Dura Composites Revolutionises Rail Footbridge Refurbs and Replacements with New Dura Slab Structural Stair Treads
At Infrarail 2016, Dura Composites has announced the launch of its revolutionary new Dura Slab Structural Stair Treads which are made from high-strength FRP and incorporate a number of ground-breaking features designed to reduce project costs and installation times, thereby limiting disruption to end users.
Dura Composites is a leading UK supplier of precision engineered FRP structural walkway products, with over 20 years’ experience in delivering innovative high quality solutions that solve many of the challenges facing today’s industries. This experience has been brought to bear to develop the new Dura Slab Structural Stair Treads which are ideal for both new build footbridges and for essential refurbishment works.
Dura Slab Structural Stair Treads are lightweight, high-strength, anti-slip, non-corrosive, non-conductive and therefore overcome all of the issues normally associated with the use of traditional materials such as wood, steel and concrete. The Treads were developed for Wymondham Rail Station in Norfolk in response to a specific requirement from Abellio Greater Anglia (AGA), who played a critical role in developing a solution that was fit for purpose and offered significant benefits in terms of time savings, better anti-slip properties for increased safety and a long design life.
The new Dura Slab Structural Stair Treads are lightweight, meaning that the treads and landings can be easily fixed into position thanks to their single unit construction.
They feature a built-in riser for rapid installation and an in-built fall to assist with drainage and reduce pooling on stair surfaces. The riser detail can be removed if necessary.
To ensure safety and ease of access for people with limited vision, Dura Slab Structural Stair Treads have DDA and Equality Act compliant contrasting coloured nosings, and provide a slip resistant surface, particularly when wet.
Available in 65mm or 90mm thicknesses, Dura Slab Structural Stair Treads can span up to 2.1m clear open span, achieving the required 5kN/m2 at L/300 deflection, meaning that additional supports can be avoided in most scenarios. The 65mm and 90mm sizes are designed to map to the two most customary timber stair component sizes in common usage, which are 75mm and 100mm,. The Dura Slab Structural Stair Treads in 65mm or 90mm therefore allow for a 10mm adjustment in each case, allowing for easy replacement of degraded timber.
On-going maintenance of the system is not required as Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) will not rot, corrode or even lose colour throughout is design life, and is ideally suited to situations where the footbridge or staircase is located in close proximity to overhead power lines or electrified areas, due to its non-conductive properties.
The refurbishment work at Wymondham Rail Station in partnership with Abellio Greater Anglia comprised bridge deck and tread replacements over the full span of the bridge, and was easily carried out in a matter of weeks. The station is part-listed meaning that an aesthetically sympathetic solution was essential. Not only was money saved by using Dura Slab Structural Stair Treads due to lower labour costs, fewer possessions and easier handling, but there was less disruption for the consumer versus traditional timber systems – and better still, the new footbridge is designed for the future with a life expectancy in excess of 60 years.
Commenting on the successful inaugural project at Wymondham, Simone Bailey Asset Management Director at Abellio Greater Anglia said: “We are delighted with the results at Wymondham. Working in partnership with Dura Composites to develop a pioneering foot tread of this type demonstrates our continued commitment to improving stations. The upgraded footbridge has benefitted from an excellent refurbishment, with new treads that are better, more durable, safer and easy to install, whilst complimenting the footbridge structure - which has been repainted in original colours. It was important that this footbridge project enhanced its “usability” for customers and its appearance for the community, at a well-loved and well-preserved gateway to the town. We look forward to building on this success with future Dura installations."