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New Regulations Could Enable £16 Billion UK Composites Industry Growth

A new position paper by the University of Southampton recognises the growing demand for composite materials and explores how modernising government regulations could accelerate industry growth.

As economic and sustainability pressures have grown, there is increased pressure to reduce energy consumption (including fuel usage), ‘through-life costs’ and installation times. This has increased demand for stronger, lighter, more intelligent and more durable materials tailor made for purpose.[1]

While leading in innovation, the UK is ‘not the most agile in bringing these new products to market’.

The report suggests an updated government procedure to help businesses creating new composite products gain a first-mover advantage into the global market, enabling growth of up to £16 billion by 2030 (£4 billion more than current predictions).

Sources include the Composites Leadership Forum and Composites UK

Read the Paper Here

Read the full story in Net Composites

University of Southampton Position Paper[1] University of Southampton Position Paper – Modernising Composite Materials Regulations
Proud Participant of the National Infrastructure Forum
Fibrelite is proud to have participated in the National Infrastructure Forum where senior executives, decision makers and innovators from the public and private sector convened to promote collaboration and improve the delivery across UK Infrastructure.

Speakers included the Chief Secretary to the Treasury: The Rt Hon David Gauke MP and The Chief Executive of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority: Tony Meggs.

“We have a unique opportunity to transform the way infrastructure is planned. No one has done this before, been quite so ambitious.”
Philip Graham, Chief Executive
National Infrastructure Commission at the National Infrastructure Forum 2016


We’re especially excited to help spread the word about composites as they play a growing role in infrastructure with expected growth in the construction industry of 42-78% by 2020 (to £510-640m) and £1240-1520m by 2030 (National Composites Centre).

National Infrastructure Forum
National Infrastructure Forum Conference
A Cover Story. About Covers!

Reinforced Plastics Showcase Our Covers on Their Front Cover

“The company’s manufacturing methodology employs closed mould resin transfer moulding (RTM) techniques using long strand multi-direction E-Glass fibre. By changing the internal fibre architecture engineers can manipulate the fibre volume fraction (FVF) to deliver improved performance even at load ratings as high as F900 (90 tonne)”

Read the Full Article Here

Reinforced Plastics Front Cover
Reinforced Plastics Article
Kevin Long Named OPW’s New President

Hamilton, OH, March 13, 2017 — OPW, a Dover Company (NYSE: DOV), announced today that it has named Kevin Long as the company’s new president.

Kevin Long joined Dover in 2014 as the president of Colder Products Company (“CPC”).  “While at CPC, Kevin led efforts to accelerate new product development, drive continuous improvement and develop talent within the organization,” said Dover Fluids President and CEO Bill Spurgeon. “As Kevin takes over the reins at OPW, we look forward to him continuing the company’s legacy of innovation and quality.”

“I’m excited to be joining OPW the same year that it celebrates its 125th anniversary,” Long said. “To be in business for more than a century is truly a testament to the innovation, quality and customer focus the OPW team strives to deliver. I’m honored to be joining the team.”

Prior to joining Dover, Long was Vice President, Customer Care at KaVo-Kerr, a division of Danaher.  He also held various product management, operations and general management roles while at Danaher.  Long started his career at International Paper in its Leadership Development Program.  He graduated from The Ohio State University with a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering, and received his MBA from MIT.

Long replaces David Crouse who was named president for Dover Fluids’ new Dover Fueling Solutions organization last December. 

To find out about OPW click here

Kevin Long
Insite Tell the Fibrelite Story

Shaping the future of composite access solutions

Fibrelite covers have been a familiar sight on English forecourts and worldwide for many years. This summer, we announced new branding to represent our new global brand positioning. In light of this, together with Insite magazine we took the opportunity to look back at Fibrelite’s journey, from the lightbulb moment of a few bright Yorkshiremen, to become the worldwide industry standard.

Read it here or in Insite.

