custom fiberglass pultrusion

What is Pultrusion & What is It Used For?

What’s Pultrusion? 

Pultrusion is a manufacturing process for converting reinforced fibers and liquid resin into a fiber-reinforced plastic, also known as fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP).  

The pultrusion process allows continuous production of FRP structural shapes in an automated, energy-efficient process by pulling fiberglass rovings through a resin bath or resin impregnator that completely saturate the reinforcements. The resin hardens from the heated steel pultrusion die, resulting in a strong, lightweight final product that follows the shape of the die.

tencom pultrusion process

Pultrusion Process

Pultrusion machine design can vary as part geometry can differ. The two main types of pulling systems used to create FRP profiles are reciprocating (hand-over-hand) and continuous (cat-track).

The rovings of fiber reinforcements are positioned by the creels for continuous feeding onto the guide plate. To ensure strength and quality, the fiber reinforcements must be positioned accurately within the finished composite.

The resin impregnator is optimally designed to completely saturate the fiber reinforcements in a resin bath or wet out that consists of either epoxy, polyurethane,  polyester or vinyl ester. Fillers and other additives such as colors, fire inhibitors and UV retardants can be included to improve the lasting performance of the composite.  

As the reinforcements exit the resin impregnator, they’re passed through “pre former” tools, designed to squeeze out surplus resin and organize the fiber reinforcements into the correct shape. During this process, additives such as continuous strand materials and protective surface veils are often included to improve the structure, resistance to corrosion and finish of the final product. 

After this process, the resin impregnated fiber passes through the steel die for polymerization. The die is heated at a consistent temperature to cure the thermosetting resin, resulting in a solidified polymer.            

 The hardened FRP is then pulled towards the saw by the pulling system for accurate cutting to the desired length. The pull locks are custom made of urethane to ensure cured profiles aren’t cracked, distorted or deformed by the pulling system. 

Products manufactured under this technology are widely used in the following industries:

  • In the agriculture and chemical industries for manufacturing of chemically resistant to aggressive media slatted floors with enhanced strength characteristics used in the construction of livestock facilities, chemical plants, etc.;
  • in the construction industry for the production of glass-fiber reinforcement, profiles, carcasses, stiffening bars for PVC-windows, etc.;
  • in the aerospace industry for manufacturing of structure components of aircraft;
  • in the sports and tourism industries for manufacturing of equipment exhibiting enhanced strength properties: skis, ski poles, golf course flagsticks, tent and hovel constructions, etc.;
  • in electrical power engineering for manufacturing of dielectric structures, fiberglass rods used in composite insulators and as supporting structures for elements of signaling blocks, and fiberglass profiles used in manufacturing of transformers and electric motors;
  • in commercial production, using grains of long-fiber molding material (LLM) as a raw material for subsequent manufacturing of structures and products with enhanced strength and chemical properties;
  • in the automotive industry for the production of structural and complex parts of the vehicles with enhanced stiffness, rigidity and lightness;
  • and in many other industries and plants, using mechanisms, structures and materials, which meet high standards of chemical, dielectric and strength stability.

pultrusion capabilities guide

Request a Quote