The emergence of composite materials was a great development in the field of material science. One of these materials was GRP (glass reinforced plastic) which was initially used to make cooling towers but when newer fibration techniques, such as GRP pultrusion emerged, mass production ensuring the highest quality in the factory became a reality. Pultrusion is a continuous process for manufacturing composite materials with a constant cross-section. This process works by pulling the material rather than pushing it as other manufacturing processes do.
Construction of the FRP Profiles
GRP pultruded profiles are made from three different resin systems depending on the requirement. These resins systems are:- epoxy, vinyl ester, and polyester. The major application of epoxy profiles is in the electrical and chemical industry while polyester/ vinyl ester profiles are used in consumer/recreational, marine industries.
They can be created in many shapes. These shapes include:-
- Square tubes
- Rectangular tubes
- Round tube
- Round bar
- Ellipse bar
- I beam
- Corner angle
- Hat section
These shapes are very popular among the GRP Pultruded profiles and are used on a large scale.
Advantages of GRP Pultruded Profiles
- They have good strength
- They are generally good electrical and thermal insulators.
- They are flame retardant or self-extinguishing
- They are resistant to chemicals and corrosion
- Good surface for paint or even dyed
- A great deal of construction flexibility
- Unit strength in tension and compression is 20 times that of steel
- Density is about 20% of steel and 60% of aluminum
- Show dielectric properties
- Many individual components can be compiled into a big profile
- Have high resistance to stretch/swelling over a wide variety of temperature and stress.
- They are strong and safe to work with.
Uses of GRP pultruded profiles
They have been used in three major segments:- new products, replacement markets in industrial and non-industrial applications. They have been used in high explosive factories, pulp and paper mills etc and in the railway coach material. The more use of these profiles will be discovered with time and seeing the properties of the material the use will be great in the future with more discovery in how the material could be pultruded.
GRP pultruded profiles are a great innovation to the material science field with its great properties and applications and will be a great addition to society with the increase in knowledge about the product.