Case Study: Fiberglass Offers a Drop-In Solution for Concrete Covers

1109-USSC-UtilityTrenchCovers-Main1109-USSC-UtilityTrenchCovers-Detail2Due to the tropical savanna climate, a major global satellite service corporation needed a more durable replacement for its worn-out concrete trench covers at its communication facility in Hawaii. The material of choice for this installation was Strongwell’s UTILICOVER® panel system, replacing traditional concrete covers spanning over a 285' long utility tunnel. This particular utility tunnel is vital to operations because it connects two communications buildings on the property. As a global deliverer of information and entertainment worldwide, Intelsat required the installation be quick and efficient to ensure ongoing operational status. Strongwell’s UTILICOVER® offered a strong and durable, yet lightweight solution. For comparison, each UTILICOVER® panel typically weighs as little as 25% of its concrete counterpart, greatly simplifying installation and reducing the possibility of injury.

Product: Fiberglass Utility Trench Covers
Process: Pultrusion
Materials: UTILICOVER® System consisting of:

  • SAFPLANK® fiberglass decking system
  • EXTREN® channels
For: Global Satellite Service Corporation

Unlike concrete, UTILICOVER® panels can be individually cut to accommodate inconsistencies in tunnel width. With this particular installation, Strongwell’s fabricators and designers were able to produce panels which accommodated the multiple bends within the walking path. Trench spans, which typically measure 24" wide, can withstand a 500 lb. point load at mid-panel with as little as 1/8" deflection with UTILICOVER®.

The new covers for the 285' long utility tunnel were instantly popular. When delivered, the panels had been pre-fabricated for a custom fit and immediate installation. The use of UTILICOVER® also allowed quick access to the tunnel upon job completion without the wait of concrete curing or the use of heavy equipment or nonessential personnel to finish the job.

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