Safety equipment: Fibrelite has been using composites for years to re-engineer omnipresent yet little-noticed products: manhole and trench access covers. Traditionally manufactured from metal and concrete, Fibrelite is using fiber reinforced plastic composites to solve manual handling injuries and corrosion issues associated with covers made from traditional materials.
In 2014, Fibrelite and precast concrete trench manufacturer Trenwa formed a strategic partnership to create joint product offerings: Trenwa’s heavy-duty precast concrete road crossing trenches topped with Fibrelite’s traffic rated composite trench covers. Together they provide long-term protection for underground utilities running across road crossings while enabling safe and fast manual access for monitoring and maintenance.
In the 3 years since the partnership began, Trenwa has sold well over a hundred of their precast trench systems integrating Fibrelite trench covers for use in electrical substations, wastewater treatment plants, chemical refineries and many other applications across North America.
“Combining high-performance, lightweight Fibrelite lids with our low-cost precast trench bases delivers a very high-value solution for our customers. They get unparalleled strength and durability at a lower cost than has ever been seen in the market,” said George Schurr, President/COO, Trenwa Inc.
Trenwa and Fibrelite’s road crossing trench was recently recognized during JEC Group’s (the “largest composites industry organization”) very first edition of the Future of Composites in Construction, where it was a highlight of the “Innovation Hub”. As increasing numbers of people learn about the benefits of using Fibrelite trench covers, many are looking to upgrade previously installed concrete or steel trench covers.
To meet this demand, Trenwa have worked with Fibrelite to design and manufacture custom moulded composite trench covers to fit Trenwa’s existing line of precast multi-duty trench systems. These covers are engineered specifically for light vehicle traffic (12.5-ton load rated) and pedestrian traffic (1.5-ton load rated) respectively.
Precast concrete trenches are used extensively on substations to carry and protect the large amounts of electric conduits and cabling required. Where trenches cross access roads, load ratings of HS20 are required to handle heavy-duty vehicles such as mobile cranes. Fibrelite and Trenwa’s joint product provided the perfect solution for this leading US utility provider.