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What is FRP?

What is FRP? FRP stands for “Fibre Reinforced Polymer”.  Wood is a naturally occurring FRP.  Most people in the industry understand FRP to mean fibreglass, which is strictly GRP, a narrower term meaning ‘Glass Reinforced Polyester’. FRP is becoming more widely used, as it encompasses a wider range of materials, such as carbon, cellulose and Kevlar, which take it into the modern era of composites.

Fibre reinforcement greatly increases the tensile and flexural strengths of plastics, to a point where metal is seriously challenged.  The tipping point is usually the lighter weight and superior fatigue resistance of the composite item compared to its metal counterpart, even though it is usually more expensive.  It also has other benefits, which the Military find especially useful.

However, this represents a smaller slice of the market than fibreglass, which is still in high demand because of its low cost and superior chemical resistance compared to metal. Therefore, FRP industrial floor grating is common, along with marina decking, boats, canoes and kayaks, surfboards, pressure vessels, ducting, wall lining and so on.

what is FRP
FRP Stage Flooring at MCG

FRP had to initially overcome the poor bond between the fibre and plastic, when delamination and premature failure were early obstacles.  These are covered now by increasingly sophisticated bonding agents which are compatible with both the fibre and the polymer being used.  This has also greatly increased the range of plastics which can be reinforced, as many of these naturally resist bonding.  Slippery materials such as PTFE (Teflon) and Polyethylenes can now be used to combine their unique properties with fibre reinforcement, to create new breed of composites for an expanding market.

Read more about PolySource’s Industrial FRP Flooring