Why Does Pultrusion Offer Superior Advantages?
Pultrusion is a process for converting reinforced fibers and resin into fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP). The resulting FRP is tough, light, and extremely versatile.
If you’d like to learn more about the process of making FRP, you can read our guide here. On this page, we’ll explain why pultruded fiberglass is important, and what it can do for your manufacturing processes.
Unlike most FRP molders, Tencom uses a pultrusion process to manufacture FRP components. This is important, because it means we can use many more resins and reinforcements, each adding unique and desirable properties to the final product.
Through pultrusion, Tencom can deliver:
- Stronger and more reinforced components, with greater tension strength and rigidity than you’ll find in regular FRP molded products
- Profile shapes that can’t be achieved through regular FRP processes
- Larger products (owing to the fact that pultrusion creates a continuous flow of FRP).
Ultimately, through Tencom you get a superior strength and precisely tailored product which better meets your design criteria. To learn more about our high-quality fiberglass pultrusion manufacturing methods, you can read our custom fiberglass pultrusion page.
The Unique Properties of Pultruded Fiberglass
A few crucial attributes make FRP unique and valuable as a manufacturing material.
Fiberglass FRP is Light and Strong
Pultruded fiberglass is a lightweight material, weighing around 30 percent less than aluminum and 70 percent less than steel. However, it can also be comparable in strength to steel and is significantly less prone to deformation under impact than commonly-used metallic manufacturing materials.
The combined lightness and strength of FRP delivers obvious manufacturing advantages for a wide range of products. This attribute also means that working with the pultruded products is frequently safer, and will require less heavy equipment than would typically be required for manufacturing materials like steel or wood.
It Won’t Conduct Heat or Electricity
Fiberglass FRP is an ideal material for creating a protective barrier between hot or electrically charged components and the end user. Steel and aluminum will readily conduct both heat and electricity. Pultruded fiberglass will not.
Pultruded fiberglass therefore has a wide range of applications for making products safer to handle, including protective sheathing for metallic components, tool handles or component casings.
Fiberglass FRP is Corrosion Resistant
Pultruded fiberglass won’t rot. Nor will it be compromised by invasive pests or gradually degrade when exposed to moisture, temperature extremes or UV radiation from the sun. Its extreme resilience makes pultruded fiberglass ideal for outdoor applications, particularly where the material is likely to be in direct contact with the elements.
Another clear win from using FRP is that it requires far less maintenance than organic materials like wood or rust-prone materials like iron or steel.
It’s Extremely Versatile
Fiberglass FRP is one of the most versatile manufacturing materials. It can be fabricated into a vast array of shapes and profiles including tubing, rods, sheets and customized shapes. Moreover, this shaping can be done inexpensively in comparison to wood, aluminum or steel. This versatility means FRP is often a superior choice for highly-customized or intricate components.
Using custom dies, Tencom can create profile shapes of almost any configuration, and can work with you to build components with specifications that precisely fit your design concept. We can greatly extend your manufacturing reach with new possibilities for industrial design.
It Helps You Solve Design Problems
When you combine all these properties into one material, you’re left with a product that solves design problems. Most manufacturing materials offer a “trade off” between desirable properties such as weight, strength, corrosion resistance or non-conductivity. Fiberglass FRP delivers a blend of these properties.
Applications of Pultruded Fiberglass
Owing to its unique properties, pultruded fiberglass opens up a wide range of design and manufacturing possibilities.
Here’s just a few examples:
Pultruded fiberglass isn’t just strong. It’s also highly resistant to deformation from repeated impacts and flexible enough to endure constant bending and motion. Coupled with the material’s heat and electrical non-conductivity, its unique resilience makes FRP perfect for use in motor, transformer and electrical manufacturing.
Due to its “springy” properties, FRP also plays an important role in vibrating, heavy load-bearing equipment, such as vibratory conveyers. FRP leaf springs can reduce wear and return energy to rapidly moving equipment, reducing power consumption and maintenance costs.
Tencom has further enhanced the industrial applications for FRP by installing cutting edge equipment capable of working with fiber types including e-glass, S-glass, carbon and Aramid (Kevlar). Each of these materials impart different combinations of tensile, shear, compressive and elastic strength.
Because it won’t rot, corrode, rust or crumble, pultruded fiberglass is a desirable and effective material for many outdoor construction projects. Moreover, because it’s light, it’s often much easier and safer to work with, and may reduce a construction team’s dependence on heavy moving and lifting machinery.
You can learn more here about how Tencom worked with a customer in the construction industry to develop vinyl window structural reinforcements.
FRP has near limitless applications for handheld devices, particularly tools. It can easily be fabricated to provide an ergonomic shape, making it ideal for tool handles. Its non conductivity offers an excellent barrier between the end user and hot or electrified components.
Furthermore, its strength allows pultruded fiberglass to endure heavy and prolonged use. FRP is a safe, versatile and reliable material for any product that requires physical handling.
Here’s an example of how Tencom fabricated electrically non-conductive tools for an electrical utility company.
Sporting, Recreational and Outdoor Equipment
FRP is light, strong and flexible. Golf clubs, hockey sticks, sailing equipment, paddles, ski poles — even highly customized limbs for Paralympic events — if the end product needs to be light, tough and reliable in a high-performance setting, it’s likely pultruded fiberglass plays an important role.
Pultruded fiberglass also has important applications for outdoor equipment that receives heavy wear, like outdoor furniture and patio decor. As just one example, fiberglass springs are resilient and springy enough to keep outdoor furniture comfortable and safe despite prolonged exposure to moisture, UV and heat.
Tencom Can Help Turn Your Design Concept Into a Manufacturing Reality
Tencom has been producing quality pultruded fiberglass products for over 22 years.
Pultruded fiberglass rods, tubing and shapes can help manufacturers realize a wide range of design possibilities, far more than are available through regular FRP molding. If you have a design concept or product in mind and would like to learn more about the potential of FRP, you can contact us here. We’d be delighted to talk you through the options.