The Premiere of a Fiberglass Grating Manual Standard

FRP-Composites-Grating-Manual_CoverwpACMA, an American National Standards (ANS) developer, recently released a new fiberglass Grating Manual Standard to educate engineers, designers, and end-users about the properties, performance and uses of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) grating throughout diverse industries. FRP composite grating is manufactured through a matrix system of combining fiberglass and resin. Its applications can range from industrial flooring to aesthetic building coverings, to ship applications, making it a preferred material over steel in corrosive environments. A copy of this standard can be purchased by contacting cct@acmanet.org.

Gregory Bond, P.E., Structural Engineer at Strongwell – Chatfield, serves as one of the members of ACMA’s Fiberglass Grating Manufacturers Council. Below is an interview conducted by the ACMA in May 2014 to learn more about the new standard.

What is the most significant aspect of the Fiberglass Grating Manual Standard and how will this help open and expand markets?

Bond: The manual informs engineers and users of the capabilities of FRP grating. FRP grating can carry loads similar to steel grating and has the ability to function much better in corrosive environments when compared to steel grating. The benefits to the public that will result from this standard include: 1) an ANSI standard to which engineers and designers can confidently specify fiberglass grating, and 2) faster adoption of fiberglass grating into the model building codes as a traditional building material.

Why is the standard needed?

Bond: The standard is needed to communicate to engineers, contractors, and owners that FRP grating is a viable alternative to steel grating and is actually the better choice in many applications. The availability and ease of installation should alleviate concerns about using a “premium” product.

As a leading grating manufacturer, how does this standard help your company?

Bond: The standard increases the awareness of FRP grating and its suitability in a wide range of markets beyond wastewater treatment plants, water parks and chemical plants. The availability and ease of installation detailed in the standard should improve the reception by design engineers, contractors, code officials and owners.

The FGMC recently established booth space at the AIA Composites Pavilion: How important will that booth be for the committee and for the industry?

Bond: I believe the presence of the Composites Pavilion within the AIA Convention is an incredible opportunity for FGMC. We could not have asked for a better platform for the announcement of the completion of the Fiberglass Grating Manual. The pavilion will attract composite material designers, fabricators and suppliers to a centralized location and expose fiberglass gratings to attendees that may not be familiar with composites. This audience is essential to the acceptance of composites as a traditional building material.