Pierced Steel Plank, PSP Mat
The Pierced Steel Plank or PSP Landing Mat
The Pierced Steel Plank, or PSP Mat, was developed by the US Army Corp in anticipation of our involvement in World War II. The US Army Air Corps summoned representatives of America’s leading steel companies to help in this development:
“Gentlemen, we want you to build a good portable airport. It must be strong, light, simple, fool proof, safe and inexpensive. It must be so simple that it can be laid on any fairly level piece of land with a few days work. It must be so foolproof that if some parts are lost, it will still be useful. It must be safe for any type of airplane, under any weather conditions. It must be so light that it can be transported swiftly and easily to any spot.”
This sounded like a tall order, but American ingenuity persevered and within a short period of time, the US Pierced Steel Plank mat or PSP mat was in production. Many historians believe the Pierced Steel Planks were a primary tool in winning the war.
Over the years, there have been updates and changes, but the initial design for the Pierced Steel Planks or PSP mat is and has served our country quite well. These mats are still in use by the US Army Air Corps for temporary runways, storage and parking areas for heavy equipment.
The Pierced Steel Planks are 10′ long x 16″ Wide and made out of 10 gauge steel. The PSP mat was designed with holes to reduce the weight, improve aircraft traction and facilitate drainage. Flanging the holes kept the mat durable by compensating for the strength lost by removing a portion of the metal.
The planks joined together by a locking mechanism consisting of alternating rows of slots on one side and sliding interlocking projection on the other. The use of a spring clips lock the mats in place.
PSP Mat Applications
Calumet Industries Inc has offered used government surplus landing mats for sale to the general public for over 50 years. The sale of these mats are to a wide variety of consumers.
The Pierced Steel Plank mat is utilized by many construction and oil field drilling companies for temporary roads, parking areas and storage of heavy equipment at drilling sites.
Using PSP mats as temporary roadways has the added advantage of combating weather conditions that would normally delay construction. They are also utilized in environmentally protected areas and wetland application. Some other common uses include:
1. Temporary and permanent aircraft landing fields or runways
2. Temporary roadways or access routes for trucks, heavy equipment, backhoes, concrete trucks, tree trimmers and cranes.
3. Construction Sites
4. Helicopter Landing Pads
5. Irrigation Tracks
6. Launches and boat ramp extensions
7. Corrals and chutes for livestock
8. Warehouse flooring
9. Mobile home moving
10. RV tracks or storage areas
11. Storage platforms for heavy equipment, supplies or runways.
Pierced Steel Plank can also be used to pave driveways. Find out how PSP was used to pave temporary road in the Rosedale Driveway Project.