Metal manhole covers are becoming a thing of the past and rather quickly. Here are some of the top benefits of FRP, or composite, manhole covers.
In today’s economy, they are often the targets of thieves who want to scrap the metal for money, and while many locales have legislation in place requiring identification for scrap metal sold, this won’t help recover items that are already melted down. This brings us to the first benefit of composite, or FRP, manhole covers. They not only have no scrap value, but they also have a locking mechanism. This prevents them from coming loose, and helps prevent vandals from stealing the composite manhole cover. They cannot be simply lifted out of place and carried away.
They are extremely lightweight when compared to other manhole covers made from solid metal. Because of this, the locking mechanism needs to be used after being placed in its frame. The safety of the lower weight brings about a safer environment for those who need to remove manhole covers, as there is less strain in removing and returning it to its location, but manhole covers have been known to fall through their openings. This can pose serious, and even deadly, accidents for anyone working below in their path. Composite manhole covers are much lighter, and less likely to cause serious injury should this ever happen.
Composite manhole covers are more environmentally friendly. They do not require mining of metal ore, and can be made from recycled materials, freeing up space in landfills. Because they are composite, they also are less likely to be affected by any corrosive materials they come in contact with. Because they are composite and specially designed to be tightly fitting, they also keep run-off from entering the drainage system. This means lower amounts of oils, chemicals, and also contaminated water will enter the drains to be carried away to water treatment plants.
Composite manhole covers also will not conduct electricity. This can be a major benefit at several industrial sites, and help prevent accidents. Laying new lines for new construction can be carried out in safer conditions. Because they are not metal, they also will not corrode and rust. Rusted manhole covers can pose health risks to workers who have failed to put on their safety gloves or other safety gear.
Metal manhole covers can block telecommunications signals, or warp them in ways that make communication difficult or impossible. Manhole covers made of FRP will not create this interference. Even being airtight and keeping noxious gases below ground where they often build up, these covers will not block telecommunication signals. Being able to communicate through walkie-talkie or other means is an often vital part of the job.
Composite manhole covers won’t block this important aspect of modern life, although it will block gases from rising to the surface. Metal manhole covers are dependent on their weight to keep them in place, and their loose fit allows water to enter, as well as oils and other contaminants in runoff, and also allows odors and gases to exit to the surface.
In addition to all of these reasons, composite manhole covers are also less expensive in the long run. Built to last for three decades, they will outlive many metal counterparts, and be less likely to come up mysteriously missing. Cover for cover, FRP manhole covers are a much more sound investment, and are less likely to need serviced for replacements or being popped out, like metal manhole covers often are.