FRP or fibre-reinforced plastic is today one of the most preferred structural component. Its toughness and longevity are the reasons it is preferred over its alternatives. As a synthetically manufactured component, FRP was designed to counter the disadvantages of traditional components like timber, steel, and concrete. It was specifically designed to meet a range of environmental conditions.
FRPs are used in many ways today — from pipes, cable trays, pultruded sections, roofing sheets to FRP gratings India. There are different types of FRPs, categorised according to its composition. The FRP composition will also decide how it will withstand various conditions. One must keep in mind the ultimate function of the product before choosing a type. Some have superior resistance to electricity, while some to chemicals.
Industries were FRP is commonly used
In many small and big ways FRP is slowly replacing many of the traditional structural materials. The thermal insulation provided by FRP, coupled with its durability is why it finds such wide acceptance. Its lightweight property is also an attractive quality, especially where installation can get tricky. FRP construction materials like gratings can be built in advance, saving both time and money. Its usage in the construction industries are obvious. But here are some other industries where FRP is commonly used:
Beverage industry: The beverage industry which includes soft drinks and breweries need material that can withstand moisture and chemicals. Bottling lines, casing and even grates often see splashes of liquid. This liquid which contains either chemicals or bioactivity can be quite corrosive over time. The other requirement we have here is strength. We need a material that is strong enough to carry litres filled in heavy glass bottles. FRP satisfies both the conditions.
Chemical industry: Chemicals can make a hostile environment for most structural materials. Not only will many chemicals slowly corrode the material, there is also the problem of slippage. Concrete is the other viable material that is both anti-spillage and resistant to most chemicals. However, concrete takes time to set and is too heavy for movable or overhead installations. FRP is a lighter and often, stronger alternative. It is also remarkably resistant to corrosion by most chemicals. It is used to make railings, pipes and FRP gratings India in chemical factories.
Food industry: In the food industry we deal with a surprisingly large number of corrosives, from blood to preservative chemicals. We also often deal with spillage. We need a material that can withstand all such conditions. FRP does not react to most food additives and components. It is also very easy to clean — an important criteria in an industry where hygiene and cleanliness are critical.
Mining and metallurgy: FRP is almost the only viable element in some areas in both mining and metallurgy. Its resistance to chemicals is again an important factor. But it is another important property — thermal resistance — that is equally important. In refining areas where we deal with both chemicals and electricity, FRP products like gratings are the only option used today. It is also strong enough to withstand any heavy operational wear and tear of heavy industry like mining.
Automotive: The automotive industry cannot survive without FRP today. In many ways FRP is absolutely tailor-made for this industry. Resistance to chemicals means that it does not react to fuel spillage. Its thermal resistance is also important for the modern car which runs almost entirely on a embedded electronics.
But most importantly, FRP has a high strength to weight ratio. In effect it means that FRP is incredibly strong without being heavy. This is a critical factor for cars because it means we can build lighter cars. This reduces the pressure on engines and gives us more mileage. It also helps us to make faster and more efficient cars.
Marine industry: From the docks to the ship, FRP is used everywhere in the marine industry. The reason is the material’s resistance to saltwater. Seawater is a very hostile environment which eventually takes a toll on almost everything. FRP not only manages such conditions, it is also lighter. This makes it convenient for marine installations like docks, gangways and bridges. FRP grating is commonly used in such cases because of the ease of handling the material.