Fiberglass Reinforcements is non-toxic and extremely safe for either ground or overhead use. They are made by mixing fibers of glass or plastic with an acrylic polymer. They offer many unique advantages over traditional metal or wood reinforcements and are being used in construction projects around the world.
Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) is a combination of fiberglass fibers, plastic granules, and other additives that are molded into a plastic (or polyurethane) matrix. These additives allow for a tremendous amount of variability in the strength and hardness of the final product, and therefore can be designed specifically to deliver the precise properties needed. Unlike traditional metals and woods, fiberglass reinforcements have the ability to be shaped and cured into any shape imaginable. This allows for a greater degree of customization in the ultimate product than is possible with traditional molding methods. The quality, color, gloss, matte finish, and surface texture can all be totally changed, providing builders and fabricators greater design control.
The amazing strength and stiffness of fiberglass reinforced plastics is what sets it apart from traditional metal and wood products. Fiberglass is stronger than both steel and aluminum, while at half the weight of metal. Many FRP manufacturers use a thermoforming method to bond the strands together. Thermoforming helps to uniformly heat and bond the various components of the composite. Once hot, the strands can then be cured in place, producing a strong, durable, lightweight component.
Fiberglass Reinforcements is available in many forms. Shapes include round, square, cylindrical, and hexagonal. Most are readily available in sheets or in single strand sections. Single strand sections usually have a higher tensile strength than those in multi-strand sections. The higher tensile strength of single strands allows them to be used in stronger applications such as frames that require strength as great as that found in airplane wings. They are also frequently used in reinforcement in cast frames because of their exceptional stiffness and strength.
Fiberglass Reinforcements has an extensive list of uses in the construction industry. From paneling to flooring to marine applications, there are a wide variety of applications where FRP is an excellent solution. However, they are far less expensive than alternative metal reinforcements such as aluminum and steel. Additionally, because of their extraordinary strength and dimensional stability, they are excellent materials for use in shipbuilding applications where dimensional stability is a critical factor.
Because of their incredible strength and dimensional stability, fiberglass is often used in reinforced concrete where a lack of these characteristics would greatly reduce the structural integrity of the structure. In addition, fiberglass is frequently utilized as roofing material, particularly in housing complexes that face potential corrosive rain and snow loads. Many engineers also incorporate FRP into the design of swimming pools because of the amazing strength and stiffness they provide in high-water conditions. Today, more people are realizing the advantages of using these materials instead of traditional metal reinforcements.