GRP Pultruded Profiles

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Case Study


The Inverness Motor Rail Protection Barrier in Scotland required a robust and reliable handrail system to enhance safety for pedestrians and vehicles near the railway tracks. After careful evaluation, Engineered Composites’ Glass Reinforced Polymer (GRP) modular handrail was chosen for the construction of the barrier. This case study explores the reasons behind this decision and highlights the benefits that GRP modular handrails offer in the rail sector environment, surpassing those of steel.

Reasons for Using GRP Modular Handrail:

1. Corrosion Resistance: The railway environment is exposed to moisture, varying weather conditions, and corrosive substances. Engineered Composites’ GRP modular handrails are highly resistant to corrosion, unlike steel. This characteristic ensures that the handrail system remains durable, even in highly corrosive environments, minimizing maintenance costs and ensuring prolonged service life.

2. Lightweight and Ease of Installation: GRP modular handrails are much lighter than their steel counterparts. This makes transporting and installing them significantly easier, reducing installation time and labor costs. The lightweight nature of GRP also makes handling and maintenance tasks more manageable, offering convenience and flexibility during installation and future adjustments.

3. Electrical Insulation: In railway environments, where electrical systems and infrastructure are prevalent, ensuring electrical insulation is crucial. GRP modular handrails provide excellent electrical insulation properties. Unlike steel handrails, which can conduct electricity, GRP handrails mitigate the risk of electrical hazards, protecting individuals and equipment from accidental contact and reducing the overall safety risks associated with the rail environment.

Benefits of GRP Modular Handrail in the Rail Sector:

1. Non-Conductive: GRP modular handrails are non-conductive, providing an added layer of safety in a rail environment where electrical currents are present. This feature helps prevent electrical accidents and ensures that stray currents or faults are not conducted through the handrail system. It also eliminates the need for additional insulating measures, reducing costs and maintenance requirements.

2. Fire Resistance: GRP modular handrails are inherently fire-resistant. In the event of a fire, GRP does not fuel the flames, limiting the spread and reducing the potential for injuries or fatalities. Steel handrails, on the other hand, can become hot and contribute to the fire’s intensity, posing greater risks within the rail environment. By choosing GRP modular handrails, the Inverness Motor Rail Protection Barrier enhances the overall safety and fire resilience of the railway vicinity.

3. Low Maintenance: GRP modular handrails require minimal maintenance compared to steel. Unlike steel handrails that may corrode over time and require regular inspections, painting, or repairs, GRP handrails are highly resistant to environmental factors, including moisture, chemicals, and UV radiation. This resistance significantly reduces maintenance efforts and associated costs, allowing rail operators to allocate resources more effectively.

4. Design Flexibility: GRP modular handrails offer exceptional design flexibility. They can be customized to meet specific project requirements, including shape, size, color, and texture. This flexibility ensures that the handrail system seamlessly integrates with the aesthetic and functional needs of the Inverness Motor Rail Protection Barrier. Additionally, the modular nature of GRP handrails allows for easy modifications or expansions if necessary in the future.

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5. Durability: GRP modular handrails have a high strength-to-weight ratio, providing excellent durability. They can withstand heavy loads, impacts, and vibrations commonly experienced in the rail environment. This durability ensures that the handrail system remains intact, even in demanding conditions, reducing the need for frequent replacements or repairs.


The decision to use Engineered Composites GRP modular handrails for the construction of the Inverness Motor Rail Protection Barrier proved to be advantageous. The GRP modular handrails offer significant benefits over steel, including corrosion resistance, lightweight construction, electrical insulation, fire resistance, low maintenance requirements, design flexibility, and exceptional durability. By opting for GRP handrails, the rail sector gains a reliable and safer solution for motor rail protection barriers. The use of GRP handrails enhances the longevity of the infrastructure, reduces maintenance costs, and contributes to an overall safer rail environment.
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Engineered Composites are the UK’s leading GRP supplier. With over 37 years of experience and a highly committed team, we are in a great position to be able to meet all your specific requirements.

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