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Lightweight composite covers are making drainage and sewerage access safer

Due to the weight and difficulty in removing the covers critical time is lost in emergency situations
The Fibrelite D400 load rated covers can be easily removed and replaced using the FL7 lifting handles

Accessibility is a pre-requisite for almost every drainage and sewerage application. However, the weight of conventional heavy steel access covers can make removal and replacement time-consuming and cumbersome. While once steel or concrete were the only options, a new breed of composite cover is making the world beneath our feet more accessible than ever. As a result, drainage and sewerage companies across the globe are increasingly specifying composite covers where manual handling is key.

Designed by Fibrelite, the lightweight alternatives have an unrivalled strength to weight ratio and provide the same load-bearing performance as their conventional counterparts. In fact, due to the lightweight properties of composite material, our GRP access covers are approximately one third of the weight.

As David Holmes, Fibrelite’s Technical Director, explains:

“Fibrelite is seeing an increasing number of enquiries for GRP custom cover solutions in water and wastewater applications and more specifically in locations where there are manual handling concerns. Our design and manufacturing capabilities allow us to offer custom turnkey solutions that can replace failing metal and concrete covers in-situ thus eliminating the need for costly installations and extended site closures. The evidence is in the numbers, more than 5000 bespoke covers have been successfully installed in UK, Europe, US, even Antarctica”.

Traditionally heavy metal and concrete covers are also prone to corrosion, with water/sand ingress being a major problem for operators and site owners. In the long-term, this can lead to costly damage.

In contrast, GRP composite covers require little maintenance and are resistant to corrosive materials – making them an ideal solution for many drainage and sewerage applications.

Furthermore, composite covers can be designed to fit almost any size, shape, aperture and load rating requirement – enabling effortless like-for-like replacement. It is even possible to specify different colours and custom covers that feature a specific logo or branding.

This freedom and flexibility make GRP composites a natural fit for the demands of modern construction.

The two systems were adapted for Fibrelite trench covers for access from above
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Aaron McConkey

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