The Right Finish…
You may or may not be aware but there are around seven different main materials used in the production of manhole covers. They are the following:
- black polypropylene
- galvanised steel
- cast/ductile iron
- stainless steel (grades 304 & 316)
- glass-reinforced plastic (GRP)
Cast & Ductile Iron
The vast majority of drain covers fall into the first three categories above. In roads and pavements you will frequently see cast iron gully gratings by the kerb or ductile solid top covers offering a rather imposing surface aesthetic. These ranges often include somewhat peculiar sizes and, when replaced, can be rather difficult due to necessary adjustments to accommodate the new style of manhole covers as opposed to the older “imperial” style. These are most commonly found in utility related applications (we offer bespoke badging – just contact us).
Black Polypropylene & Galvanised Steel
So, we have black polypropylene covers, mild galvanised steel and a combination thereof. A handful of small recessed and flush drain covers are made in completely polypropylene recycled material, but most will simply use this material to frame the galvanised steel tray as you see in the image below. Deeper, larger covers that require extra strength to uphold paving and concrete are usually manufactured completely in galvanised steel.
Glass-Reinforced Plastic (GRP)
Flush, or solid top, access covers are becoming less and less common as people take pride in the appearance of their work and home; be it a patio, garden, driveway, highway, kitchen or basement. However, they still have their nuances and can offer an ideal swift solution for an awkward job. Unsurprisingly, the iron covers are very heavy and difficult for a single person to manoeuvre. Using a GRP, or composite, manhole cover offers a brilliant lightweight solution that still meets all the various Lloyds British loading requirements. They’re often child-proof, feature screw locking for security and provide a non-slip finish. Furthermore, they can also be manufactured in a selection of colours!
Brass & Stainless Steel
Arguably the two most common decorative finishes for access covers in the UK and internationally. Whether for a high end property, small private residence, commercial kitchen, mansion foyer or hotel lobby, both these materials add the aesthetically pleasing element you need in your surface. In addition, stainless covers are available in grades 304 and 316, the latter frequently used for swimming pools, changing rooms and water parks to prevent rusting.
The newest addition in our collection, the aluminium range have continued to impress. Offering a triple sealed function for water and odour tight seals along with a quality decorative finish provides a fantastic solution at affordable rates, and is available straight from stock! Costs are often balanced between brass and stainless steel, meaning clients really are spoilt for choice.
Don’t forget, here at EcoGrid all of the above are also available to be manufactured as bespoke items to meet unusual sizes or specification. Just get in touch…