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Dura Composites Exhibits at Interbuild Africa 2014

August 13th, 2014 | Articles, Composite Wood, News, Press Releases | 0 Comments

Interbuild Promo Image

Dura Composites decking, cladding and pergolas exhibited at Big 5, Dubai

Interbuild Africa 2014 takes place on 20-23 August at the Johannesburg Expo Centre and is the largest building materials and services and construction exhibition in Africa.

It hosts visitors and exhibitors from across Africa and trade delegations from countries in South America.

Dura Composites will be exhibiting at Interbuild Africa for the first time to better support its expanding African presence.

Their complete range of Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) Landscaping and Architectural products will be on display and visitors are invited to meet with Paul Fletcher, Global Sales Manager for WPC products. Pre-register here and gain free access.

Dura Composites will be discussing distribution opportunities in several African countries for the Industrial, Rail and Marina product ranges as well as the Landscaping and Architectural ranges on display.

Paul Fletcher head shot

Paul Fletcher, Global Sales Manager WPC Products, Dura Composites

They will also be meeting with representatives of several large projects where Dura Composites has been nominated as preferred supplier.


Ingenious Platform Design Improves Passenger Safety and Reduces Disruption

August 12th, 2014 | Articles, News, Rail Products | 0 Comments

The Train Now Elevated on Platform 2….

Image1You may have experienced the problem yourself; you’ve positioned yourself to get on or off the train but you find there is a huge gap between train and platform which you and your luggage have to negotiate.

These severe stepping distances due to isolated platform subsidence are not uncommon. However, the remedies todate which allow passengers to safely and comfortably get on and off trains require platform closures and line possessions with passenger disruptions for many months.

Now there is an ingenious and innovative solution that not only removes the cost and disruption of replacing the existing concrete platform but also one that will stand the test of time, is adjustable to suit future rolling stock and has a design life in excess of 50 years.

Image2Co-Development Using Composite Materials

Hammond ECS, a rail contractor, and Dura Composites, an innovative supplier of composite building materials, co-developed the Dura Platform solution to address severe stepping distance issues whilst maintaining operational use of the platform during the course of the works.

The solution comprises height adjustable pods secured along the platform, on which glass reinforced plastic (GRP) beams are positioned, providing support for a GRP decking system.

Since the surface is a composite, it will not suffer from compaction issues, reducing the likelihood of slips, trips and falls. Also incorporated into the platform is a bright yellow tactile which replaces the painted yellow safety line on the platform creating a larger visual and tactile identification of the platform edge.

Image3Dura Composites also supplies a range of other composite products to the rail industry, including composite flooring, handrailing and cladding solutions, and an innovative ballast retention system for allowing the inspection of hidden critical elements.

Big Benefits From Dura Platform Solution

The first application was at Tulse Hill station in Lambeth, South London where there were severe stepping distance issues on platform 1 but no opportunities to close the platform.

These works saw significant benefits in terms of cost, flexibility and efficiency. Approximately 25% of the cost of a traditional station rebuild approach has been saved, with half the number of possessions needed to complete the work. The yellow tactile integrated with the platform edge practically eliminated the ongoing cost of maintaining the platform painting.

Happy Rail Customers and Passengers

Image4The completed Tulse Hill project has met with praise from within the rail industry, including the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), First Capital Connect and Southern Railway, who are keen to see this design used at other stations where Platform Train Interface (PTI) is a safety risk.

Dave Ward, route managing director for South East, said: “The work at Tulse Hill station is a great example of using creative thinking to solve a problem, with the additional benefit that project cost less and took less time to deliver than a traditional station rebuild would have. I have been especially pleased by the response from our customers and we can repeat the project at other stations where this will solve some of the logistical problems of carrying out restorative works.”

Following the success of this scheme, another Dura Platform project is underway at Elephant and Castle, and feasibility is being carried out at Croydon East platforms 1 & 2.

