The newly designed Rhino trench cover by electric cable supplier Consortium Cables has been approved by State-owned power utility Eskom, for inclusion in its buyer’s guide and by freight logistics group Transnet for use at its projects, says Consortium Cables CEO Martin Modlin.
The supplier submitted the final sample of its Rhino cover to Eskom after three years of research and development, which involved the testing and retesting of a number of combinations of polymers and reinforcing materials.
The cover was approved and included in Eskom’s buyer’s guide in April, says Modlin.
The Rhino trench cover is a rigid extruded tile, which is manufactured from a combination of polymers and reinforced materials. It is modelled on the KEW 2000 trench cover designed by the company about 15 years ago.
Consortium Cables previously approached Eskom to use the KEW 2000 cover, and although the utility’s response was positive, it asked the company to develop a trench cover that had the same mechanical strength as the conventional concrete cover, but that is not as cumbersome and unwieldy.
As a result, the lightweight and environment-friendly Rhino cover was developed to prevent damage to cables by people and machinery, while also protecting people from the cable.
The covers are manufactured in thicknesses of 6 mm and 10 mm, in widths of 30 cm or 40 cm and are 1 m in length.
The advantages of using the reinforced resin Rhino trench cover over conventional concrete covers is that its lighter weight enables easy loading and unloading, easy storage and no breakage. The cover can also be reused.
The brightly marked red and yellow covers are corrosion resistant, nontoxic and flame retardant.