Safety products: Composite manhole covers from Fibrelite

Safety products utility safety Fibrelite Composite manhole covers
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Safety equipment: Fibrelite’s composite manhole covers have achieved another “first” by 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, grates and castings as set forth by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) M306-04 Standard Specification for Drainage, Sewer, Utility, and Related Castings.

The AASHTO M306-04 test specifications are used to predict how manhole covers, grates and castings will perform when installed in traffic lanes and where load bearing is a requirement. While the M306-04 specifications are specifically written for gray iron and aluminium castings, Fibrelite’s composite manhole covers and frames have been designed to meet or exceed the demanding requirements set forth by the standard. The M306-04 test requirements include 40,000 pound and 50,000 pound proof loading tests, respectively for the H20 and H25 load tests. The requirements of the test include applying the proof loads to the cover and frame for a 1-minute period. The tested products pass the test if following the application of the load there are no visible cracks to the cover or frame and there is no permanent deformation or deflection to the top of the cover in excess of 1/8”.  

Fibrelite’s standard duty FL760 (30” diameter) and FL90 (36” diameter) composite covers were subjected to the H20 40,000 pound proof load tests. Both of the 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, Fibrelite’s heavy duty FL760HD (30” diameter) and FL90HD (36” diameter) composite covers were subjected to the H25 50,000 pound proof load tests. Both of the 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.

For over 30 years, Fibrelite has been at the forefront in the design and development of composite products for the retail petroleum industry. Fibrelite introduced the lightweight composite manhole cover for use at gasoline service stations in the early 1980s and has continued to develop innovative product designs to meet the needs of a changing industry. Fibrelite currently offers the retail petroleum industry’s leading watertight composite covers, the industry’s only composite multiport cover and a wide range of molded fiberglass secondary containment and enclosures.

Welcome to the Composite Age
Fibrelite’s composite manhole covers, access covers and trench panels offer the best strength to weight ratio in the industry, allowing for maximum load bearing strength and durability while remaining lightweight and easy to handle.

Fibrelite continues to respond to the increased demand from all industries looking for alternatives to manhole and access covers made from materials such as cast iron, steel and concrete. This demand is due in large part to the numerous health and safety benefits of using lighter weight composite products. In addition to their lighter weight, composite manhole covers will not rust and are impervious to most chemicals, allowing for them to be used in corrosive environments found in sewers and certain manufacturing environments. Composite covers also have no resale value and municipalities and utilities experiencing the theft of metal covers are looking to composites as an alternative solution to metal.

Industrial Applications
“Our inquiries are coming in daily and in increasing volume, from engineers and architects around the world. Our products are now being specified for use in a wide range of facilities including water treatment plants, refineries, power stations, stadiums, port facilities and railway lines in addition to providing access to underground water, sewer and telecom services. We now feature an extensive range of case studies on our website as an easy way to show the many applications and benefits of using composite access covers,” says Jim Goodman, Fibrelite’s President.

No other line of composite covers can match Fibrelite’s load bearing and durability while remaining lightweight and easy to handle. All of Fibrelite’s covers are designed to mate with a molded fiberglass enclosure to keep underground systems watertight.

Steam Covers
Fibrelite’s line of steam covers combat the health and safety issues associated with the removal and replacement of heavy cast iron and steel manhole covers while also eliminating the risk of burns caused by hot metal covers. Fibrelite’s composite steam manhole covers have been third party tested for service in steam vaults with temperatures of up to 400°F while maintaining their load bearing properties.

Trench Panels
For larger openings or long trenches, Fibrelite offers a range of modular trench panels that can handle nearly any application. Fibrelite’s trench panels are lightweight for easy and safe manual removal, while providing the same load bearing capabilities as steel or concrete panels. The superior technical design of our composite trench panels also provide a durable, long lasting product that will not crumble, crack or corrode over time.

Benefits of Fibrelite’s Composite Covers:
•    Load ratings from 15 to 90 tons
•    Standard duty covers tested to exceed H20 load rating standard
•    Heavy duty covers tested to exceed H25 load rating standard
•    Wide range of sizes, colors and shapes
•    Impervious to most chemicals
•    Lightweight - no lifting injuries
•    Will not corrode, crumble or crack
•    Sealed manhole covers are water and odor tight
•    Excellent insulator against heat
•    UV resistant
•    Non-metallic design eliminates possibility of theft
•    Anti-static
•    Ergonomic removal and replacement with lifting handle
•    Incredibly durable monolithic structure will not delaminate
•    Locks available on all covers
•    Conductive and non-conductive options available

With plants located in the United States, United Kingdom and Malaysia, Fibrelite products are sold in over 80 countries around the world.

For more information about Fibrelite or other cleaning services, click here to go to Utility Products’ Buyers Guide.

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September 2013
Volume 17, Issue 8
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