A Guide to Combining Fiberglass Solutions with Traditional Materials
Traditional building materials are traditional for a reason. Brick, concrete, steel, wood, and so on, hold an enduring place in construction because they are tried-and-trusted over decades–if not centuries. Yet rarely are these materials used in isolation. Concrete is often poured over steel reinforcements. Brick walls are often topped with wooden roof trusses. Since the 1950s, fiberglass solutions have joined this proverbial mix and have been increasingly adopted in architectural applications ever since. Why? Fiberglass structural composites offer unique properties that often outperform those of conventional materials. In this blog post, we will look at when you might combine fiberglass solutions with traditional materials.
What are the Benefits of Fiberglass Solutions?
Composite materials like fiberglass-reinforced plastics or polymers (FRP) solutions are used widely in harsh environments across various industries, namely automotive, gas and oil, chemical, and construction, because of their outstanding properties. FRP has high tensile strength and resists corrosion, keeping materials free from rot, rust, and moisture damage. Other notable benefits include the following:
- Can be molded or pultruded into specific shapes
- Easy to install, maintain, and transport
- Good electrical insulation
- High thermal conductivity
- High-temperature resistance
- Resistant to biological and chemical factors
Why is Fiberglass Combined with Traditional Materials?
There is a vast choice of materials available for construction projects, from stainless steel to wood, brick to fiberglass, with many having distinct advantages over others. Fiberglass boasts numerous properties suitable for withstanding harsh conditions that cause other materials to rot, rust, and lose their strength. What if we combine fiberglass with traditional construction materials?
Materials such as steel, aluminum, wood, and concrete can be combined with fiberglass solutions to enhance structural integrity and offer high-strength, durable construction. In the following section, we will look at examples of combinations that significantly impact their applications.
Strongwell’s Fiberglass Products
Strongwell is the recognized world leader in fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) products produced by pultrusion. We manufacture high-quality FRP products with outstanding strength and low conductivity, among many other significant qualities. Before reviewing a couple of case studies, take a look at some of the products we offer.
Building panels constructed with fiberglass are low maintenance, lightweight, and can withstand extreme weather conditions. Aside from their properties, FRP building panels offer high aesthetic appeal, unlike some traditional materials.
Fiberglass is used in our SAFPLANK® and SAFDECK® decking systems because they are low maintenance and suitable for high-moisture environments.
Under our DURADEK®, DURAGRID® and DURAGRATE® labels, we provide pultruded and molded fiberglass grating products that are ideal for large walking platforms in challenging environments.
To replace traditional materials such as metal, timber, and wood, Strongwell’s EXTREN® pultruded fiberglass structural shapes and plate provide outstanding strength, durability, and corrosion resistance.
If your application could benefit from a fiberglass composite, but you can’t see an example on our site, talk to us about your requirements. We can offer custom products in composite design, reinforcements, resin matrix, and shape to manufacture precisely what you need.
Strongwell Case Studies
In the case studies below, we highlight how fiberglass solutions can be used in combination with traditional materials to make the best out of a project. Traditional materials still have specific uses, so it isn’t time to completely replace them. However, when strength and elemental resistance are required, fiberglass is vital in protecting structures from damage while offering low maintenance.
Case Study 1: Flying Eagles Ski Club
The Flying Eagles Ski Club wanted to replace its previous 40-meter ski jump with something bigger and better. The constant thermal cycling of wood, slip hazards from snow buildup, and continuous maintenance impacted the old structure. We combated these issues by designing a new 55-meter jump with a combination of steel, concrete, and composites, using Strongwell’s SAFDECK® decking panels and DURAGRATE® molded grating and stair treads. The structure is now supported by slip resistance, as the snow melts or moves through the openings in the material, and enhanced strength and corrosion resistance.
Case Study 2: San Diego Apartment Complex
An apartment complex near a beach in San Diego, California, was revamped and revitalized to offer luxurious accommodations and a range of amenities. Previously, the area suffered from high levels of UV exposure and corrosion, and heavy-weight materials were an issue. By using Strongwell’s EXTREN® fiberglass structural materials, they could implement an outdoor area with a brick oven and FRP floating planters that were resistant to environmental impacts and easy to install.
If your projects could benefit from combining traditional materials and fiberglass solutions, contact us today for more information.