Ingenious Platform Design Brings Benefits to Train Operators, Contractors and Passengers

July 23rd, 2014 | Articles, News, Rail Products | 0 Comments

Patented Dura Platform launched at Infrarail Exhibition in May 2014.

patented dura platform

Dura Composites has developed a Fibreglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) composite station platform that brings benefits throughout the supply chain including:

  • Contractors: easier to install
  • Operators: no day time possessions required
  • Passengers: anti-slip and looks great

The full list of innovative design features includes many money-saving, time and safety benefits:

Features Benefits
Withstands 5KN/m2 over a 3.4m clear open span Allows crowd loadings in tandem with reduced and cheaper substructure
Can be cranked to achieve 1-in-40 fall Easily adjustable on site at low cost
A hidden and easy to access fixing system which allows for fixing from top surface only. Zero trip hazard and better looking
Solid laminate yellow line integrated within the fixing system Doesn’t need repainting ever and lines are straight
Hollow profile sections to carry services No costly excavation trenches required
Fast installation times often with less possessions Saves time and money through supply chain
A rebated Tactile finishes flush with the top skin No trip hazard, looks great
A weight of 32kg (coper unit) and 39kg (non-coper unit) 2 man lift
An integrated front nosing Meets Network Rail specs
Anti-slip surface, BSEN 4592-0, highest anti slip certification for the BSEN testing. Great performance in all weather for passengers


The patented Dura Platform has been engineered to comply with Network Rail specifications for platforms. Since it’s launch at Infrarail in May 2014, Dura Rail has been tailored to suit 3 station platform applications:

–          Cosford Station – 40mm thickness one piece pultruded rail platform (additional items bonded to top surface)

–          Tulse Hill Station – Moulded system with pedestals & channels to bring platform to the correct gauge – kept station operational throughout installation – system designed to install 6100mmx2500mm per night

–          Elephant & Castle Station – Mouldtruded system with pedestals & channels to bring platform to the correct gauge – currently under construction – kept station operational – system designed to install 6100mmx2500mm per night

demo unit

Dura platform has had great feedback from design agencies and main contractors as well as Network Rail. A Dura Platform demonstration unit is available for delivery anywhere in the country. To arrange delivery, contact us on 01255 423601 and press 1 for sales or 4 for Rail sector or contact Rail team on with your enquiry.

Dura Composites Launches Rail Sector Products Division

June 3rd, 2014 | Articles, News, Rail Products | 0 Comments

Dura Composites launched a new Rail Sector Products Division at the UK’s leading railway infrastructure event, Infrarail 2014 to better support the demand from Network Rail and infrastructure contractors for their growing range of innovative composite products.

Dura Composites held a succession of meetings with senior managers from Network Rail and railway infrastructure contractors to enable a wider appreciation of how composite products can increase safety, and decrease maintenance costs and possession times on busy networks. View a video here.

The new Railway Division’s products include the patented and innovative specialist systems of ballast retention, adjustable station platforms, modular pedestrian bridges as well as various walkway and cladding products developed for railway applications:

Ballast Retention Systems – Fibreglass inspection systems to allow examination of Hidden Critical Elements (HCE) of bridge girders. These have gained considerable success at various locations throughout the UK proving time and again to significantly reduce the on-site time, allowing for a faster project turn around in comparison to using traditional materials.

Composite Station Platforms – large spans reduce the substructure work required, low weight allows manual handling, and fast concealed fixings reduce possession times and can avoid station closures. In addition there are built-in facilities for cable management and drainage plus the normal advantages of composites including long life and minimal maintenance.

Embankment Staircases, Rail Crossings and Walkways – Fibreglass stair case structures, trackside walkways and roof walkways incorporating anti slip mesh, creating one of the highest degrees of slip resistant ever measured for a walking surface.

Fibreglass Trench Covers – lightweight pedestrian and vehicle crossings allowing easy manual access, with non-slip gritted top walking surface.

Composite Timber Cladding – for new or refurbishment rail projects, including stations, signal boxes, platforms, waiting rooms & workshop buildings.

rail sector product guide    Rail division



Download the 38 page Rail Sector Product Guide




Our composite decking offers the beauty of wood with none of the disadvantages

March 17th, 2014 | Articles, Composite Wood, Dura Deck Composite Decking, News | 0 Comments

Despite the fact that every marina owner would agree that functionality and safety should come before appearance, many still crave a wooden aesthetic for their marina’s decking boards.