Insite Front Cover
Shaping the future of composite access solutions
Season's Greetings From All At Fibrelite!
Seasons Greetings 2016

New Video! Fibrelite and Competitor’s Covers Tested for Deflection
It's very difficult to look at a composite access cover and know how it will perform over time and under repeated heavy wheel loads. Many composite access covers look similar, yet perform incomparably, some leaking or even breaking after cyclical loading. Like any highly engineered product, the cleverness is hidden inside.
Composite covers are no different. Here we field test our FL90, multiport and a competitor’s cover for deflection, one of the key indicators (if the composite cover is fit for its intended use) how it will perform over its service life. Excessive repeated deflection causes a cover to fatigue and ultimately fail.
Corrosion-Free Covers for Leisure Centre Poolsides
Poolside conditions are very demanding for traditional metal access covers due to the constant exposure to moisture and chlorine, both of which cause corrosion.

Covers must also remain safe for the public to walk over in bare feet without slipping, or cutting themselves due to rust, while protecting the equipment underneath from water, and allowing easy single person access.
More and more leisure centres are choosing Fibrelite composite covers for their inherent resistant to corrosion, making them ideal for use highly corrosive environments. This means that covers will remain watertight (if sealed covers) and safe to walk over year after year. All covers come with an anti-slip tread pattern as standard, proven to surpass health and safety advisory conditions, ensuring safety for those walking over it. They can even be colour matched to the floor!
Corrosion-Free Covers for Leisure Centre Poolsides
Coloured composite covers
Composites Eliminate Manual Handling Health and Safety Risks

Health and safety in today’s workplace is becoming an ever increasing concern with manual handling accounting for over a third of all workplace injuries. [HSE] The majority of these injuries are caused by the handling of loads. HSE and NHS have comprehensive advise to prevent manual handling injuries, most of which relates to safe lifting technique and practices. Unfortunately, a number of everyday activities in workplaces don’t allow for these to be put into practice. A leading example is removing and replacing traditional access covers.

Composites Offer Light Safe Alternative

We are fighting to help reduce these dangers with a highly engineered composite solution: GRP access covers, typically weighing in at one third of traditional covers. While this dramatically reduces the risk of manual handling injuries, we wanted to find a way to eliminate them altogether. What resulted was an ergonomically designed lifting handle, allowing users to safely remove and replace the covers, while keeping the load close to the waist and avoiding stooping or bending their back.
We are seeing dramatic growth in the number of industries reducing their health and safety risks using composites, both for new build facilities where our covers are specified, and existing facilities retrofitting a custom cover to replace the existing.

Read more in Health & Safety Matters

Read more in Engineering Update (page 14, slide 17)
Read more at Net Composites
Read more at Specification Online
Read more in Safety Management Products
Read more at Engineering Update
Read more at Handling and Storage Solutions
Read more at Archetech
Recommended Lifting Weights
Safe lifting with Fibrelite Covers
Fibrelite Announces New Branding and Global Brand Positioning

Fibrelite is delighted to announce that we are launching our new branding this week as the first stage of our new global brand positioning. We have continued to grow and evolve through dedication to our core values of quality and innovation into a brand whose name is synonymous with product excellence, innovation and great customer service.

Fibrelite has led the way in composite technology since 1980 with the design of the world’s first composite manhole cover as a prototype for Esso UK to eliminate health and safety issues associated with traditional heavy metal covers. From there, Fibrelite grew as the retail petroleum industry adopted our covers as the industry standard, now selling to over 80 countries worldwide with manufacturing facilities on three continents, then were acquired by OPW (a Dover company) in 2013.

This commitment to innovation continues to drive our approach today and shape tomorrow, as we create bespoke solutions that reflect our global reputation and heritage.

As the experts in our field, we have access to a collaborative worldwide network with almost limitless skills, resources and experience. This breadth of knowledge allows us to consistently deliver forward-thinking, cutting-edge solutions at scale and speed.

Considering the myriad successes of recent years, Fibrelite decided that it was time to innovate our brand itself as a reflection of our new market positioning on a global scale as part of OPW and Dover, whilst maintaining our commitment to innovation as we continue to grow into an increasing number of new industries.

Fibrelite Announces New Branding and Global Brand Positioning
Fibrelite Product Innovations on Show at UNITI Expo!
Fibrelite will be exhibiting product innovations on the OPW stand at UNITI Expo in Stuttgart Germany (14th – 16th June, Hall 3, Stand 3A50). Innovations on show include the above ground remote fill sump and direct fill system.

