Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) or Glass fibre
Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) or Glass fibre is an excellent example of a relatively modern composite material. It was discovered in the 1940’s and quickly adopted during the 1950’s and 60’s for a wide range of applications where its corrosive-proof properties allied with its high strength and excellent appearance soon proved to be invaluable.
GRP is composed of strands of glass. Each individual glass fibre is very fine with a small diameter, and they are woven to form a flexible fabric. The fabric is normally placed in a mould, polyester resin is added, followed by a catalyst (to speed up the reaction). The process is repeated so that there are many layers of fibre glass and resin and allowed to dry/cure. The resulting material is strong and light. Glass Reinforced Plastic can be sanded for a smooth finish and painted.
Glass reinforced plastic is lightweight and has good thermal insulation properties. It has a high strength to weight ratio, making it useful for the production of products such as water tanks, pipes, poles etc.