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Wagners launches new composite utility poles

Manufacturing News

Construction Materials manufacturer Wagners has launched a new 356mm Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) utility pole for electricity networks feeling the pinch of timber shortages.

Wagners Composite Fibre Technologies’ (CFT) launch comes in the wake of rising costs, declining quality and reliability of supply for traditional timber utility poles, due to deforestation and bushfires in 2002 and 2003 which caused large scale destruction of hardwood forests.

Wagners CFT National Product Specialist – Utilities James Lorrimer (pictured) said: “Wagners CFT has worked really hard to expedite the launch of its 356mm utility pole in answer to the call from network operators to find a solution, and quick.

“The 356 compliments our already existing range of 301mm and 293mm of which we’ve seen some 6,000 poles head out to networks in the past 12 months, thereby taking the pressure off hardwood timber resources for those lighter loads and heights.

“But it’s been those bigger loads, bigger capacities where the real need has been and now with the launch of Wagner’s new 356 FRP utility pole, we can offer customers standard service loads to 14m/8kN and 15.5m/5-6kN.”

The poles are manufactured utilising a pultrusion machine at the company’s manufacturing facility in Wellcamp near Toowoomba, Queensland.

FRP utility poles made locally would reduce lead times for users.

“Fibre Reinforced Polymer is as strong as steel and our utility poles have an expected design life of 80-years; so if a timber pole has to be replaced three times as often as an FRP pole that translates into reduced maintenance and replacement costs for network operators.

“FRP utility poles are also chemically inert, so they won’t rot, rust or corrode; plus, they’re resistant to termites and acid sulfate soils.

“And they’re non-leaching so they are the perfect solution for areas of high conservation value or near wetlands and marine environments.”

FRP poles are also about a quarter of the weight of hardwood timber poles, easing transport requirements and reducing the risk to crews during installation.

Picture: Wagners Composite Fibre Technologies/National Product Specialist – Utilities, James Lorrimer with utility poles at Wagners CFT’s Wellcamp manufacturing facility near Toowoomba, Queensland.

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