There is no doubt that Glass Reinforced Polyester, or GRP, is certainly a beneficial material for use in the construction industry. There is a constant demand to find structural solutions that offer superb versatility with excellent results, with sustainability high on the agenda, too. We’ll be looking specifically at the benefits of GRP over more traditionally-used materials.
Micro-fine strands of woven glass fibres produce a flexible and super-strong fabric which, when moulded and put through the ‘thermoset’ process with additional resins, create a superb structural product ideal for the construction industry among others such as the air, power generation, rail and sea sectors. Delivering a multitude of benefits, GRP presents itself as a financially competitive and highly effective product that is particularly versatile. For more information surrounding what GRP is, see our blog. Let’s have a look at five benefits that GRP offers.
For many industries, finding a structural product that offers reliability and high levels of safety is absolutely vital. Certainly, when finding the right material for grating, handrails and bridges, non-slip treads and properties are crucial; GRP ensures the safety of users, and delivers life-long results. In fact, when incorporated into structural products, the lifespan of GRP is over 75 years – often without maintenance. You’ve also got peace of mind knowing that GRP meets all EuroCodes and British Standards requirements.
With the Environment and Social Governance of companies in the construction industry, and local authorities being scrutinised more heavily the sustainability of materials is called into question as well as whether they are financially competitive. With wood preservatives frequently being detrimental to the environment, not to mention dangerous for animals and plants, GRP uses recycled plastic, plus it doesn’t compact soil; ensuring the safety of the nutrients required by the surrounding trees and vegetation.
For the structural industry, we recognise the importance of finding materials that look good. It’s often a real struggle to find the right materials that are aesthetically pleasing, yet deliver the results needed; one of the most attractive qualities of GRP is that it’s attractive! For Plura, when using GRP with our bridging construction, we are able to achieve the look of real wood. Incorporating GRP means that the end result is like natural timber which effectively blends into the natural environment too, without the higher costs and industrial downsides that can result in traditionally more costly materials.
GRP is a great material that is easily moulded into different applications for a variety of industries. A great benefit is that it can be created to be fire retardant if needed; GRP burns like wood, but doesn’t melt so if used in an enclosed electrical space, it can be effective. Plus, it offers great insulation for both heat and sound. GRP is used in our POLYbridge™ and POLYwalk™ materials, and thanks to its long-lasting properties, it won’t rot, warp or twist as others may do when exposed to the sun’s rays. In addition, with it being lightweight, this means that it’s quicker to install too.
With GRP being especially long-lasting, it’s also great to know that it can still have a life after its use. When it’s no longer needed, GRP can be easily recycled; making its cost per use even more financially effective, not to mention its benefits to the environment. Reliability is a key demand for so many industries, and with safety and sustainability being high on the request list by contractors, developers and local authorities, GRP is a truly life-long structural product that delivers on multiple levels.
For Plura, our use of structural GRP with a recycled bottle core in our POLYdeck™ product means that we can provide a wealth of benefits to a variety of industries. Through our POLYbridges™ and POLYboardwalks™, our valued clients are able to see real results when incorporating them into a natural environment. We create a range of products, and in particular, our decking planks with GRP incorporated means that we can deliver ultimate slip resistance without costly maintenance that other materials frequently experience. Through the installation of our POLYbridge™ products with GRP, our clients have the benefit of having a sustainable solution for beams and cross members.
When it comes to our POLYplank™ products, these are manufactured from structural GRP that has a recycled bottle core. A great benefit is that unlike other 100% recycled plastic materials, this product doesn’t deform or deflect and as it’s not possible to distinguish it from other more traditional and costly materials; it’s a highly useful structural product, which is also available in a variety of wood colours; resulting in a superior choice for the industry going forward.