The history on a polyester-glass laminate (FRP – Fiber Reinforced Polymer or GRP – Glass Reinforced Plastic) can...Read more
The history on a polyester-glass laminate (FRP – Fiber Reinforced Polymer or GRP – Glass Reinforced Plastic) can be accessed on the Internet. The early items that can be called laminates emerged in China in around V century. The product we now refer to as laminate took the current form in the 1950s.
The polyester-glass laminate is a combination of two materials. The glass fiber in the form of a mat or fabric (filling/reinforcement) is filtered with a liquid resin. The resin is very durable and destined for treatment (e.g. grinding). The main advantage of the resin is its resistance to mechanical impact as well as influence of chemicals, water, oils, grease or petrol.
The glass mat emerges as a result of melting and quick cooling of the silica, and then molding on the basis of fiber. The glass mat is composed of loosely connected fibers (small needles). Depending on the number of fibers, you can obtain a suitable basis weight of the mat.
The glass filling in the form of a glass mat plays a role of the reinforcement in the laminate (similar to steel in concrete). Thanks to the use of the glass mat, the laminate gets more flexible, resistant cracking and damage.
The second basic filling is a glass fabric. The glass fabric is interleaving fibers at various angles. The glass fabric (also called roving fabric) is known for two distinctive parameters. The first is the basis weight, and the second fiber orientation under which fabric is weaved. The glass fabric is used in the laminate in order to increase its resistance, while arrangement of fibers is determined by directions in which this resistance is the highest.
Depending on the intended use and guidelines, the laminate may involve various fillings. Thanks to this, the final item may be only a few mm thick, or may as well be a few or dozen cm thick, and still remain light.
Generally speaking, the polyester-glass laminate is used in numerous fields of life, starting from simple decorations (flower pots) through artistic pieces, ending up with technologically advanced industrial elements, such as high-performance rotor blades used in large industrial plants.
Photo 2 Glass mat
Photo 3 Glass fabric