said...

I appreciate your response - I did not intend to cause you grief, it just struck me as different than the typical pitch these days. I understand the compromise and I'm encouraged to see your commitment to working with recyclables when possible.

Anonymous said...

I want know is it harmful to my animals?If yes,what should I do? thank u for being with me and giving me this opportunity to have this Q & A round again.


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