Glass fiber reinforced polymers (GFRPs) are said to be the future of myriad industries. In recent years, innovative applications of GFRP have improved sustainability, decreased cost, and streamlined production for a wide range of end-products, from aerospace to construction.
Where is GFRP surprisingly effective? Here are four unexpected applications for glass fiber reinforced polymers to watch.
Composite cars may just be the future of travel. Global automakers have been using GFRP for years to lightweight vehicles; it’s so effective, GFRP is also now making its way into commercial space travel. In addition to high strength-to-weight ratios, glass fiber reinforced polymers are endlessly customizable, a huge value-add for automobile manufacturers. From size to shape, molded GFRP offers both creative and structural advantages.
Bridges must be strong, durable, and reliable. In recent years, several examples of modular GFRP bridges have been put into place across the world; they’re said to be safer and more cost-effective than traditional metal bridges. GFRP’s advantages for bridgebuilding include the ability to be pre-fabricated, ease of installation, and fewer maintenance requirements than conventional construction materials.
- Pavilion Structures
The structural capability of GFRP is improving every year. Complex hybrid structures – walls, buildings, outdoor pavilions – made of reinforced fiberglass can support as much weight as those made from traditional materials and offer the added benefits of weather-resistance and durability. By embedding test structures with stress sensors, engineers have even started the process of quantifying specific opportunities for development in the advanced polymer space.
- Fish Diversion
Fish diversion? At a hydroelectric power plant in New York, GFRP is being used to protect a variety of marine animals, including several native species of fish. The material was used to construct a discharge pipe to safely and efficiently divert marine life back into the harbor, saving them from the dangers of the plant’s underwater machinery. Why GFRP? The application is sufficiently lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and cost-effective, in addition to having miniscule levels of toxicity for fish.
Glass fiber reinforced polymers are a miracle of modern materials science. B&W Fiberglass is a leader in the space, innovating fiberglass and reinforced glass fiber products for a variety of industries. From lightweighting solutions to customized glass threads, our team is vested in the success of your project.
For more information on the intrinsic benefits of GFRP, talk to a B&W Fiberglass representative today.