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Advantages of Fiberglass
- GFRP (Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastic) or FRP (Fiber Reinforced Plastic) begins with a liquid polymer resin and formable glass fibers. The finished shape can therefore be curved, corrugated, ribbed and contoured in a variety of ways. Unlike homogenous materials, the thickness of FRP structures can be varied within an individual panel or component to increase the strength and stiffness in specific sections.
High Strength with Low Weight
- Per unit of weight, FRP is among the strongest commercial materials available. Pound for pound, FRP is stronger than concrete, steel and aluminum. FRP’s toughness allows thin sections to be used and stiffness can be acquired without substantially increasing weight.
- Since color can be molded into the laminate, painting can be eliminated or greatly reduced. Exposed FRP structures have proven the material can weather extremes for more than 30 years. FRP architectural parts greatly reduce maintenance costs.
- A single FRP structure can replace an assembly of many parts and fasteners. This feature saves time, cuts assembly costs, and has given rise to the “cascade effect” of benefits for the user. For example, lighter equipment and smaller work crews can be used during installation.
- FRP panels can be made translucent. This is a unique property among structural materials. FRP can simultaneously provide structure, enclosure and natural or artificial light.
- Due to the fact that they are molded from a durable tool, rather than individually handcrafted, FRP parts can be identical to each other. When the mold is taken from a historically significant component or feature, FRP faithfully reproduces the original. This feature has made the material a dependable resource for restoration.
- GFRP has excellent resistance to moisture and does not have to be sealed like precast does.
Taken from The Composites Fabrication Association, Architectural Committee, Guidelines & Recommended Practices for Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic Architectural Products