Pultrusion for Residential Construction
by Tencom Ltd.
The materials for residential construction differ from those used in commercial buildings. Even though residential communities don’t typically have skyscrapers, builders, developers and managers are increasingly turning to pultruded products for their residential projects.
Pultruded products provide high-strength, durable solutions, that will outlast and outperform traditional materials for years to come.
According to a report by the European Pultrusion Technology Association (EPTA), more architects, engineers and builders are discovering the benefits of pultrusion and are finding ways to incorporate such products in residential housing markets.
The report goes on to say that pultruded products are increasingly being used in window and door systems, exterior trim, decking, pergolas, as well as columns and fencing.
All of these products are able to withstand the stress of being outside and the unrelenting weather elements.
Exposure to the sun and elements like wind, heavy rain, snow, dust, dirt, and insects can wreak havoc on traditional building materials such as wood, iron and even steel.
So, pultruded products — which are lightweight, durable and cost-effective — are ideally suited for residential construction projects.
Using the most advanced methods of manufacturing, Tencom creates a wide range of pultruded fiberglass products that have longer lifespans and lower maintenance costs. To download our capabilities and information guide, click here.
What Is Pultruded Fiberglass?
As a composite material made of fiberglass and polyester resin, pultruded products are built from fibers that have been reinforced. The process is simpler than one might think.
Bundled fibers are reinforced by pulling them through a liquid resin bath. Once the curing process is complete, the result is a lightweight material with higher tensile strength.
The pultrusion process is highly customizable. Pultruded products can be manufactured in various lengths, shapes, sizes, and even colors. Pigments may be added during the process to create different colors and patterns.
No painting is involved which means that the design and colors will last much longer. There will be no need for annual touch-up paint jobs because the color is actually infused with the fiberglass material.
Additional features besides color can also be added during the pultrusion process. Fiber reinforced polymers (FRPs) can be made to be flame-retardant, UV-resistant, track-resistant, corrosion-resistant, and even resistant to extreme temperature changes.
Similar to the coloring method, these added features are fused with the products during the manufacturing process. This means that adding chemical coatings after-the-fact is unnecessary.
The Benefits of Using Pultruded Fiberglass in Residential Construction
Having a higher tensile strength and being lightweight are not the only benefits of using pultruded products in residential construction projects. Other benefits include resiliency, versatility, and low maintenance costs.
Pultruded fiberglass products are non-conductive, which means that they are far more heat resistant than conventional materials like wood, aluminum, and steel. Wood, as is commonly known, is highly flammable.
With a simple spark, wood products can quickly become engulfed in flames and completely disintegrate within a matter of minutes.
In an attempt to make wood a bit more resistant to high heat, chemical coatings may be applied. The major downside to this is that these coatings are highly toxic to the environment once the wood is discarded.
Wood will always decompose, which means that those toxins from the protective coating will leech into the ground and pollute the earth.
This can all be avoided with pultruded products. Completely flame-retardant, these building pieces can withstand the heat of a fire without the addition of toxic coatings.
Another factor making pultruded products more resilient is its ability to withstand weather conditions of all sorts. Ultra-violet rays from prolonged sun exposure can cause conventional building materials to deteriorate over time. Again, chemical coatings can be applied to slow this process down, but these coatings are still toxic and the materials will eventually decay.
Pultruded products that sit out in the sun like fence posts, golf flag poles, and tree markers will be able to do their jobs efficiently for many years without wear and tear.
Corrosion is another issue than traditional building materials face. Exposure to harsh winds, rain, snow, dust, dirt, and insects can cause wood and metal products to deteriorate prematurely.
Pultruded fiberglass products will not fail under these conditions. In fact, such products will outlast almost all other types of building materials.
As for versatility, these lightweight products can be manufactured in a variety of sizes and shapes to complete any type of residential construction project. Poles can be created in smaller sections, easily transported to the site, and put together to make one longer standing pole.
Pultruded materials also require fewer metal brackets for construction and are easier to install than wood or metal. This is because they can be slotted, chamfered, butted, pointed, and even rounded during the manufacturing process.
They are about 30% lighter than aluminum and 70% lighter than steel, which makes it much easier to transport these products to job sites.
While wood or metal may seem like cheaper options initially, this isn’t the case in the long run. Pultruded products have a much longer lifespan and do not require all the maintenance of wood and metal.
You won’t have to spend extra money on special heat- and UV-resistant coating. You won’t have to bring out painters every year or so for touch-ups, and you won’t have to replace sections that have been eaten by insects or corroded by the weather elements.
At the end of the day, pultruded products are low maintenance and can last for up to 15 years with little to no maintenance. This plays a significant role in making the overall cost more affordable.
Trusting Tencom for Your Pultruded Product Needs
For the last 22 years, Tencom has been an industry leader in the manufacturing of pultruded fiberglass products. Offering a variety of products that can be used in residential construction, we can create electric fence poles and supports, high jump poles and crossbars, tree stakes and driveway markers, golf flag poles, and window reinforcements for your next project.
If you need help coming up with specific designs, our experts can assist you with a custom FRP profile. You can choose everything from colors and shapes to weight, flexibility, and tensile strength.
For more information about using pultruded products in residential construction, get in touch with us today.