Above Ground Remote Fill Sump and Direct Fill System

The Fibrelite GRP above ground remote fill sump is a world first! Through collaboration with a global major oil company, the first retro-fit model was designed to replace existing galvanised steel boxes, and connect to existing underground pipework. This was created using high-technology RTM methods.
Another recent innovation that will be on show is the GRP direct fill system, created for the Middle East and African market. These are the newest developments in a long line of firsts, starting from the invention of the very first composite access covers back in 1980.

UNITI Expo

UNITI Expo is recognised as the leading European trade fair for the retail petroleum and car wash industries. A biennial event, the last one in 2014 attracted a total of 11,000 visitors from 92 countries, and 344 well known exhibitors from 29 countries.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Read more at Petrol Plaza

Fibrelite Product Innovations on Show at UNITI Expo!
With Fibrelite Access Covers You’ve Got Health & Safety Covered!
Insite Magazine Feature

Designed to be a ‘fit-and-forget’ product, Fibrelite’s FRP composite manhole covers and modular trench panels come in all load ratings from A15 to F900 and are maintenance-free, durable and very strong. However, they can also help eliminate a number of common, and often quite serious, health and safety issues.

See the full feature here (PDF)

or

Read the full issue at peimf.com
Demand for Composites Increases - Safer Alternative to Conventional Covers

Demand for Composites Increases as Industries Look for Safer Material Alternative to Conventional Access Covers

Composite materials are in huge demand as industries across the globe are experiencing hazards and injuries when using traditional steel and other metal products. Reports of crushed and amputated fingers and toes along with burns, back injuries and other dangers have given industries ranging from data centers to water treatment plants a reason to seek safer alternatives. According to the 2014/15 US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 3,675 incidences of reported injuries within the manufacturing industry alone. 32% of these incidences were reported as back injuries which has led to a total of 125,880 missed working days.

This has caused major problems for decision makers as legislation continues to restrict acceptable manual weights. Composites are an ideal solution to these problems due to their lightweight yet durable properties. By using lighter materials such as composites, operational injuries are prevented, work sites are made safer and ease of installation and maintenance is made available to utility workers and contractors.

Hazards and Injuries

One particular area where we are seeing a major shift is in the manhole covers and trench covers industry where chances of injury during installation and removal are traditionally extremely high.

For example, conventional steel manhole and trench covers typically weigh more than three times that of a composite cover making them too heavy to be lifted manually and require the use of large machinery adding to the safety risks already in place.
These steel covers also lack temperature control which can make the surface extremely hot resulting in severe burns when stepped on without proper attire. This presents a hazard in public spaces such as university campuses, shopping centers, and municipalities where heavy foot traffic is commonplace. According to a study published by the League of Minnesota Cities entitled “Muscling Manhole Covers and Other Ergonomic Information”, workers are frequently injured while attempting to remove heavy cast iron manhole covers and the average cost of these injuries is reported as $100,000 per incident.
Dangerous Heavy Covers
Hazardous Cover Lifting

Composites and Covers

Using composite materials eliminates the use of heavy lifting equipment and allows for safer manual handling and avoids the high risks of injuries. Fibrelite, a leading manufacturer of composite covers and trench panels, has taken note and responded by using fibre-reinforced plastic composite (FRP), a type of composite material, in order to provide a safe and risk-free alternative. Fibrelite’s FRP covers have been designed to eliminate risk of burns by not exceeding high temperatures on the surface regardless of the temperatures below the cover. As an added safety feature, they also designed an anti-slip/skid surface that reduce falls, slipping and sliding in order to eliminate as many health risks as possible.
By definition, the majority of access covers are lifted, sometimes frequently. And while traditional metal or concrete covers are heavy and may even require specialist equipment making lifting time-consuming and expensive; composites are different.

David Holmes, Fibrelite Technical Director, explained: “As well as being lightweight – typically a third of the weight of metal or concrete – our covers are designed for safe lifting, having up to two lifting points for ergonomic lifting handles which means that just one or two operatives can move them quickly and easily without risk of back injury or crushed fingers or toes, even at the heavier load ratings.”
Safe Manual F900 Cover Lift
Safe Cover Removal and Replacement
Costs of Composite

Costs of Composites: while not every application currently requires the composite alternative, the costs of metal theft, manual handling injury claims and corrosion are causing many industries to rethink traditional materials and consider the use of modern composite products instead of conventional steel or other metal products. Because of this, other industries are following Fibrelite’s lead and are incorporating composites into their products as they react to changing regulations, strict health and safety policies and becoming more concerned with product maintenance costs. Although fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) composite can be more expensive than traditional materials such as aluminum, steel and concrete, composites are becoming more favorable where corrosion resistance, safety, thermal conductivity and other performance essentials are critical to a specific application.

