World Class University, Cambridge, MA

Prestigious University in the Boston Area Choose Fibrelite’s Lockable Steam Covers to Eliminate Safety Hazards

World Class University, Cambridge, MA
World Class University, Cambridge, MA

A top ranking university in Cambridge, MA, has recently turned to Fibrelite for the replacement of steam manhole covers within the Business School campus. The university, which is built on a large steam distribution network, had decided to seek an alternative to their existing covers due to their concerns regarding public and staff safety. Traditional, cast iron steam manhole covers can reach extremely high surface temperatures due to the conduction of heat from within the manhole. Furthermore, removal of heavy, cast iron covers often puts the operator at risk of back and shoulder injuries.

Initially the university decided to replace the two manhole covers that were located outside the campus daycare center to eliminate the hazards presented by hot steam manhole covers.

Large cast iron covers are both very heavy and extremely hot when exposed to steam within the manhole Steam heats cast iron covers to dangerous temperatures
Large cast iron covers are both very heavy and extremely hot when exposed to steam within the manhole


Fibrelite’s Composite Manhole Covers
- Cool to Touch!


The thermal gradient properties of Fibrelite’s composite steam covers significantly reduce the heat transfer from a steam vault to the surface of the cover. Typically, the surface temperature of the cover will be slightly above the ambient temperature at street level even when subjected to extremely hot temperatures on the underside. Fibrelite’s composite access covers have been tested to temperatures up to 400°F while still maintaining their “cool to touch” properties and ability to support vehicular loads.
Fibrelite installations are simple – a fiberglass skirt can be used as a preform and to set the frame at grade Fibrelite install
Fibrelite installations are simple – a fiberglass skirt can be used as a preform and to set the frame at grade

High steam pressure within the manholes, often caused by flooding of the vaults, meant that the covers needed to be fixed in the frame to prevent displacement. Fibrelite’s tamper-proof lock system provided a perfect solution for this.

The deadbolt lock system is not only tamper-proof but prevents the cover from dislodging under pressure from within the manhole
The deadbolt lock system is not only tamper-proof but prevents the cover from dislodging under pressure from within the manhole

Since installing Fibrelite steam covers, the university has experienced significant reductions in heat transfer from the vault to the manhole surface. Further installations across the campus have now been scheduled as part of a replacement program for numerous 36", 30" & 24" steam covers.

Fibrelite lockable steam covers Cool to the touch Fibrelite covers
Fibrelite lockable steam covers

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