Custom Pultrusions

If you have a custom shape you wish Strongwell to engineer and manufacture, these questions may be helpful to you. Learn more below.

Q:

How do I get a design review and quote for a custom composite profile?

A:

Begin by completing the Custom Pultrusion Checklist on Strongwell’s web site. The Custom Pultrusion Checklist is essential in determining the various requirements of the custom profile you seek based on the end use application the profile will be used in. Strongwell can also help you fill out the checklist by contacting either the Bristol Technical Sales Department at 276.645.8107 or the Chatfield Technical Sales Department at 507.867.1217.

Q:

What is the difference between a “custom shape” and an EXTREN® shape?

A:

EXTREN® is a proprietary product line of common structural shapes made in specific reinforcement design and resin types. EXTREN® shapes have known testing and property information and are already tooled to make specific “stocked” and “non-stocked” items.

Custom shapes are profiles Strongwell has helped to design in which materials such as reinforcements and resins have been altered to achieve certain properties or attributes of the finished profile in a particular application or use. Pultrusions can be customized in one or more ways such as shape, resin matrix, reinforcements and composite design. Customized shapes may have similar properties to EXTREN® or they may have different properties depending on the final profile design for reinforcements, resin type and shape.

Q:

Can pultruded profiles be customized for specific applications where corrosion and/or ultraviolet radiation are a concern?

A:

Yes. Strongwell has a Corrosion Resistance Guide to help you with these types of applications. For customized profiles or specific end-use applications, please contact Strongwell for assistance in the profile design. Various types of resins and surfacing veils can be considered to enhance corrosion protection.

Ultraviolet Radiation (UV) will attack FRP composite profiles. Consideration of the end-use application at the start of the design review process will help to determine the amount of UV protection required in the customized profile. Design elements used to combat UV degradation are resin selection, UV inhibitors added to the resin, synthetic surfacing veils, color and coating materials such as UV stabilized polyurethane based paints and coatings.

Q:

Can I customize the color of a pultruded composite shape?

A:

Yes. Strongwell has a variety of standard color offerings from which to choose. Other colors can be developed with our pigment suppliers and sampled to the customer for approval. Strongwell designs to approximate colors, using the Pantone Color Formula Guide, customer-submitted samples showing desired color, and other sources. When considering color, it is important to note that various types of resins, reinforcements and synthetic veils may affect the final profile color.

Color matching can be done but it takes a significant lead-time and usually results in several attempts to match a color. Cost of color matches are dependant on the color and the estimated amount of engineering and machine time required to achieve the desired or approved color.

Q:

What is the surface quality of a composite profile?

A:

The surface quality of a composite profile can be altered in many ways. Strongwell can alter the surface of the profile by resin type, synthetic veil choice, reinforcement type, profile coating, etc. During the design review process, we will help you to determine the type of surface quality you need for your specific application.

Q:

How do you document and specify visual standards for custom profiles?

A:

Visual specifications are difficult to determine based on a number of possible conditions that could exist with a pultruded composite profile. Strongwell has developed an EXTREN®/custom profile visual specification sheet for documenting the various conditions.

In the absence of specific customer visual specifications, Strongwell quotes and produces to our own visual standard 01.0036.004. This specification is available to Strongwell customers to determine the condition, definition and acceptance level of specific possible defects in the end pultruded composite profile.

Q:

How is tooling handled for custom pultruded profiles?

A:

Strongwell is your one-stop shop for customized profiles and pultrusion tooling. After reviewing the checklist requirements and determining the composite design and specifications, Strongwell will quote the profile and the tooling required to make the profile. Strongwell’s assistance in the design, order placement and implementation of pultrusion tooling makes the ramp-up process less difficult for the customer.

Q:

What if I do not know “all of the particulars” of what I need for a custom profile?

A:

Strongwell is the world’s leading pultruder of fiberglass profiles. We have a number of registered professional structural, composite, civil and mechanical engineers on staff to guide you through the design process. We also have auto-CAD capabilities and technical sales professionals to assist you in your design and application.