Conventional load-bearing access and manhole covers are heavy, liable to corrosion and difficult to install and remove. The question facing modern architects and developers is how to retain the accessibility and strength, but improve upon the practicality, durability and performance.
From access covers and manhole covers, to trench covers, steel and concrete have traditionally been the market’s materials of choice. However, these options are often cumbersome to lift and easily corrode – requiring regular maintenance.
To meet the challenges of modern construction, Fibrelite, the global leader in the manufacture and development of FRP GRP composite manhole and trench covers, has developed an ultra-light, yet ultra-strong solution that can be manufactured to match almost any specification, size, color, colour, or project.
With an unrivaled unrivalled strength to weight ratio, this highly engineered FRP GRP composite material is significantly lighter than metal, yet just as strong, and is fast becoming recognized recognised as an effective modern alternative to traditional steel and concrete.
This breakthrough has subsequently led to the development of the world’s first F900 rated (90-ton) (90-tonne) load rated composite covers at the Port of Felixstowe – one of the UK’s leading commercial ports.
Designed to protect the fresh water pipes used to supply arriving vessels, the original covers had to be removed and replaced with a mobile crane each time access was required. However, despite sharing the same load rating, the new Fibrelite composite covers can be safely and conveniently installed and removed by a two-man team.
What’s more, unlike conventional steel alternatives, the new replacements are resistant to corrosion from sea salt – making them ultra-durable and maintenance-free. Designed, manufactured and developed specifically for Felixstowe, these covers are color-coded colour-coded to denote fresh drinking water and have been engineered to fit seamlessly into the existing frames with custom-made security bolts – providing a made-to-measure fit.