Read more at Plastics Today

Fibrelite Exhibition Tour – 2016
February
8th - 12th February 2016
IDEA-Campus Energy
Austin, Texas
PEIMF AGM & “Working Together”
March
17th March 2016
Roadshows 2016
Cottons Hotel, Knutsford, Manchester
Roadshows 2016
May
10th - 12th May 2016
Wod-Kan
Corrimex, Bydgoszcz Fair and Exhibition Centre
PEIMF AGM & “Working Together”
11th May 2016
Roadshows 2016
Radstone Hotel, Scotland
Roadshows 2016
17th - 18th May 2016
Utility Week Live
NEC, Birmingham
Roadshows 2016
June
14th - 16th June 2016
UNITI
Stuttgart, Germany
NACS PEI Exhibition
20th - 23th June 2016
IDEA-District Energy
St. Paul, Minnesota
Autocomplex
September
9th September 2016
Roadshows 2016
The Westpount Centre, Exeter
Roadshows 2016
October
13th October 2016
Roadshows 2016
The Sketchley Grange Hotel, Leicester
Roadshows 2016
18th - 21st October 2016
PEI
Atlanta, Georgia
PEIMF AGM & “Working Together”
November
19th November 2016
Roadshows 2016
Cedar Court Hotel, Wakefield
Roadshows 2016
24th November 2016
APEA Live 2016
Stadium MK, Milton Keynes
PEIMF AGM & “Working Together”
How Fitting Fibrelite Access Covers Can Help Have Health & Safety Covered!

Designed to be a ‘fit-and-forget’ product, Fibrelite’s FRP composite manhole covers and modular trench panels come in all load ratings from A15 to F900 and are maintenance-free, durable and very strong as a matter of course. But did you know that they can also help eliminate a number of common – and often quite serious – health and safety issues?

Best Strength to Weight Ratio
Fibrelite composite access covers are highly-engineered and manufactured here in the UK.  Independent testing to BS EN 124 criteria demonstrates that they also surpass the relevant class conditions for deflection under load and this commitment to product excellence means Fibrelite covers have the very best strength to weight ratio available in the market today.

Safer Manual Handling
By definition the majority of access covers are lifted, sometimes frequently. And while traditional metal or concrete covers are heavy and may even require specialist equipment making lifting time-consuming and expensive; composites are different.  David Holmes, Fibrelite Technical Director, explained:  “As well as being lightweight – typically a third of the weight of metal or concrete – our covers are designed for safe lifting, having up to two lifting points for ergonomic lifting handles which means that just one or two operatives can move them quickly and easily without risk of back injury or crushed fingers or toes, even at the heavier load ratings.”

No risk of Lacerations from Rust
Composite covers also have an inherent resistance to corrosion so are an obvious choice where water, wastewater or corrosive liquids are involved. This also makes them ideal where underground infrastructure requires protection from external corrosive compounds such as salt.  So it stands to reason that by choosing a composite cover you are avoiding the risk of lacerations or slips, trips and potentially serious falls that can result when metal or concrete covers rust or crumble.

Skid Resistance
As every Health & Safety Manager knows, slips, trips and falls constitute the majority of general accidents so non-slip treads can be moulded into Fibrelite covers during manufacture. Independent testing has demonstrated that these covers exceed the advisory regulations even when wet - as Holmes confirmed:  “Our finished covers exceed the minimum slip resistance requirement of BS EN124/PAS26, HA104/09: Part 5 and the UK HSE minimum slip resistance guidelines when tested in accordance with BS EN13036-4:2011.  This makes them a safer alternative to concrete or metal whatever the weather conditions.”

No risk of Theft
There is no risk of theft with a Fibrelite composite cover as composites have no resale value in the scrap market - so you won’t be left with a dangerous, uncovered hole in the ground.  Locks and restraining bolts are also available for added security.  And as the covers can be moulded in virtually any colour or colour combination they can be colour-coded to identify specific underground services and ensure the right trench is opened first time.

