Protection – a facility that is required at all times, in all walks of life. More so, when hazardous tasks are undertaken, such as construction, laying of high pressure gas and water pipes and electrical and communication cables. These underground devices require protection from construction equipment such as excavators and damage from above ground traffic as well.
The benefits of these utility protection slabs are numerous and cannot be undermined. They are used to protect pipelines at both shallow and deeper depths.
Some protection slabs are made from precast concrete with reinforced steel. Others are just as strong but lighter in weight, made from injected HDPE (high-density polyethene). The impenetrable material has a strong molecular bond. The slabs can withstand the impact of strong excavator buckets, thus making them the ideal protection for pipelines. Similarly, they are able to protect the pipelines from heavy ground traffic as well. They are made so that they can adapt to bumpy or pitted ground levels.
Risk and repair reduction:
By using protection plates over the pipelines, the risk of accidents caused by penetration is reduced. Calamities can be avoided. In turn, the repair costs are also decreased.
Ease of installation:
By being lightweight, the slabs are easy to pack. The installation process is simple and takes less time. Even the heavier plates have cast in lifting sockets which lead to easy, quick and safe installations. In addition, they have removable caps and clip screws, which make it easier for the plates to be removed in cases where inspections or repairs need to be carried out.
The protection plates are carefully manufactured, allowing the following safety measures:
- Anti-slip surfaces with bevelled edges on both sides to avoid accidents. Both sides are covered with non-slip spikes for easier handling.
- Drainage holes on the surface to allow the flow of water without interfering with the cathodic protection of the pipelines. These holes also prevent dangerous gas pockets forming. They are moulded into the surface and not drilled in later, which prevents the plates from weakening.
- To prevent the plates from moving, they are placed in an overlap position or juxtaposition linked with clips to keep them firm.
- The plates are available in various colours, depending on the nature of the pipelines they are protecting. This acts as an efficient warning signal.
- Also, they are embossed with warning messages according to the client’s requirements.
Quality requirements and warranty:
Before utility protection slabs come on the market, they have to pass rigid quality control standards, thus ensuring maximum safety. To endorse these safety control measures, they usually come with a long-term warranty.
The design of the plates is important, as under-designed utility protection slabs can crack and cause major damage to the pipeline it is supposed to protect. That is why the Utility Protection Slabs are custom-made to suit specific requirements. They are available in various dimensions and allow extra width on the sides.
The plates are reusable, which is a benefit when costs are taken into consideration. Also, due to easy installation and removal of the pipes, fewer people are required, thus reducing labour and installation costs.
The benefits of Utility Protection Slabs have been explained above, but they are, in a word, essential. They usually come in conjunction with the underground warning mesh. With both the mesh and the protection slabs, the damage to underground pipelines by heavy overhead traffic or by excavation and other construction hazards is minimised. Safe protection of pipelines is ensured.