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Frequently Asked Questions

Pavements and floors visually interact with the environment. If not specified thoughtfully, access covers will interrupt visual continuity.

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AS 3996 governs access covers therefore manufacturers should provide independent certified test certificates for these trafficable elements. Do not confuse wheel weights with vehicle weights or test loads.

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Access covers comprise a separate cover and frame system which is installed integrally into pavements/slabs and provide a better barrier for water ingress.

Manufacturers should provide typical ‘separation’ dimensions between frame and pit.

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Depending on the installation, certain user requirements are considered critical to the asset owner or maintenance crew: access frequency, protection against foreign objects, slip resistance, aesthetics, identification and security.

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Access covers are available in a number of security options. In non-sensitive areas, heavy access covers generally do not require locking bolts particularly if frequent access is required. Manufacturers should provide solutions to meet unique client requirements.

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Access covers can be square, rectangular, circular in single, 2 part 3 part configurations. They are either solid top or recessed to take infill pavement  materials.

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Access covers are generally made from plastic, steel or iron. Iron is the most robust material. Manufacturers should provide guidance as to the best materials to use against critical project requirements.

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Decorative edging edging (stainless steel/ brass trim) will enhance the appearance of covers/frame. Edging for iron access covers is often standard if pavers/tiles are used. Manufacturers should offer the correct depth covers to ensure pavement materials can be supported.

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Iron covers are only designed to move in one direction, they are specified by width x length (width is across lifting points, length parallel to the direction of removal). Ensure obstacles do not impede cover removal.

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AS 3996 requires the cover to have permanent marking showing “approximate mass of the cover (including any infill)”… According to Safework Australia – Lifting, pulling, pushing requirements vary across each state/territory

Mechanical lifters, long & short keys are all designed for easy lifting. Manufacturers need to specify the approximate lifting weight on all access covers but note cover/infill materials will influence lifting weight.

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AS 3996 give performance criteria for gas & watertightness. Covers can be sealed in different ways including the use of grease.

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No. This is because of the number of removable components.

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Bolts are required to fasten covers into the frame for security and/or if back pressure is anticipated. Where there are gases, there’s potential for uplift

In some instances, bolts need to be designed for the application and stainless steel bolts are recommended for durability. Manufacturers need to provide calculation for structural bolts based on anticipated pressures.

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Access covers need to be installed so that their frames are integrally and structurally tied to the pavement or floor.

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Multipart installation requires careful planning. Load class & pit clear opening must be confirmed. The slab design needs to provide for the beam/frame depths and locations for the multipart. Manufacturers should provide rebate and cover scheduling drawings for every unique multipart.

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  1. Prepare the pit, set up the frame and level
  2. Position the beams and covers
  3. Pour concrete and finish

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