Heavy metal alternative boosts sales

As metal prices go through the roof, prompting widespread theft in Britain and beyond, a North Yorkshire company has developed a healthy export and domestic market for its access covers made from composite materials.

And now Fibrelite has got on board with Britain’s train operators as part of a major UK rail project to supply lightweight, health and safety friendly covers for use on large station platforms.

The platforms are currently being lengthened so they can accommodate 12 car trains. Fibrelite is in the process of supplying the first batch of glass reinforced plastic (GRP) composite covers for the scheme. Fibrelite’s lightweight covers enable easy and safe manual handling during installation, especially in challenging environments such as steep train line embankments, tracks or stairs to the platform.

They also allow for easy access to electrical junction boxes and cable draw-pits which contain signalling equipment - crucial in avoiding long delays.

“Fibrelite’s composite trench access covers are proven to be ergonomically safe for men and women to remove and replace,” explains Fibrelite’s technical director David Holmes.

“The design incorporates two lifting points allowing the operator to remove the cover without trapping fingers or bending over and thus maximising the safety of the lifting technique. The weight is kept close to the body preventing back injury, one of the main causes of absence from work and personal injury claims.

“Our UK manufactured covers also have anti-slip properties equivalent to a high grade road which is vital on a station platform where a slip could be potentially fatal.”

Fibrelite is seeing a surge in demand for composite covers as a direct result of metal theft, as composites have no resale value to the scrap market companies are quickly changing their specifications from metal to composite for many other applications.