What Are Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) Products?

Fiberglass reinforced plastic products offer many advantages due to the materials used for their construction. An FRP is a type of composite material, with a resin reinforced by glass fibers. Common FRP products include pipes, conduits, storage tanks, and even ducts and chimneys.

Benefits of FRP

So why use FRP? It offers several distinct benefits:

Flexible

There are many types of FRP products because you can mold the material into just about every shape and configuration you want. This feature is apparent when you remember that this is still a kind of plastic. So you can make square or circular shapes and various combos at minimal tooling costs.

You can also get tighter dimensional tolerances with FRP, compared to materials like PVC.

Resistant to Corrosion

Corrosion is one of the main problems you need to deal with when you use common materials like steel. However, fiber-glass-reinforced plastics are simply resistant to corrosion. In many cases, it’s the only corrosion-resistant material you can use for certain projects.

Strength

In addition, with the plastic resin reinforced by fiberglass you have a material that’s inherently strong. It’s so strong that it’s stronger than steel. How much stronger is it? Well, if you have a tube of steel and a tube of FRP with the same dimensions, the FRP will be 7 times stronger than its steel counterpart.

Even aluminum isn’t as strong. When you have 2 tubes of FRP and aluminum, the FRP will be twice as strong as the aluminum.

Lightweight

What the strength of FRP means for your project is that when you need a certain level of strength for a given component, you can then cut down on the weight by using FRP instead of steel or aluminum. Your FRP pipes and tanks will have 1/7 the weight of its steel counterparts, and half that of the weight of the aluminum versions.

When you have parts with lighter weights, you now also enjoy lower shipping costs that can reduce your initial outlay. You can then reduce your manpower requirements, because you don’t need as many people to install the FRP equipment. You also need less expensive equipment to move your FRP products once it’s on-site.

Greater Durability

FRP is stronger and more resistant to corrosion and extreme temperatures. It performs very well when exposed to impact forces. It doesn’t degrade much under high UV exposure. FRP also requires only minimal maintenance.

All these factors basically mean that with FRP, you have products that can last for a very long time. You can then enjoy a longer lifespan for your projects, and in the long run save even more money.

Uses of FRP

FRP can be used for a wide range of products.

  • They can be used for storage tanks, including for hydrocarbon materials like jet fuel. They’re very safe, as the material is strong and resistant to many types of toxins. That’s why they’re often used in chemical plants
  • FRP pipes can be used for water purification, food processing, ship-building, water treatment, sewage treatment, chemical processing, chlorine process plants, and flue gas desulphurization.
  • FRP can be used for process equipment. These include biogas reactors, biofilters, scrubbers, reactors, and vessels.
  • Duct systems can be made with FRP, especially in coal-fired power stations. The fiberglass ducts are much more resistant to high temperatures and corrosion.

Of course, it all depends greatly on where you source your FRP products. You need to make sure that your manufacturer has a long history of reliable production and excellent innovation. At the same time, prices are always relevant as well.

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