Avoiding Electrostatic Discharge
Electrostatic discharge always needs to be properly controlled in the workplace and especially in areas that are also open to the public.  Potential electrostatic discharging can be eliminated by using a fully conductive composite cover which uses a metalized fibre within the moulding process to achieve electrical continuity across the entire surface of the cover.  Holmes said: “Our fully conductive covers exceed the surface resistivity requirements of PAS26 and while the standard calls for a maximum value of 1 KΩ/cm², our covers achieve a value of 0.0144 KΩ/cm².”

How Fitting Fibrelite Access Covers Can Help Have Health & Safety Covered!

Avoiding Hot Metal or Steam Burns
In some industries, such as thermal energy, metal access covers can get very hot as they conduct nearly all the heat below through to their surface resulting in potential dangerous conditions at ground level.   The thermal gradient properties of a composite steam cover significantly reduce the risk of burns as the surface temperature is typically only ever slightly above ambient temperature. In fact, the best high-quality Fibrelite steam covers maintain their cool-to-touch properties and ability to support vehicular loads even when pushed to a test temperature of 400°F (2040C).

Holmes concluded:  “The majority of first-time enquirers often know quite a lot about composites in terms of practicalities but are often pleasantly surprised to learn just how many of those benefits also make them the safer choice for replacement works or new projects.”

Hi-Tech Composite Covers for Hi-Tech Cloud-Computing Facilities
The rapid growth of content-heavy mobile applications and cloud-computing means that the demand for efficient and secure computer hardware to store data is growing exponentially every year.

As a result, dedicated data centres to house the legions of networked computers required to keep this online world turning are being built in almost every corner of the world. And Fibrelite composite covers are in the midst of this hi-tech building boom.

Data Centre Requirements – Easy Access at all Times

David Holmes, Technical Director at Fibrelite, explained: “Cloud storage facilities require miles and miles of fibre-optic cabling which is installed in protective but readily-accessible concrete trenches so that impaired sections can be swiftly replaced – or more cables added, as storage companies are incorporating extension plans into their new-builds.

“Then, in order to maintain optimum hardware performance, each server room requires additional electrical power and battery backup systems to operate vital environmental and mechanical controls such as continuous cooling, fire and security alarms. These too require their own cabling in their own identifiable, readily-accessible trench.

So taking all this into account, it’s no surprise that designers are specifying from the outset lightweight composite trench covers which can be quickly and easily removed by hand.”

Data Centre Requirements – Easy Access at all Times
Hi-Tech Composite Products for Hi-Tech Computer Facilities
Fit-and-Forget: The Maintenance-Free; Custom-Made and Coloured-Coded Option!

Fibrelite composite trench covers are available in a range of sizes and load ratings. Designed to be a “fit-and-forget” product, they are maintenance-free, lightweight, durable and very strong as a matter of course. Custom-made solutions are available on request and covers can also be moulded in virtually any colour or colour-combination to incorporate logos; branding or even to identify the specific service that can be accessed via a particular cover.

To read more about our trench cover solutions click here. To find out how composite access covers can resolve many other specific onsite problems click here to view our case studies.

As featured in:

Click here to read the Composites in Manufacturing article
Click here to read the Net Composites article
Click here to read the Facilities Net article
Fibrelite, Breakthrough Product

We are delighted to announce that Processing Magazine has named Fibrelite FRP composite manhole covers a Breakthrough Product for 2014: Click here to see the article

Recognized for 30 years as industry standard in the petroleum sector, composite access covers are a new solution to the processing industry. Being lightweight, Fibrelite covers can be easily and safely handled by operators. They are also corrosion-free and water and odour tight. And bespoke covers can be developed with inspection ports for sampling.

“What always strikes the editors in working on the December issue is how many of the companies are from the manufacturing heartlands and have been supplying equipment and instrumentation to the processing industries for many, many decades,” says Processing Editorial Director Kevin Parker. “These companies tend to be very engineering focused and are constantly called upon to supply their solutions in novel configurations and settings, while keeping pace with a host of new computing and software developments. Their ingenuity and innovation in doing so delivers results for their clients and deserves recognition.”

US Water World TV News Interview with Fibrelite
Fibrelite’s Jim Goodman was interviewed by Water World TV News at WEFTEC in New Orleans. Jim not only demonstrated just how easy it was to lift a 24” diameter manhole cover but also discussed the many benefits of choosing a Fibrelite composite cover over traditional metal covers - not least the non-corrosive and lighter-weight properties of fiberglass.

