Aug. 20, 2022
Rubber & Plastics
Fiberglass Reinforced Polymer (FRP) profiles are particularly useful in applications where metals are unable to provide an optimal solution: for example, where corrosion is a concern or lightweight structural shapes are required for easy installation.
One of the most common applications of fiberglass strut profiles is in outside environments where a structure is subject to chemical exposure.
Some of these include outdoor walkways and water treatment plants. They are also used in several outdoor activities such as in arrow shafts, crossbows, paddle shafts, hockey sticks, golf shafts and kick boards.
Why Pultruded Products are Strong
Pultrusion is a manufacturing process used for making parts with a constant cross-section. Pultrusion can also be carried out using thermoplastic as the matrix material.
Pultrusion can manufacture composite products with a high fiber ratio where materials are pulled through the die. The use of pre-formers closely control the resin:fiber ratio and fiber rovings (sometimes together with fabrics) are pulled from the rear of the machine.
During the manufacturing process, they are guided into position, passed through a resin bath and then through a die. Thermoset materials require time to cure so the die is positioned around the material during this curing time. The resin cures as it is pulled through the length of the die and exits as a cured part. Long lengths of composite materials can be made quickly.
Why use pultruded products? When the resin hardens from the heated steel pultrusion die, the final product is one that follows the shape of the die and is strong and lightweight. As it is formed continuously after being heated by high temperature and then cured, it has excellent anti-corrosion, insulation and economic benefits.
Examples of pultruded products that have excellent mechanical properties longitudinally include beams, channels and girders.
Uses for Fiberglass Channels and Beams and other profiles
Long span roof, wall, & tank cover beams
Primary building structures
Baffle wall columns
Cooling tower structures
Cable management systems and support
Benefits of Using Fiberglass profiles
Pultruded fiberglass profiles are superior to many traditional materials such as wood, steel, and aluminum because of their unique properties:
Resistant to corrosion and chemicals ─ FRPs are resistant to a broad range of chemicals and are not affected by oxidation and corrosion. These properties lower the total cost of a project by eliminating the costs associated with painting or galvanizing.
Can withstand high temperatures ─ Pultruded fiberglass profiles are an optimal option for many applications. Fiberglass-reinforced composites are non-conductive, chemical-resistant, and corrosion-resistant. They can be made to have an ultra-high Glass Transition Temperature (Tg) of about 575°F (302°C). As the highest-ranking Tg pultruded material tested, many FRP composites can withstand immense heat and pressure. So, if a fire should burn inside a building, the support structures made out of FRP composite materials should not falter as wood may.
Lightweight with high tensile strength ─ Pultruded fiberglass profiles can be 30% lighter than aluminum and 70% lighter than steel with high strengths. In particular, the pultruded profile provides exceptional dimensional stability and its tensile strength is much higher than that of steel in a pound-to-pound comparison.
Flexible and impact-resistant ─ FRPs do not deform permanently under working load, which is distributed by the glass mat to prevent surface damage.
Cost-efficient ─ Pultruded fiberglass profiles are easy to handle and easier to transport. For example, they can be cut and shaped using simple tools which reduce the overall cost of any project. Major cost savings stem from easier onsite positioning and a reduction of structural strengthening and foundation design needs.
Highly durable ─ Pultruded fiberglass channels have a long lifecycle with low maintenance needs. Over the long term, these channels have low maintenance requirements and costs since they don't deteriorate or rust.
EMI/RFI transparent ─ Pultruded channels provide non-magnetic electromagnetic transparency and are therefore an ideal solution for many applications where metal parts can create interference. Pultruded products have a low thermal conductivity of 1/250 (aluminum) and 1/60 (steel). This feature makes the pultruded product effective as a thermal break.
Sustainable ─ Pultruded products are energy-efficient, require less heat, produce less wastage and causes less pollution. In addition, FRP can have a lifecycle of 75 to 150 years and be recycled or reformed into other plastic-based products. They are an eco-friendly choice for many industries including construction, manufacturing and recreation.
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