KNOCKED-DOWN vs. ALL-WELDED LOCKERS
One of the questions that we are most frequently asked is why all-welded lockers are sometimes specified on Requests for Proposal (RFPs). We believe that there is a mistaken perception that this will provide for a more durable locker, which is not the case at all.
The term all-welded when used in a locker specification applies only to the body of the locker, specifically how the back is attached to the sides and how the top, bottom and shelves are attached.
It does not apply to the door and frame, which are each properly covered by their own separate specification. In the case of the GSS locker, both the door and the frame are of fully welded construction.
Is the welded attachment of the back and sides stronger than the riveting of an assembled locker? We don’t know because there is no readily available data from actually testing the structure. Does the rivet fail before the weld? Does the 20 ga. or 24 ga. steel part fail before either of the fasteners? There is no data because:
Welded vs. K-D does not matter in practical application!
Over 90% of all wear and damage done to lockers occurs to the door and frame, which, as detailed above, is independent of the all-welded body specification.
Failure of the attachment between body parts such as the back and side of the locker, or between the top and sides is so rare that these don’t even make onto the list of typical locker problems. This makes the entire consideration of an all welded body completely irrelevant in real world use.
On the other hand there are real advantages to Knocked Down Lockers!
Better Corrosion Resistance: The second most common failing in metal lockers is rust or corrosion. K-D lockers perform better here because each part is coated separately, often in a perfectly flat state and then assembled on site. This allows for an even, complete coverage of the metal. All-Welded lockers must be painted after the body has been assembled into a large, complex shape with numerous small, hidden areas that are far more difficult to apply a consistent finish to. This poorer coverage of the welded body results in more metal with little or no protection from corrosion and the greater risk of the locker beginning to rust.
Reduced Shipping Cost: There is typically about 650 K-D lockers in a truck load vs. about 200 all welded lockers generating 3 times the frieght costs. In addition set up lockers are large, clumsy and difficult to handle into buildings resulting greater risk of damage during shipment and injury to the personnel handling them.
Reduced Environmental Impact: Fewer truck load shipments greatly reduce the carbon footprint of a project. Longer lasting products reduce the load on land-fills.
Reduced Repair Cost: in the event a K-D locker is damaged, then only the damaged parts can be replaced. An all-welded locker must be entirely replaced at far higher cost.
In summary, specifying all-welded construction of a locker provides no discernible benefit in the actual life of the locker, and presents some very real disadvantages in comparison to Knocked Down lockers in other areas.