What is glass fiber reinforced plastic?

Posted by ei2Aevai on December 15th, 2020

In an age when conventional glass and plastic will soon be a thing of the past, attention has turned to the use of fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) or sometimes known as glass reinforced plastic. Basically, FRP is a fiber-reinforced polymer made of a plastic matrix reinforced by fine glass fibers. The plastic matrix can be epoxy (a thermosetting plastic) or thermoplastic. FRP is a very light and extremely strong material and its capabilities have often been compared to those of carbon fiber. Although it is somewhat less rigid compared to carbon fiber, it is also much less brittle and the raw materials are considerably cheaper. FRP is more favored over conventional metal primarily due to its weight and bulk strength, and also its shape-shifting capabilities during the molding process. FRP is widely used to build the main structure of boats, tanks, vessels, pipes and also conduits.

FRP grating is produced using a combination of fiberglass reinforcements and other thermosetting resins. This composite material has been touted as a material for the future, replacing conventional materials such as alloys and metals. FRP gratings do not frp panels like conventional steel gratings and are therefore a perfect candidate for corrosive environments. This is what makes FRP gratings stand out from other composite materials. FRP gratings also possess a high strength-to-weight ratio and are therefore generally impact resistant. Besides that, they have a long service life and require little or no maintenance.

Due to its resistance to corrosion, FRP has been used to construct vessels and tanks to house reactive and corrosive chemicals. Like any other compound, FRP also undergoes an oxidation process, where the surface becomes opaque and the color fades. FRP scrubbers are generally used to clean fluids from the surface to prevent oxidation. In air pollution control technology, there are generally 3 main types of FRP scrubbers. Dry media scrubbers involve a dry solid medium suspended in the middle of the tank to control the concentration of a contaminant in the incoming gas through absorption and adsorption. Wet scrubbers soak contaminated fluids with a scrubber concentrate. Due to the increased contact with the contents, these containers must be designed with stricter criteria. Biological scrubbers are structurally similar to wet scrubbers. This medium is designed to stimulate the growth of bacteria by spraying the container with water filled with nutrients to stimulate the growth of bacteria. With biological scrubbers, it is actually bacteria that clean the contaminants. A general limitation of FRP vessels and scrubbers would be their temperature limits. FRP is not designed to withstand high temperatures and the limit depends on the resin used to make the composite.

FRP is also used as a raw material to construct pipes and conduits due to its corrosion resistance characteristics. These pipes and conduits generally carry corrosive substances, so using FRP gratings would be a good choice. FRP is also easy to mold into different shapes during its molding process, proving to be a perfect candidate material for pipes and ducts. FRP also does not conduct electricity compared to alloys and metals. FRP's strength-to-weight ratio also makes it a smarter alternative for pipes and ducts that sometimes go through significant loads. However, due to its brittle nature, FRP can only withstand a certain amount of tensile stress before breaking.

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