3B-the fibreglass company, headquartered in Battice, Belgium, and Reprocover, another Belgian company, have developed a range of products moulded from a thermoset compound reinforced by 50-60% Advantex® glass fibre.
Typically, the composite products contain 90% recycled materials and can be used to replace commonly used cast iron for the production of sewage trapdoors, manholes, utility access holes, etc.
Reprocover has developed a process of grinding and mixing of the recycled materials. It has also worked on the geometry of the different components of each product in order to maximise the load resistance to weight ratio. All of the products can be fixed to PVC pipes, connections and inspection pits.
The Reprocover products have been approved by Belgian Water Authorities.
“Glass fibre plays a key role in Reprocover products, bringing high rigidity and outstanding load resistance," reports Ludo Debergh, Reprocover Founder & Director. "As an example, our 315 mm diameter manhole can easily withstand a heavy pressure load without damage. Working with 90% of recycled materials can reduce the cost of existing cast iron solutions by a factor of 5 while providing much superior adhesion to asphalt and concrete.”
Manhole and trapdoors are the first products in the Reprocover portfolio but the company has also identified opportunities for water and gas utility supply housings.
“The concept created by Reprocover is a huge step forward! It really demonstrates how thanks to the replacement of metal by glass reinforced composite, new markets and applications can benefit from the advantages of lightweight, design flexibility, corrosion resistance and easy processing. In addition, the products display dimensional stability over a large temperature range (from -40°C to 70°C) as well as a chemical resistance to salts and detergents," says Dr Eric Martin, Thermoplastic Product Manager, 3B. "They open new opportunities in sewage and utility supply markets.”