Matrix®Perimeter Enclosure Grid
Built for the Power Utility Industry
Matrix security fence is a perimeter enclosure grid designed to expand to the level of site security required. Its framework structure allows the user to define the level of security needed by choosing a suitable mesh option that details the degree of delay and site visibility.
The Matrix design is a result of multiple power utility companies seeking a design that could comply with the upcoming CIP-014 standards. Not knowing exactly what these standards would require meant that the fence would need to be an engineered solution, adaptable to meet any demands for perimeter security. Some of the ways in which Matrix has adapted to these demands are through testing to industry standards as follows:
- Conforms to IEEE Grounding Standards
- Meets ASCE 7-10 Exposure C Wind Load
- Meets ASTM F2781 Forced Entry Standards
- Expandable to meet ASTM F2656 Crash Barrier Standard
- Integration of Security Peripherals
The first of many features is providing a grid-type curtain wall that would allow the customer to tailor the fence to fit their specific needs. The myriad of mesh fabrics available range from expanded metal, welded wire and louvered mesh options. Depending upon the need, one might choose a modified expanded metal mesh to decrease visibility as well as deterring a would be intruder from easily cutting through. Whereas another site may require more visibility thus choosing a welded wire solution.
SGS, the world’s leading testing and certification company, recently tested Ameristar’s Matrix security fence to ASTM F2781 forced entry standard. This ASTM standard defines the practice for performing a forced entry test on a security fence. Ameristar’s Matrix security fence tested to the highest level of resistance and level of threat severity with success.
- Low Threat Level - PASS
- Medium Threat Level - PASS
- Aggressive Threat Level - PASS
Due to the nature of power utility substations, typically there is a requirement for perimeter fences to be grounded. This requirement has tethered power utility companies to products that have a galvanized finish, such as chain link or expanded metal mesh fences. Although the thought that a galvanized fence should provide adequate grounding, no manufacture has provided test documentation or a design of how best to ground these fence products. Another challenge with yesterday’s fence products is the lack of aesthetic appeal. Coated fence systems help a site blend in to its surroundings, whereas a galvanized chain link fence may draw attention to the site because of its utilitarian look.
Today power utility companies have an option to use a more decorative solution which has been design and development to meet the latest IEEE grounding standards – Matrix by Ameristar. Ameristar’s Matrix perimeter enclosure grid is the first powder coated fence system to successfully test to IEEE grounding standards. This breakthrough allows power utility companies to provide a site with the level of security and safety needed as well as providing an appealing look that will not detract from its surroundings.
With many sites located in remote areas, early detection is essential in reacting to potential threats. One of the solutions in fulfilling the need to detect along a perimeter is through an intrusion detection system. The Matrix framework has been tested with many popular intrusion detection systems and has received accolades for its stellar performance. The Matrix framework has a unique open rail design that allows for easy installation of IDS cabling, communication and video cables, conduits and anti-ram cabling. Each I-beam post has pass-thru ports allowing each security peripheral to run continuously without interruption. The advantage of this framework allows the user to bypass expensive trenching and boring; resulting in a project cost savings. If desired, the owner can conceal the rail openings with a rail cover for improved security.
If the need to run larger conduits is required, the Matrix design is equipped for external mounting of conduits. Optional ballistic resistant plating can be fitted to the Matrix perimeter for the protection of conduits and its contents.
Another expandable option on the Matrix security fence is the opportunity to add anti-ram security. Any of Ameristar’s eight Stalwart anti-ram systems can be added as an another layer in front of or behind the Matrix fence line. Another advantage when integrating Stalwart into Matrix is that the system is then recognized as a SAFETY Act certified product. Developed by the US Department of Homeland Security, the SAFETY Act certification decreases liability exposure for Ameristar and its customers should an act of terrorism occur.
The Engineered Solution
To date there have not been many options for power utility companies when searching for security fence to fulfill all their needs. Chain link and mesh curtain-wall fences have been littering the landscape and passing themselves off as innovative solutions when introducing a new mesh offering. These commodity options have become more laborious by adding additional attachment methods that require field fabrication resulting in added expense. Furthermore, chain link and mesh curtain-wall fences have a galvanized finish and are not typically warranted by the manufacturer for any period of time. As the demand for security increased these commodity fences augmented their height to perceive an improved level of security.
Ameristar’s Matrix security fence is an engineered solution designed to change the status quo for perimeter fencing of power utility sites. The Matrix I-beam posts can be altered to enhance the systems strength and meet any excessive wind load required for the site. Being an engineered solution means there is no field fabrication or excessive bracketing for attaching rails and mesh to posts. Matrix is designed so that contractors do not have to have an excessive labor force for installation. Our innovative Matrix design allows the contractor to install all components from the secure side of the perimeter. No need to handle multiple fasteners that can be easily misplaced or dropped during installation, all Matrix security fence components are meant to be installed without the need for excessive fastener attachments.