Because of this, we at Dura Composites worked extremely hard to develop a product that could replace natural wood, retaining its aesthetic yet removing the issues with maintenance and durability. Coming in two main colours (teak and charcoal) and made of a mixture of high density polyethylene, recycled wood and chemicals to protect the final product from UV damage, rot, mould and other deterioration, our composite decking has four key benefits over traditional wooden marina flooring systems and other decking boards…

  1. Increased strength. Most pontoons in the United Kingdom are produced to allow a deck thickness of no more than 23mm, so as to make timber selection and installation as hassle free as possible. As a result, when developing our composite decking solution, we had to work to this thickness too. Because we were acutely concerned to ensure that our pontoon decking could cope with large stresses (such as those caused by people jumping off boats whilst carrying heavy sailing equipment) into the foreseeable future, we decided to make our boards twice as wide as traditional wooden decking boards, in order to almost double the strength.
  2. Shorter installation time. As well as providing you with the peace of mind that your decking will stand the test of time, the option of double width planks also means that installation time is significantly reduced – something that can be extremely helpful for commercial marina owners. Despite covering the same amount of space, our composite decking could take half the time to install!
  3. Better grip. As we have already covered, given that marina decking boards will often be wet, it is important that they provide a sufficient level of grip underfoot. Not only is the material of our composite decking less slippery than wood, our boards also have deep grooves in them to further increase friction. These grooves also help create the appearance of wood by mirroring the natural grain visible in traditional wooden planks. Further, the planks have different sized grooves on either side, depending on what kind of look and grip is required.
  4. Neater finish. Although wood looks great, when it comes to securing it to your pontoon, you may well find yourself having to settle for visible fixings. Not only does this look unattractive, it is also easy for screws to loosen over time and pose a hazard to individuals, particularly if they aren’t wearing protective footwear. On the other hand, our composite decking is secured in place by screwing into recessed fixings between the boards (which serve the dual purpose of removing the need for visible screws and helping to ensure the space between boards is always the same).

For more on the many advantages of composite decking for marinas and other situations, just visit our home page, where you’ll be able to obtain a free copy of my new guide, “How to Choose Composite Building Products”.

Three of the main advantages of using composite materials for your marina’s flooring

March 4th, 2014 | Articles, Marina Deck, News | 0 Comments


No one wants to invest in a contract flooring system one year only to see it fade the next, yet this is a situation many marina owners find themselves in, having failed to consider whether or not their new flooring system is UV resistant.

In order to help marina owners avoid this unwanted deterioration, we at Dura Composites have subjected all our marina contract flooring systems to 5,000 hours of UV simulation. Despite this being a whopping five times the exposure most companies test their products to, all our fibreglass products retained their full colour! This means that even after 25 years, you can still expect your floor to retain the vibrancy of colour it had when fitted. Even our wood plastic products, which contain a high proportion of reclaimed natural wood, retain around 90% of their colour indefinitely.

Mesh size

Mesh size is something that needs to be considered and when it comes to the floors and stair treads f marinas, smaller is generally better. Whilst most industrial clients opt for our 32mm hole grating, we usually recommend 12mm hole grating for non slip decking in marinas. Not only will using a smaller mesh eliminate issues such as keys and other items being dropped through the floor, it is also far better for leisure footwear, whilst still allowing water to drain through easily. Whereas no one will be wearing flip flops in a factory, people may well be wearing them on a marina and choosing a small mesh will mean they are far less likely to trip – something that can result in painful grazes given the coating used to increase its slip resistance. Moreover, most people also consider a smaller mesh size to be more attractive!

Where strength is a key factor, however, you might want to consider opting for a solid topped engineered flooring system. Similarly, where pooling is less likely to be an issue, such as on slopes or pontoons with significant movement, a flat surface may well be preferable.