Fibrelite had a Great Exhibition at this Year’s WEFTEC 2014

Fibrelite exhibited at the largest annual water quality exhibition in the world WEFTEC 2014. At the 3 day show, Fibrelite received an overwhelming response from visitors and specifiers looking for a lightweight alternative to heavy metal manhole and trench covers.

WEFTEC is the largest annual water quality conference and exhibition returning to New Orleans; drawing in a number of water sector and local luminaries, as well as water quality professionals from all around the world. Attendees, had no shortage of opportunities to learn and network at WEFTEC. The exhibition offered more than 300,000 ft square of space, and more than 1,000 companies exhibiting.

For more information, visit the WEFTEC website HERE

WEFTEC 2014 Success
Premier Hospitality Magazine Article
Premier Hospitality Magazine reports why re-opening the Hammersmith Apollo was a tremendous success and how Fibrelite provided a bespoke solution to a complicated problem.

“Overall I think Fibrelite is a great solution to a difficult design problem for us of achieving both a robust and high load capacity cover to the multicore cables running for stage to control desk whilst maintaining low weight and easy access.”


Click here to read the online article
A Busy 2014 for Fibrelite!
February
18-21 February 2014
IDEA’s 27th Annual Energy Conference, Stand 15
Atlanta, United States
IDEA’s 27th Annual Energy Conference
20-21 February 2014
Geotherm Exhibition, Stand 109
Offernbury, Germany
Geotherm Exhibition
March
4-6 March 2014
EcoBuild, Stand S712
London, United Kingdom
EcoBuild
27th March 2014
Water Sewerage & Waste Exhibition, Stand 38
Manchester, United Kingdom
Water Sewerage & Waste Exhibition
April
1-3 April 2014
IWEX, Sustainability Live, Stand B12
Birmingham, United Kingdom
IWEX, Sustainability Live
May
5-9 May 2014
IFAT, Hall B6 nr. 419/518
Munich, Germany
IFAT
20-22 May 2014
Infrarail
London, United Kingdom
Infrarail
June
8-10 June 2014
IDEA’s 105th Annual Trade Show, Stand 56
Seattle, United States
IDEA’s 105th Annual Trade Show
18-19 June 2014
Rail Live, Stand P57
Warwickshire, United Kingdom
Rail Live
July
25-30 July 2014
The Campus Safety, Health, and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA), Stand 415
Palm Springs, United States
The Campus Safety, Health, and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA)
September
25th September 2014
Water Sewerage & Waste Exhibition, Stand 12
Reading, United Kingdom
Water Sewerage & Waste Exhibition - September
September/October
27 September – 1 October 2014
WEFTEC, Stand 7913, Hall 11
New Orleans, United States
WEFTEC
October
30th October 2014
Water Sewerage & Waste Exhibition, Stand 16
Gatwick, United Kingdom
Water Sewerage & Waste Exhibition - October
November
13th November 2014
Water Sewerage & Waste Exhibition, Stand 2
Durham, United Kingdom
Water Sewerage & Waste Exhibition - November
New F900 Load Rated Trench Covers - Bespoke, Retrofit Covers to Fit into Existing Frames
The benefit of using a retrofit system is that costly and time consuming installation is eliminated. There are no break outs of existing structures and no curing time resetting structures into concrete. In critical high trafficked areas this is a major advantage to the client.

Fibrelite can now provide the perfect lightweight alternative to traditionally used heavy concrete and metal access covers for areas imposing particularly high wheel loads such as aircraft pavements, taxiways of civil airports and dockyards.

"Having re-configured the internal fibreglass architecture we can meet the permanent set and test load requirements of BS EN 124, Class F900 (when tested in accordance with the Air BP test footprint)" explains David Holmes, Fibrelite's Technical Director and Head of Product Development.

The request for Fibrelite to provide F900 heavy duty trench covers initially came from a large dockyard in the South-East of England. Their work inspectors were exploring replacement options for extremely heavy and corroding steel covers that had been installed years earlier, these extremely heavy covers required a crane and dedicated lifting equipment, which incurred a financial cost with equipment and manpower to lift the covers every time the ships come into dock.

