(GRP) Glass Reinforced Plastic – also known as ‘Fibreglass’ or GRP
Composites are materials engineered from two or more components with significantly different physical or chemical properties, Specifically Fibreglass broadly known as Glass reinforced plastic composite are a reinforcing fibre in a polymer matrix, most commonly; the reinforcing fibre is fibreglass, although high strength fibres such as aramid and carbon are used in more advanced applications, the polymer matrix is a thermoset resin, with polyester, vinylester, and epoxy resins most often the matrix of choice. Specialized resins uch as, phenolic, polyurethane can also be used.
Fibreglass is an amazingly versatile and adaptable material, and it’s these unique properties which make it suitable for a wide range of product applications. Fibreglass can also offer advantages that are not found in other more conventional constructional materials!
These advantages include…
High degrees of flexibility and the practical uses of Fibreglass are virtually endless, limited only by your imagination! Fibreglass opened up many new avenues for creative designers, its unique physical properties allow it to be easily moulded and manufactured to meet almost any specification, because there are few constraints on size, shape, colour or finish, this great composite medium can deliver great styling and appearance whilst being cost effective, and its this design freedom which is the hallmark of composite achievement, whilst remaining the favored material choice of most architects and designers.
This design freedom and the easiness to mould Fibreglass make it an economical alternative for the manufacture of any component or finished products in any size or quantity, and as the colour is applied in-mould there is no need to paint.
Long Run Economy
Moulded components provide great cost savings over fabrication parts when quantities are sufficient or complex design dictate it.
The lightweight strength of Fibreglass has always made it a popular choice for designers and manufacturers alike, Fibreglass offers distinct advantages for a wide range of products, its reduced weight and minimal maintenance requirements make it attractive on architectural projects, and more industries are discovering the benefits of its versatility, these industries include, construction, leisure, marine, automotive, aerospace, transport, ministry of defence, and many more!
There are virtually no limitations to what can be achieved with fibreglass, the only limitation is you’re imagination, Fibreglass is truly an adaptable and versatile material with a massive scope to be moulded into virtually any shape or breathtaking structures required, and all the time creative architects and designers push the envelope of design possibilities with mind blowing shapes and concepts new innovative manufacturing techniques will be developed to deliver their visions. (Probably at Fibreglass UK).
Fibreglass components are gel-coated in their moulds with a choice of flat, semi-gloss or high gloss colour eliminating the need for painting. In highly corrosive environments gel-coats are much more durable than most paints. Fibreglass products can be manufactured in numerous finishes, textures, and colours, so various surface appearances can also be achieved in the mould, but if the required colour can not be achieved in the mould then the component can be spray painted from a huge choice of standard, metallic , or pan-tone colour’s.
With sheet steel or wood, you get a plain component; Fibreglass components have a sleek contour and a superior moulded appearance complete with required colour.
Bonding in of Fixings & Peripheral Components
During the moulding process big head fastenings and threaded inserts can be located and bonded in, this allows for peripherals like gas struts, hinges, locks, control panels, and other sub-mouldings and components to be fixed precisely and quickly reducing assembly time and cost.
Trimming & Drilling
Most fibreglass mouldings are green trimmed in the mould and receive a light sanding once they have been released from the mould tool, for more precise applications the moulding can be marked with the aid of a jig and then trimmed with a diamond wheel to create a crisp edge to the moulding, other fixing holes may also be required and are also marked with the aid of a jig or the mould is pre-scribed to deliver accurate hole centre’s in the product time and time again, the holes are drilled with either a standard drill bit or a diamond hole cutter depending upon the required hole size.
Corrosion - Environmentally Tough
Fibreglass is non-corrosive and has a much longer life expectancy when compared to a variety of other construction materials, in highly corrosive environments; Fibreglass is the perfect choice over metal, wood, or plastic. A popular choice where exposure to harsh environments is a concern, fibreglass can provide resistance to ultra violet light, extreme temperatures, salt air, and a variety of chemicals, because Fibreglass is chemically inert and corrosion-resistant it offers an economical alternative to stainless steel.
Fibreglass provides superior acoustical properties when compared to plastic or metal, various types of sound deadening material can be laminated in between high strength layers of Fibreglass matt to achieve the preferred level of sound deadening. Fibreglass exhibits a great deal of dimensional stability and the least amount of expansion and / or contraction when compared to other material.
The performance and durability of Fibreglass structures provide an exceedingly long life span, coupled with low maintenance requirements; the longevity of fibreglass is a benefit in critical applications, in a half-century of composite development, well designed fibreglass structures have yet to wear out.
Fibreglass components require very little or no maintenance as they do not rust, rot, or fall to pieces, so if you are tired of costly maintenance associated with repairing or replacing expensive components you now have the answer, Fibreglass.
What We Do
We undertake bespoke one off commissions through to small or large volume production quantities, and due to our continual commitment to cost effective composite solutions and our open minded approach regarding unusual or specialist applications, we will consider almost any project. (Small projects are always very welcome!)
Please feel free to browse through some of our latest GRP work on our gallery page.
Should you have an enquiry concerning GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic also known as Fibreglass) composite and its suitability for your product or project, we would be delighted to hear from you and welcome the opportunity of discussing your requirements, please call our sale team Free on 0800 014 1402 to discuss your requirements further.