Sparking can cause problems in industrial environments, and the same is true of marinas. Whether there’s a possibility of oil spillages or you simply want to make some amendments to your marina without sending sparks in every direction, opting for a fibreglass engineered flooring system will give you significant peace of mind.

For more on the many advantages of composite materials when it comes to creating world-class marinas, just visit our home page, where you’ll be able to obtain a free copy of my new guide, “How to Choose Composite Building Products”.

Composite materials now provide a genuine alternative to wooden cladding

February 25th, 2014 | Articles, Composite Timber Cladding, News | 0 Comments

Having spent a great deal of time developing high quality, composite decking for exterior use, making the progression to creating an alternative to timber cladding was only common sense, and thanks to our extremely talented development team, we are now able to offer one of the most attractive and long lasting composite cladding solutions available anywhere!

As anyone involved in building design will tell you, there are a great many factors that need to be considered when it comes to deciding on the material to be used for the exterior of a building. Foremost, however, are the following issues…


Obviously, as the exterior of your building will be the first thing visitors see when they arrive, the appearance of your wooden cladding is of paramount importance. First impressions are crucial and issues such as mould and discolouration can put potential customers/clients off before they have even set foot inside your building!

As such, it’s important to choose a type of timber cladding which is impervious to issues such as mould, rot, UV damage and cracking/flaking – something that is not necessarily true of traditional wooden cladding materials. Despite its attractive sanded wood finish, Dura Cladding will experience none of these problems and will stay looking pristine for years to come.

Not only does Dura Cladding come in three different styles, including flush and weatherboard, should you want your cladding to be a bespoke colour, this can also be arranged (given sufficient volume and a suitable lead time).


Because of their precarious position on the side of buildings, all cladding systems need to undergo rigorous testing in order to ensure they won’t fall or become dislodged during extreme weather conditions. This includes testing wind loading, screw pull through and other key elements.

Whilst the majority of timber cladding boards are typically secured to the wall at 400mm centres, testing revealed that Dura Cladding can be fixed to the wall every 600mm and still fulfil all the necessary pressure and loading requirements. Combined with the benefit that all our cladding boards come with pre-drilled holes, this can significantly improve installation time!

Further, thanks to Dura Cladding’s remarkable strength to weight ratio, getting the individual boards into position requires minimal effort and wastage.

For more on the many advantages of composite materials over traditional wooden cladding, just visit our home page, where you’ll be able to obtain a free copy of my new guide, “How to Choose Composite Building Products”.

Using composite materials to create high quality decking

February 18th, 2014 | Articles, Composite Wood, Dura Deck Composite Decking, News | 0 Comments

Just as we moved into providing fibreglass grating for marinas, after receiving significant interest in the benefits of our industrial grating products, so we moved into providing composite timber decking for the wider decking market, after hundreds of individuals contacted us to enquire about using our composite decking kit in different environments.

Thanks to the extensive research and development that went into producing our pontoon decking kit, we knew exactly what was involved in creating attractive, high quality and non slip decking products for exterior use and were quickly able to adapt our existing products for domestic and commercial use.

Having been used everywhere from pubs, hotels and zoos to back gardens and housing developments, our composite decking boards are a huge hit with customers for several reasons…

Green credentials

Whether you’re a major contractor or a private individual, thinking green is something we should all be doing when it comes to choosing building materials. Thankfully, despite its engineered form, Dura decking products are manufactured using up to 87% recycled materials! What’s more, we are the first, and currently the only, composite decking company offering clients the option to order decking boards, the wood of which has been 100% FSC certified.

Long lifespan

As with all our engineered products, because of their consistency, our composite decking boards will last you long into the future and will not suffer from issues such as rot, mould and fading. The only mould that could occur would be surface mould in dark and wet environments. This can easily be cleaned off with a jet wash, however.

Value for money

In 2012 an independent review was carried out in order to determine which was the most cost effective material for decking kits: softwood, hardwood or Dura Deck boarding. Taking into account the amount of maintenance that would need to be conducted on traditional wooden decks and the cost of the maintenance materials required, it concluded that, despite being the second most expensive of the three options, Dura Deck was by far the cheapest over the lifetime of the material, when the cost of materials, labour and replacement were taken into account.

