Since its’ founding, the Composite Advantage vision has been to see fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites receive the same level of acceptance as a construction material that traditional products like steel, concrete and wood enjoy. It takes decades for a new technology to evolve into a standard material. It takes development, education, demonstrations, industry standards, lots of lessons learned, and enough practitioners to push it from being employed by a relative handful of specialists to mainstream companies and people in industry. A prime example is the repair work that is being done with FRP for pier pilings. Marine general contractors have taken over the task from the original FRP suppliers and are running full speed ahead with it. Specialty moves to mainstream.
I was very pleased to see another sign of the acceptance of FRP this past weekend while Christmas shopping online. I was on the website of one of the big do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvement stores [the one in blue] shopping for a present for my dad. And I came across an entire category called FRP panels. I was thrilled to see the FRP industry’s material listed just like wood and concrete. There were multiple listings for FRP panels in various thicknesses, sizes and finishes. My next tab search was on the competing [orange] home improvement website. They also had similar listings of FRP panels. This means that there is real consumer demand for these FRP products. Shelf space and online listings at these major stores is extremely valuable and competitive. Being there means that FRP is making those inroads that the composite industry has been working towards for years. One day, FRP will be a traditional material.
Best wishes on your Christmas shopping.