Which type of manhole cover is best?
Manhole covers are made of ductile iron, galvanised steel or polypropylene. They come in a range of sizes and have different weight-bearing classes. To choose the best manhole cover for a project, you might start with matching the size to that of the manhole it will cover.
Manhole cover weight load classes
Then you need to consider what types of traffic will pass over it in general use, as this will determine the weight-bearing class you need. The lightest class is A15, which is suitable for gardens, patios and some domestic driveways. Class B125 might be better for a drive if heavier commercial vehicles are likely to use it, whereas C250 will be used for roads that only have light traffic. Main roads and public car parks are likely to need D400 class manhole covers, but in industrial areas where forklifts are being used ought to be upgraded to E600. The highest class of all, F900, is used for airports and dock where they are likely to face extreme weight loads.
Manhole cover construction
The material used to manufacture manhole covers will be limited by this weight class, with ductile iron used for the higher classes. Some weight load classes offer the option of recessed galvanised steel manhole covers. These are frequently used for domestic driveways and plazas, where the recessed cover contains paviors, a concrete screed, asphalt or resin-bound aggregate to match the surrounding surface. Polypropylene manhole covers are corrosion free but with an A15 weight load are only suitable for gardens, patios and domestic driveways.
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