In recent years, the arrival of composite access covers to the market has delivered new advantages and a fresh level of choice for project managers of utilities and municipalities, engineers and specifiers.

A substantial revision of the performance standard from the EU in the shape of EN 124:2015 has provided a clear framework for composite manufacturers like EJ, to adhere to and confirms that composites are here to stay.

Advantages of using composite access covers

Composite materials are used today for a wide range of applications from construction to the aerospace industry. When it comes to manhole covers and access solutions, high quality composite products now offer many benefits.

Composite access covers:

  • Are easy to handle and install, due to their low weight.
  • Have no resale value to the scrap market, therefore eliminating theft.
  • Are corrosion-resistant -composite products will remain unchanged, even in the most aggressive environments. This can apply to areas with exposure to sewers, petrochemicals, diesel, de-icing solutions, and salt water
  • Exhibit no signal interference with wireless communication devices which makes them particularly suitable for applications associated with water metering automation or electrical switching for smart grid technology.
  • Do not conduct stray voltage nor heat and can shield pedestrians from the underground environment.
  • Can be colour-customised to display a personalised logo or service identification.

While composite products offer many advantages, how composite products are made and what standards they are produced to, can vary widely – and this is the primary reason why the European standard was expanded.

Meeting the standard – the EJ approach

In Ireland the standard EN 124 : 1994 has been superseded by EN 124 : 2015 (refer to for more details). The revised standard moves to standardise the design and manufacture of composite covers to ensure good quality, durable products are brought to market as there was no specific composite testing in EN124:1994.

There are now extensive test requirements for load and fatigue testing, fuel absorption, water absorption, UV protection, etc; all specified to ensure there are no future issues with the product, offering peace of mind to the contractor and the client. Insist on 3rd party certified composite access covers to EN 124 - 5: 2015 to ensure compliance to the relevant standard.

Contact us on 057 9123100 or email: to organise a free Engineers Ireland approved CPD seminar for your organisation on specification guidance for access solutions – in composite, ductile iron and steel material to EN 124:2015. 

EN 124:2015 specifies a comprehensive series of tests which must be passed to comply with the standard and the performance of EJ products in these tests is available upon request.

At EJ, our primary manufacturing technology is closed mould resin transfer moulding (RTM) which incorporates continuous E-glass fibres as the reinforcement.

EJ composite products have a suitably coarse skid resistant upper surface featuring our trademarked 4L non-slip tread pattern, and have a high USRV value, making them safe to use in pedestrian areas.

Leading the way forward with EJ

We understand that since the arrival of composite access solutions, supplier knowledge and expertise has never been more important.

As a traditional cast iron specialist, our market knowledge and expertise is already in place and now we also design, produce, and deliver high quality composite products for a range of clear opening sizes up to 1200mm.

To find out more about the EJ range of composite access covers manufactured in Birr, Co Offaly, please contact Caroline O’Brien on 057 91 23100.