About Fibre Reinforced Plastic
Fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) is a composite made of a polymer matrix. The polymer matrix has reinforced fibers that are usually composed of aramid, carbon, or glass. Wood fibers or asbestos have been used for fibre reinforced plastic but not commonly. Fibre reinforced plastic has many different uses and several industries use them including marine, construction, automotive, aerospace and many others. Some types of fibre reinforced plastics are extremely strong such as fiberglass reinforced plastic, and they are among the most durable materials currently available for construction and structural stability.
Fibre Reinforced Plastics Have Many Industry Applications
There are thousands of different industry applications for fibre reinforced plastics. In situations where traditional building materials cannot be used due to harsh conditions, corrosive environments, or other settings in which traditional building materials would deteriorate at a faster rate, fiber reinforced plastics are often used. There are several properties of fiber reinforced plastics that make them excellent in these settings including their durability, light weight, resistance to temperature damage, fast installation, being resistant to corrosion, resistance to impact, high strength to weight ration and more.
There are Several Structural Applications
Fibre reinforced plastics has several structural applications, and they are being used more often in construction because of their versatility and unique properties. They can be used to strengthen columns, slabs, beams and other support structures in bridges and buildings and for manhole covers. Damaged concrete structural members can even be repaired with FRP manhole rings and covers. There are two techniques that can be used to strengthen beams: shear strengthening or flexural strengthening. In some cases just one technique is used, and in other cases both techniques may need to be used. Slabs can be strengthened by adding FRP strips to the bottom (tension) face which improves flexural performance.
Fibre Reinforced Plastics are Improving in Their Environmental Impact
Although some are concerned about the environmental impact of FRPs, they are actually manufactured with better energy efficiency than many other materials and at a lower cost than many other materials. The main concern with FRPs is the fact that plastics can be difficult to recycle because their monomers and polymers cannot be reduced back to their original states. By some estimates, plastics can take anywhere from 500 to 1000 years to decompose, but the true amount of time is not fully known because they simply have not existed long enough. However, production methods have evolved to become more energy efficient, and there may be new materials used for FRPs that are biodegradable or degrade quickly under UV light.