Access covers are constantly exposed to Australia’s harsh climate, and this environment needs to be taken into account in their design. High-quality composite access covers are engineered to be resistant to these conditions, providing tailored solutions and reducing waste through longevity.
EJ has recently launched its composite access covers in Australia, which is proving to be a significant development for the Asia Pacific infrastructure industry. These innovative covers are engineered and tested to Australian Standards, for Australia’s harsh, challenging conditions. High quality composite access covers are lightweight and anti-corrosive, which provide new advantages and a fresh level of choice for project managers of utilities and municipalities, engineers and designers.
Why use composite access covers?
High-performance composite access covers are a relatively new arrival in the Australian market and come with many key benefits that make them a valuable solution across the board, and allows them to meet the specific needs of certain industry sectors. These benefits include:
- Ergonomic design – resulting in lower product weight
- Corrosion resistance – material resistance to corrosion for H2S or other chemicals
- No signal interference – radio frequency (RF) friendly for transfer of signals
- Environmentally friendly – low energy consumption in manufacturing
- Minimal risk of theft – due to no scrap value
- Variety of colour options – colours are permanent and UV resistant
The Australian Standard AS3996:2019 sets the industry benchmark for access covers, grates and frames for the Asia Pacific region.
Composite products must meet a number of specified design features and a comprehensive series of tests that must be passed to fully comply with the Standard. These are:
1. Load resistance
» Serviceability: five repetitions of serviceability design load without exceeding allowable deflection limits and permanent set
» Ultimate: one application of ultimate limit state load without visible cracks or failure
2. Water and gas leakage
» Watertight: no visible leakage under 150mm head of water for ten minutes.
» Gastight: no drop in pressure when tested at 0.5kPa for ten minutes
3. Slip resistance
» Patented EJ ‘4L’ slip resistant cleat on surface tested in accordance with AS4586 – wet pendulum test to P5
4. UV resistance
» All composite materials exposed to ultraviolet radiation shall be stabilized to ensure a minimum 25-year lifespan
5. Elevated temperature resistance
» Sustained application of the serviceability load for four hours at 50°C
6. Creep resistance
» Sustained application of the serviceability load for 24 hours at ambient temperature
7. Impact resistance
» Steel striker (3.75kg Class B/20kg Class D) dropped from 2.5m
8. Fatigue resistance
» Class D 300,000 cyclic load test to meet deflection and permanent set limits and no evidence of cracking
As an industry leader, EJ has commissioned its own research and testing to demonstrate its commitment to the Standard, ensuring that all requirements are met. The company maintains its own NATA Accredited testing facility in Brendale, Queensland and also utilises independent third party NATA test resources.
To further demonstrate its full compliance with the Standard, EJ in the Asia Pacific is currently undertaking the product certification audit to AS3996:2019 with IAPMO R&T OceaniaMark. Additional approvals will be gained with WSAA for acceptance and use by water authorities and local councils.