“These highly engineered composite trench covers have eliminated costly and time consuming procedures, as well as allowing for a load rating of up to 90 tonnes. The associated increase in productivity and significant reduction in costs were huge benefactors for the consulting engineers and customers alike” explains David Holmes.
Ideal for Ports, Dockyards, Power Plants and Airports

These lightweight composite access covers can be used for a multitude of applications: from ports and dockyards, industrial facilities, airports, HGV loading areas and also power stations for example. No other covering system matches its easy lift, skid resistant or load carrying properties.

Fibrelite Exhibiting at Aquatech 2013

Lightweight, Strong and Safe

The Fibrelite manufacturing process uses multi-axial E glass fibre and a specially formulated resin matrix. The basic principle of this methodology is to dissipate load in the most effective way possible - something in which Fibrelite surpasses all competition. By using lighter materials, operational injuries are prevented; the worksite is made safer and easier for installation.

As featured recently by:

- Composites in Manufacturing (Click to view)
- JEC Composites (Click to view)
US TV News Channel Feature Fibrelite
Fibrelite's President Jim Goodman was interviewed on WTNH News Channel 8, discussing Fibrelite's high quality, watertight composite manhole covers, modular trench panels and underground enclosures.

View the interview to the right -->
First Choice for College and University Campuses
Fibrelite’s Cool to Touch Steam Composite Covers Fast Becoming the Choice of College and University Campuses

Operators of district energy heating systems have become increasingly aware of the dangers posed by hot cast iron manhole covers. This concern is even more pronounced in campus environments where manhole covers are located in walkways and roads throughout the campus and students often wear sandals and flip flops in warmer weather.

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.

In 2010, these concerns lead the utilities department of a leading engineering university based in Cambridge, Massachusetts to consider replacing traditional, cast iron manhole covers with Fibrelite’s composite alternative. Many other universities in both the United States and Canada have since followed suit.

Click here to read more about our recent projects
As quoted recently by The New London Day, “Fibrelite manufacturing plant in Pawcatuck is riding a new wave of fiberglass composite coolness”. In response to customer demand, Fibrelite now offers logos and other brand markings on its composite covers. Any style school logo or other marking can be permanently molded into the upper surface of the cover in single or multiple colors. For additional brand or product identification, Fibrelite can mold its composite covers in nearly any color or combination of colors.

Fibrelite - Universities Choice
Composites in Manufacturing Magazine Article
Author: Mike Richardson
Date: 20/05/2013

Mike Richardson discovers The Hole Story in an exclusive interview with Managing Director Ian Thompson in the May Issue of Composites in Manufacturing. Uncovering the lightweight benefits of Fibrelite’s composite manhole, access and trench covers. Richardson addresses the metal theft epidemic; customised logo designs and gets to grips with the ergonomic lifting handle; understanding the health and safety aspects involved within the design process.

“Increasingly more industries are favouring composites by moving away from traditional materials as they react to strict health and safety policies and become more concerned with whole life cost.”

Click here to read the magazine article

Click here to read the online article
CiM News Feature

Customized Covers – Add Your Own Logo
In response to customer demand, Fibrelite now offers company logos and other brand markings on its composite covers. Any style logo or other marking can be permanently molded into the upper surface of the cover in single or multiple colors. For additional brand or product identification, or to blend in with the color or layout of a facility, Fibrelite can mold its composite covers in nearly any color or combination of colors.

By introducing the pigment directly into the composite resin during the closed molding process, Fibrelite ensures that the color is not merely applied on the surface of the cover. Instead, the coloring is evenly and completely infused throughout the composite cover and will not fade or wear over time.

Enwave custom Fibrelite cover

Customers such as electrical and energy utilities, convenience stores, resort hotels, colleges and universities have utilized Fibrelite’s molded marking and coloring process to identify underground systems in a unique and highly visible way. Fibrelite’s covers have improved the appearances of city streets, college campuses, sports arenas and even the interior spaces of corporate office buildings.

