GRP Composites: A Safe, Long-Term Solution
Bespoke D400 Fibrelite composite covers installed at UK power station to replace failing concrete covers
Electrical power generation facilities have large quantities of cabling running below the ground as a matter of course, which must be accessed regularly. Back in the 1960s when many of these facilities were built, heavy concrete and steel or cast-iron trench access covers were the only option available. While there were associated risks and often specialised equipment required to remove and replace them, they served their purpose.
Today, many sites are discovering deterioration of the structural integrity of their steel and concrete trench covers, exacerbating manual handling risks, and, where located on road crossings, potentially restricting vehicular access to certain areas of the site.
Fibrelite GRP composite covers (pictured) are approximately 1/3 the weight of traditional materials
Many sites are subsequently upgrading to made-to-measure heavy-duty lightweight Fibrelite GRP composite trench covers, especially on road crossings where both a high load rating (often D400 40 tonne) and frequent access is required.
With an unrivalled strength to weight ratio, Fibrelite’s highly engineered GRP composite material is significantly lighter than metal, yet just as strong, and is fast becoming recognised as an effective modern alternative to traditional steel and concrete. In fact, due to the lightweight properties of their composite material, Fibrelite GRP covers are approximately one third of the weight, and all can be safely manually removed by one or two people with their ergonomically designed lifting handles. Fibrelite’s highly engineered composite covers also have an inherent resistance to corrosion, requiring a minimum of maintenance while providing a long-term solution.