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The material allows for considerable flexibility is term of design. FRP can be field –fabricated using simple carpenter’s tool’s with carbon and diamond tip blades. No torches or welding are required. The light weight of the material allows for easier transport and installation. In contrast steel often requires special equipment to erect and installed.
Fiberglass products have a hard finish. the gelcoat which covers and colours finished fiberglass products can be tailored to provide greater hardness or more resilence.
While stainless steel has a lower initial material cost than fiber reinforced plastic, FRP has lower installation and maintenance allowing for lower life cycle cost overall. Wood is cheaper but also much more susceptible to degradation, causing high maintenance cost. Aluminum is comparable in price to fiberglass polymer.
FRP is upto 3.3times as rigid as timber and will not permanently deform under working load. The modulus of elasticity is 2.8*106 psi.
FRP will not permenantly deform or break under impact like traditional building materials. The glass mat in pultruded parts distributes impact load to prevent surface damage, even in subzero temperatures.
FRP resists a broad range of chemicals and is unaffected by moister or immersion in water, making it ideal as protective covering for surfaces where chemical spillages might occur. it also resists insect damage. Steel and aluminium are subject to oxidation and corrosions. They require painting or galvanizing for many applications. Even concrete is subject to water damage. Wood can wrap, rot and decay when exposed to moister, water and chemicals. Wood is also very susceptible to attacks from insects like turmites and marine borers.
FRP has greater flexural strength than timber and pound [-for-pound is often stronger than steel and aluminium in the lengthwise direction. Ultimate flexural strength is LW-30000 psi and CW-15000psi.
FRP is only 2/3 the weight of aluminums and ¼ the weight of steel. This makes the material much easier to lift for installation or repairs. Leading to lower maintenance and installation costs.
Scince fiber reinforced polymer components are molded, color can be molded straight through the part. For more traditional materials, combination of paints, stains and coatings must be used and will require periodic reapplication. Wide range of colors are available.
FRP is nonconductive and has a high dielectric capability while metals like steel and aluminium conduct electricity and most be grounded. Even tiler can be conductive when wet.
FRP is good insulator with low thermal conductivity. Unlike metals like steel and aluminium which conduct heat, FRP maintains a constant temperature and are always cool to touch. FRP resistance to heat and corrosion makes it successful even in humid, swampy conditions.
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