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Contractors World International

Can GRP Offer The Best Of Both Worlds

When Specifying Enclosures for

Changing Infrastructure Specifications?

Network Rail

has switched to 2-core cable in an effort

to reduce spending on trackside installations. While this

is a solution to cut down on thefts overall, the cable type

offers no earthing capabilities, meaning that traditional

metal enclosures may no longer be suitable. This pre-

sents an opportunity for Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP)

enclosures.

Chris Lloyd, Managing Director of

Spelsberg UK

, ex-

plains why GRP enclosures offer the best of both worlds

in terms of performance and price.

Like many

industries in

the UK, the rail

industry is cur-

rently under-

going a process

o f

c o s t

cutting.

N a ti o n a l

Rail needs to

reduce spend-

ing on track-

side installa-

tions by around

20 percent,

which means that OEMs and service providers are having

to find ways to cut costs without impacting on quality.

The introduction of 2-core cable means that cable

theft has reduced, but, as a side effect, many existing

trackside products, which use metal enclosures, may be

unsuitable as they are not able to provide the extra in-

sulation that is required.

Very often, in these cases, an alternative, specialised

component has to be sourced which is twice as expen-

sive. However, in this case there may be a solution which

offers all the attributes required for the new regulation

while remaining cost competitive with their metal

cousins.

GRP is a cost effective solution, partly because the

material is cheaper but also because it is easier to shape

than metals. In addition GRP is easier to machine which

means that companies like Spelsberg are able to offer

in-house customisations that offer an affordable solution

to sourcing bespoke designs. Even secondary costs such

as delivery and installation tend to be cheaper, as the

enclosures are far lighter than metal, making them easier

to manoeuvre.

However, cost can’t be the only concern when spec-

ifying components for electrical installations; perfor-

mance is essential as it goes hand-in-hand with safety.

Is This The Solution to

Changing Standards?

Contractors World International Vol 7 No 4

35