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    What is FRP?

    Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) is a composite material technology that is strong, lightweight, corrosion-resistant and maintenance-free. The material consists of fiber reinforcements surrounded by polymer resins.  The fiber reinforcements provide the strength and stiffness to the composite material.  The polymer supports the fibers so they can do their job, and protects the fibers from chemicals and UV radiation.

    What are the benefits of using FRP?

    • Lightweight—FRP materials are 25% the density of steel.  FRP decking is 10% to 20% the weight of reinforced concrete decking, which translates to easy transportation and rapid install.
    • Corrosion-resistant—FRP will not degrade because of factors such as snow, ice, salt, or chemicals. 
    • Maintenance free—FRP products have a service life of roughly 75 years, during which they require no maintenance. In contrast, reinforced concrete surfaces generally begin to degrade after 15 to 20 years, potentially sooner exposed to heavy chemicals or weather.
    • Cost-effective—Due to long service life and zero maintenance costs, FRP products end up costing less than traditional materials. 
    • Design Flexibility – FRP is an engineered material so the structural properties can be optimized to align with the highest loads.

    What are the typical reinforcements?

    The fiber reinforcements provide the strength and stiffness to the composite material.  Fiberglass is the most common reinforcement since it has high strength and good stiffness at a reasonable cost.  When higher stiffness is needed for the best weight savings, carbon fiber is used even though it costs more.

    How are FRP parts made?

    There are many processes for manufacturing FRP parts.  Deciding the right process takes many factors into consideration: size, shape, quantity, production rate, type of fiber and resin, cosmetics, tolerances and cost.  Processes include Pultrusion, Vacuum Infusion, Filament Winding and Hand Layup.

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