Customers are also using color as a quick and reliable method of identifying underground systems thereby providing maintenance or emergency personnel with more accurate information about any hazards or special conditions related to the underground infrastructure.
Custom Coloured Covers
Fibrelite Custom Logo Covers
Covers Pass the AASHTO Test with Flying Colors!
Fibrelite’s industry leading composite manhole covers have achieved another “first” successfully passing load testing for both the AASHTO H20 and H25 highway load ratings for manhole covers. In testing performed at Lancaster University, Fibrelite’s 30” and 36” diameter composite covers were tested per the American load testing standards for manhole covers and castings as set forth by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). Per AASHTO’s M306 Standard Specification for Drainage, Sewer, Utility, and Related Casting, Fibrelite’s covers were subjected to 40,000 pound and 50,000 pound proof load tests, respectively for the H20 and H25 load tests.
Both the standard duty FL760 30” diameter and FL90 36” diameter covers were subjected to the H20 40,000 pound proof load tests. Both standard duty covers successfully passed the test with minimal permanent deformation (less than the 1/8” allowed per the M306-4 standard) and no visible signs of cracking or damage. In addition, both of the heavy duty FL760HD 30” diameter and FL90HD 36” diameter covers were subjected to the H25 50,000 pound proof load tests. Both heavy duty covers successfully passed the test with minimal permanent deformation (less than the 1/8” allowed per the M306-4 standard) and no visible signs of cracking or damage.


Click the images below to see the test certificates:
FL90 AASHTO H20
FL90 AASHTO H20

FL90 cover test report - H20
FL90 AASHTO H25
FL90 AASHTO H25

FL90 cover test report - H25
FL760 AASHTO H20 & H25
FL760 AASHTO H20 & H25

FL760 cover test report - H20 and H25
FL760 AASHTO H25
FL760 AASHTO H25

FL760 cover test report - H25
IDEA Annual Campus Energy Conference, San Diego
Fibrelite recently exhibited at the IDEA's 26th Annual Campus Energy Conference, San Diego, California.
For more information visit IDEA's event details by clicking here.
IDEA Annual Conference & Trade Show Chicago
Fibrelite exhibited at the IDEA's 103rd Annual Conference & Trade Show Chicago

Since its founding in 1909, the IDEA has been "Informing, Connecting and Advancing" the global district energy industry. Today, there are over 1,400 IDEA members from 21 different countries.

For more information visit www.districtenergy.org

Extract from District Energy Factsheet...

What is District Energy?


District energy systems are a highly efficient way to heat and cool many buildings in a given locale from a central plant. They use a network of underground pipes to pump steam, hot water, and/or chilled water to multiple buildings in an area such as a downtown district, college or hospital campus, airport, or military base. Providing heating and cooling from a central plant requires less fuel and displaces the need to install separate space heating and cooling and hot water systems in each building.

The sources of thermal energy distributed by district energy systems vary. Often, district energy systems are connected to combined heat and power (CHP) plants. Also known as cogeneration plants, CHP plants generate electric power in addition to heating and cooling, and can achieve energy efficiencies above 80 percent. (This is far more efficient than a conventional power‐only plant, which exhausts two‐thirds of the energy content of its fuel as heat into oceans, rivers, and/or the atmosphere.)

Other sources of thermal energy include "waste" heat from industrial processes, coal‐ or gas‐fired boilers, and renewable energy such as geothermal, hydrothermal, solar thermal, biogas, municipal solid waste, or other types of biomass.

District energy systems that were built on college campuses and in central cities many decades ago were usually powered by fossil fuels. The majority of district energy systems being built today run on natural gas, but many take advantage of locally‐produced renewable fuels.

According to the International District Energy Association, there are more than 700 district energy systems in the United States (including at least one system in every state), some of which date back to the 1800s. But there are many more locations where district energy would be appropriate and hundreds of district energy systems with expansion potential. District energy helps communities reduce their operating costs and keep more energy dollars local by reducing their need to import fuel for heating and cooling.

Today, Fibrelite is established as a leading player in this specialist field, with a global reputation for high quality products and superior after sales service.

The Advantages of Fibre Reinforced Composite Manhole Covers:

Traditional metal covers can create health & safety hazards for both the general public and company employees. The thermal gradient properties of composite significantly reduce heat transfer from a steam vault to the surface of the cover. The same properties also mean that the cover will take much longer to heat up when subjected to a simple heat source such as direct sunlight. Both these facts will eliminate the risk of skin burns to the general public. From an operational perspective, the lightweight nature of composite will also facilitate easy removal and replacement of the cover without compromising on strength.