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How FRP is Used for Construction

FRP is not a single material type, but rather a broader category of performance composites that combine a polymer with fiber reinforcement. There are multiple methods for producing Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (FRP). The manufacturing technique depends on factors such as desired function, size, aesthetic concerns and order quantity.

The materials used in construction are key to any structure's success and longevity. With so many innovative options on the market, optimal material selection is not always straightforward. Choosing the right materials requires careful analysis of the project parameters, environmental considerations and budgetary constraints. More and more, combined consideration of these factors leads architects and builders to newer innovative materials, such as composites.

Composite materials have grown in popularity because they offer both the performance of conventional building materials with additional key benefits. For instance, FRP composites in particular, offer an optimal strength-to-weight ratio alongside superior durability, corrosion resistance and affordability.

FRP is composed of a protective polymer reinforced with high-strength fiberglass. Together, these materials create a premium composite with many potential construction applications. FRP outperforms wood and concrete for bridges, pedestrian pathways and other structures, while holding up to decades of wear and tear.

CCG's FRP products are available in easy-to-install, maintenance-free fabrications, making them ideal for simplifying construction projects.

How FRP Compares to Conventional Materials

Extremely versatile by nature, FRP can replace wood, metal, concrete, or plastic in a variety of building applications. Each of these conventional materials has significant drawbacks that FRP manages to overcome.

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For instance, wood is prone to rotting under damp conditions, while FRP is not. Even the most corrosion-resistant steel will eventually rust under prolonged exposure to moisture or other corrosive conditions, while FRP doesn’t corrode. FRP is the smart choice when building in harsh or demanding environments. Its long service life often lends FRP as the ideal choice for standard building projects as well.

Advantages of FRP in Construction

FRP features numerous unique properties to consider during the material selection process.

  • Corrosion resistance. The corrosion-resistant polymers in FRP hold up to salt and chemical exposure. This allows FRP to last for decades in settings ranging from sea-side walkways to rail platforms.
  • Cost-efficiency. Renowned for its affordable installation, FRP also provides incredible value thanks to its unmatched longevity. An FRP structure can go up to 75 years with little or no maintenance, drastically reducing the overall cost of a construction project and generating more long-term economies of scale.
  • Strength-to-weight ratio. At just 10–20% the weight of reinforced concrete decking, FRP panels are lightweight yet strong enough to withstand high foot traffic, motor traffic and high static loads.
  • Ease of installation. The lightweight nature of FRP also facilitates construction. Combined with Composite Advantage's prefabricated options, FRP's weight makes it one of the easiest and cheapest materials to install on-site.
  • Safety. FRP is an excellent choice for structures that will experience pedestrian traffic. The non-slip surface is safer than metal or concrete, which can become slick when wet.
  • Design flexibility. FRP can be engineered to meet almost any construction parameters, including custom dimensions and specific load-bearing capabilities.

Together, these advantages make FRP the smartest choice for projects ranging from bridge paneling to industrial flooring.

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Creative Composites Group FRP Products for Construction

Due to its range of beneficial properties, contractors use FRP in a variety of settings. Creative Composites Group's full product line of FRP panels are commonly used within:

  • Access and safety structures. FRP's non-slip, durable surface makes it an ideal material for building safer access platforms, catwalks, stairs and railings.
  • Pedestrian bridge decking. FRP can be designed with a non-slip texture making it well-suited for pedestrian bridges. FRP is lightweight yet sturdy, with a slight give that makes it a more comfortable walking surface than concrete.
  • Vehicular bridge decking. Even at a fraction of the weight of concrete, sturdy FRP bridge deck panels will withstand heavy dynamic loads from motor traffic.
  • Rail platforms. FRP rail platforms are highly corrosion-resistant and better withstand frequent exposure to adverse weather and corrosive deicing chemicals than comparable construction materials.
  • Tanks and piping. Low weight and high corrosion resistance make FRP composites an ideal material for many industrial applications, including processing tanks and pipes.
  • Balconies. Pre-fabricated balconies are affordable and easy to install, yet they promise decades of slip-free performance under even heavy foot traffic.
  • Architectural details. FRP is easily color matched to existing facades, making it a great candidate for exterior building design features. FRP may be especially useful on exposed detailing, doubling as a protective, weather-resistant element.

These examples represent only a fraction of relevant use cases for FRP and FiberSPAN. For applications not listed, Creative Composites Group will work with you to identify a material that matches your specifications and budget.

Contact Creative Composites Group for Premium Construction Materials

Architects and construction engineers need innovative materials that can reduce installation time and cost without sacrificing performance. Creative Composites Group's products leverage the light weight and durability of FRP materials to yield panels that perform for 75 years or more. To see how fiber-reinforced panels can improve your design or structure, contact us or request a quote today.