For more on the many advantages of composite materials when it comes to decking boards, just visit our home page, where you’ll be able to obtain a free copy of my new guide, “How to Choose Composite Building Products”.

Using composite materials to create high quality marinas

January 21st, 2014 | Articles, Composite Wood, Dura Deck Composite Decking, Marina Deck, News, Ultra Deck | 0 Comments

Whilst the industrial market was the first market we targeted almost 20 years ago, we quickly realised that the main advantages of our engineered flooring systems, namely their strength, durability and high slip resistance, made them perfect for marina environments too. Combined with my father’s extensive knowledge of the marine industry, having spent decades constructing fibreglass boats, this was an obvious next step.

The advantages of using composite materials in this environment are numerous…


Undoubtedly, the material most commonly used for marina flooring is wood. However, this is more for aesthetic reasons than for practical ones.

In a wet environment, wood can deteriorate very rapidly if not properly looked after. What’s more, it is often difficult to spot problems once they do arise, and unless the owner notices the issue in time and has the capital to solve the problem quickly, failures are bound to occur – some of which may lead to serious accidents.

Because of this, it makes a lot of sense to opt for a contract flooring solution which is able to offer you peace of mind when it comes to structural integrity, such as those we provide at Dura Composites. With your high quality engineered flooring in place, you really can rest assured it will retain its strength and durability over the years.


Exposed to harsh winds, sun and, of course, saltwater, marina flooring systems often require a great deal of maintenance to ensure they stay looking good and functioning correctly, especially if they involve wood.

Whilst wooden flooring systems require varnishing/painting at regular intervals, this is not the case with our pontoon decking products (fibreglass or wood plastic composite). All you’ll need to do to keep your marina looking good as new is give some areas a jet wash to remove grime from the surface every now and again. It really is that simple!

For more on the many advantages of composite materials when it comes to creating world-class marinas, just visit our home page, where you’ll be able to obtain a free copy of my new guide, “How to Choose Composite Building Products”.

Some of the ways composite materials can make an industrial area safer

January 13th, 2014 | Articles, Fibreglass Grating, Fibreglass Handrails, News | 0 Comments

Colour coding

In industrial environments, anything you can do to improve signposting and increase safety consciousness amongst your staff is good, and one of the easiest and most efficient ways of doing this is through colour coding different areas. Perhaps you have one area which contains certain hazards and are looking for a way to ensure employees aren’t able to forget this? Perhaps you want to highlight certain routes through your premises? Whatever you’re looking to do and whichever colour you want, all you need to do is let us know and we can input the appropriate colour at the production stage. By doing this, no matter what conditions your engineered flooring is subjected to, it will retain its colour well into the future.


Somewhat understandably, people often overlook fixings, concentrating mainly on the type of contract flooring itself. However, having the right fixings is crucial if your new flooring system is to be a success. The important thing here is to provide your supplier with as much information as possible regarding where your flooring is going and how you need it to function. At Dura Composites, we’ve spent the past 16 years coming up with a wide range of different fixing systems and accessories to make the installation process as simple and effective as possible. For example, we now have a huge range of 316 stainless steel clips, clamps and panel-to-panel joiners, that allow our fibreglass panels to be installed either permanently or temporarily. Further, we also have adjustable pedestals, made from a variety of durable composite materials. These are perfect if you need room for cables and pipes to travel underneath your engineered flooring or are looking to eliminate a change of height from one room to another.


If you are thinking of having a section of flooring redone, it is well worth considering whether or not you could also do with replacing your current handrail, or indeed fitting one if you don’t have one already.

Though steel handrails are the norm, why not opt for a fibreglass alternative? Not only will it be warmer to the touch, it can also be colour coded according to your needs and is more than capable of dealing with high stresses. Further, as they are tested to take high loads, they are also suitable for balconies, raised walkways or stairs.

For more on the many advantages of composite materials when it comes to creating engineered flooring, just visit our home page, where you’ll be able to obtain a free copy of my new guide, “How to Choose Composite Building Products”.