Pultruded Products Protect the Environment
by Tencom Ltd.
With the impending fears of climate change, many companies are looking for ways to do their part in helping to create a cleaner and more sustainable planet.
One way to protect the environment across industries and sectors is to start using pultruded products.
From transportation to consumer goods and infrastructure to sports and recreation as well as everything in-between, industries that take advantage of fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites are doing their part to help keep our planet green.
An Environmentally-Friendly Process
Firstly, the process to create pultruded products is far safer for the environment than traditional methods. To manufacture pultruded products, bundles of fiber rovings are pulled through a liquid resin bath. After impregnating the fiber rovings with more resin, the product is then cast into the desired shape and cured.
This process requires significantly less heat than the manufacture of metal materials such as steel or aluminum. That means that it doesn’t need as much water to cool down the machinery.
Water is an invaluable resource that our planet needs to conserve for man's survival. By reducing the amount of water used during the manufacturing process of pultruded products, companies can help protect the planet’s natural water sources.
Secondly, the manufacturing process for creating pultruded products also results in less wasted materials, less pollution, and uses much less energy. From start to finish, the pultrusion process generates far less waste than the production of steel, aluminum, or wood. There are no piles of useless shavings to discard in a landfill.
Factories that manufacture metal products emit massive amounts of toxins such as carbon dioxide and toxic fumes into the atmosphere. This is one of the most dangerous culprits that impact climate change.
The pultrusion process is also more energy-efficient. For manufacturers, this reduces cost on electric bills and other utilities.
Another major issue with climate change is the massive loss of entire ecosystems used to produce wood products. Pultruded products can help cut down on deforestation.
Although some may argue this point, continuing to manufacture products using wood is not sustainable at a commercial level. The devastation that has been done to wildlife and natural habitats cannot be repaired by simply planting new trees.
It takes generations for saplings to grow to maturity, and the effects of deforestation in the modern age have caused many endangered species to go extinct. Besides, wood products are not practical for construction anymore.
Wood easily rots, warps, and decays over time due to corrosion, weather, sun exposure, insects, and other factors. Pultruded products not only reduce deforestation, they also have a longer lifespan than conventional wood products.
The manufacturing process depends on various significant factors to ensure its success. One of these factors is that pultruded profiles are usually designed from composites which are naturally corrosion resistant. This means that they can withstand wide temperature ranges and extreme weather conditions.
This ultimately increases the lifespan of such products compared to the use of aluminum and steel. Manufacturers are now able to stop depending on fossil fuel, and this, in turn, helps preserve the environment.
The “Clean Pultrusion” Process
Taking things a step further, “clean pultrusion” is a real thing. Using pre-impregnated tapes to create FRP composites help to reduce the burden on the environment.
Pultrusion manufacturing makes use of thermoplastics that are easy to recycle and reform into other products.
In the manufacture of products like aluminum and steel, materials which have been used once cannot be recycled or reformed. This is what forms the waste most manufacturing plants produce.
The manufacture of pultruded products has a significant impact on the environment as it reduces the amount of waste that goes into the air during and after production.
Manufacturers and even other industries are increasingly aware and more cautious about the impact of their products on the environment.
Resistant to heat, corrosion, impact, moisture, insects, and everything in-between, pultruded products have a much longer lifespan than traditional materials. FRP composites typically last for over 15 years with little to no maintenance.
Used as utility poles, they will not be downed by strong winds or severe weather. Used as structural support in buildings, they will not succumb to heat damage during a fire. These products will not rust like steel and aluminum, and they do not require chemical coatings as wood does.
In order to make wood products more durable and resistant to moisture, sun exposure, insects, heat, and other damaging environmental factors, a chemical coating must be applied.
These coatings are highly toxic and will seep into the ground when the wood is disposed. This can potentially lead to groundwater contamination.
With longer lifespans, FRP composites won’t be seen filling up landfills or leaching toxic chemicals into the ground like wood.
Recycling is vital, as it has significant benefits when it comes to environment conservation.Many are gradually taking steps to preserve our earth’s ecosystem.
The Lifespan of Pultruded Products
Even though the lifespan of pultruded products is much longer than wood, aluminum, and steel, sometimes these materials need to be reformed into something new.
FRP composite-based materials can be recycled as new products, which helps to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.
Transporting Pultruded Products
Pultruded products are resistant to just about everything and better for the environment.
They are also very lightweight compared to traditional materials. FRP composites can be created in sections that can be easily transported to job sites, assembled, and installed quickly. This will reduce the cost of transportation.
Construction crews will not need several gas-guzzling big-rigs to move tens of thousands of pounds of wood or metal.
Instead, they can use smaller trucks to move the portable pieces of FRP composite materials to the desired location, cutting down on fuel consumption along the way.
Tencom Pultruded Products
As an industry leader in the manufacturing of FRP composite materials over the last decade, Tencom offers a wide range of pultruded products that can be used across residential and commercial industries.
Companies looking for ways to go green can easily do so by using pultruded products. Here at Tencom, we are proud to help save the planet one fence post at a time.
Get in touch with our experts today to learn more about our process, products, and services.