Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP)
Glass reinforced polyester (plastic) is commonly known as GRP or sometimes as FRP (fibre reinforced polyester). It is a composite laminate of glass fibres in a polyester resin matrix.
GRP is a highly versatile material used in buildings for exterior cladding panels and also as fully structural load-bearing elements including complete buildings or roofs. It can be used to make roofing infill panels, drainage components, interior and exterior decorative features. It can be made translucent or opaque and can be used for door and window frames, for waterproof membranes and as form work for concrete structures.
Practically any size, shape and surface texture can be produced in a hand-laminated GRP moulding. Any limitations are likely to be economic rather than physical ones. All GRP resins can be pigmented to any colour including metallic finishes. Specially formulated resins for translucent GRP give light transmittance and appearance similar to translucent glass.
- Architectural panels
- Column cladding
- Façade treatment
- Cab roof
- Bath Tubs
- Shower Trays
- Wash basins
- Garden Fountains
- Manhole liners
- Septic tanks
- Porta Cabins
- Prefabricated houses
- Watchman booth
- Vending kiosks
- Water Tanks
- Flight Body
- C. Covers
- Vanity Tops
Properties of typical 4 mm thick hand lay-up GRP laminate are:
450 gms/sq m / mm
+40 to 45 KJ/ sq m
+75 to 80 N/mm
1.6 to 1.8 gms/cubic cm
Bar of hardness
Pigmented gel coats
Ultraviolet stabilized colour fast, no fading
Fire properties ( the Surface spread of flame): Class 3 with general purpose resin as per BS476 Part 7, with special resins Class1 can be achieved.
Heat and sound insulation
Translucency and colour impregnation
CRYSTIC 125 PA is a quality orthophthalic based unsaturated polyester resin developed specifically for the manufacture of GRP mouldings.
CRYSTIC 125 PA is a polyester resin of medium viscosity which meets the requirements of BS3532 : 1990, as a Type “A” resin. It can also be used for flat surface laminations.
Laminates made with Crystic 125 PA have good mechanical strength, high rigidity and impact resistance, and excellent dimensional stability. Its curing properties make it especially suitable for fast production processes when used with the recommended curing system.
CRYSTIC 125 PA may be used in the following cold curing formulations:
Parts by Weight
Crystic 125 PA
100 Butanox M 50
1 – 2
CRYSTIC 125 PA requires only the addition of catalyst to start the curing reaction. It should be thoroughly dispersed
in the resin. The accelerated resin without catalyst will usually remain usable at ambient temperature (25oC) for
approximately three (3) months. Shortly before use, the correct amount of catalyst should be added and stirred
thoroughly into the mixture. When the atalyst is added to resin which has been accelerated for several days, the pot life
may be shorter than that of freshly accelerated resin.
Typical Properties of Liquid Resin
CRYSTIC 125 PA
Viscosity at 25 Deg. C CPS
(Brookfield LVF SP3, 60 RPM)
Specific Gravity at 25Deg.C
Acid Value Mg KOH/g
Solid Content %
Thixotropic Stability (months) in the dark at 25oC
Gel time at 25 Deg.C Mins
Crystic 125 PA 100 gms
Butanox M50 2 ml
Typical Properties of Fully Cured Resins (Unfilled Casting)
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CRYSTIC 125 PA
Barcol hardness (Model GYZJ 934 -1)
Water absorption 24 h at 23°C
Deflection temperature under Load (1.80 MPa)
Elongation at break at 20°C
Test methods as in BS 2782 : 1980
24 hrs at 200C and 16 hrs at 400C
After 2 hrs boil in water (tested wet)
Elongation @ break % 2.0 2.0
Made with 4 layer 450g/m2 mat
Test methods as in BS 2782 : 1980[/avia_table]
It is recommended that storage temperatures should not exceed 25oC, and that containers should be stored away from
direct sunlight and not be opened until they are required for use. The shelf life of the resin under these conditions is
three (3) months.
CRYSTIC 125 PA is supplied in 225 kg steel containers. For the purpose of shipping, CRYSTIC 125 PA is class 3.0
in the IMCO Code (Page 3153)
HEALTH & SAFETY NOTES
Unsaturated polyester resins and resin systems.
The most important protective measure are:
- Correct storage
- Stock rotation
- Adequate workplace ventilation
- Fume extraction in work areas where vapour concentrations may be excessive.
- Use of fresh air masks in confined spaces or spray applications outside of spray booths
- Work place monitoring of vapour concentrations
- Good housekeeping
- Systematic work routines
- Competent personnel
- Supervision, training and instruction
- Fire precautions
- Correct disposal
- Points of Precaution
Above certain levels monomer and solvent vapors can be hazardous to health and safety. The safety risks are
associated mainly with fire and possible explosions. The risks to health come essentially from the build up of vapors
in the workplace in excess of certain limits and the limits applicable to the users’ country should be determined. In the
UK these are known as Occupational Exposure Standard (O.E.S.) and reference should be made to the Guidance Note
EH40 from the Health and safety Executive, currently in force and available from HMSO.
The symptoms of the more common vapors are similar, i.e. dry irritating throat, coughing, drowsiness and headache. Bothliquids and vapors may cause skin irritation and dermatitis to susceptible personnel.
What to do
Correct storage, stock rotation and handling will reduce safety risks. Sensible workshop lay out and systems of work
and good general and local ventilation sufficient to control the concentration of vapor below the O.E.S.’s will severely
limit or remove the health risks. Both health and safely risks can be substantially reduced by good housekeeping.
Proper procedures and equipment are important regarding respiratory matters especially when spraying is involved.
Reference should be made to BS 4275 1974 and BS 4667.
Part 3 1974 for guidance in the selection of suitable respiratory protection or to standards appropriate to the user’s
Contact with the skin must be avoided. Solvent resistant gloves and suitable protective clothing should be worn when
handling resin solutions; the solvents have a defatting action that leaves the skin prone to irritation and dermatitis.
Strength and durability
Glass reinforced plastic has a high strength to weight ratio and high flexural strength making it an attractive lightweight material that builds strength into almost any finished product or component. Pound for pound, GRP can be stronger than steel and sheet metals, has a high resistance to environmental extremes, and is resistant to ultra violet light, extreme temperatures, salt air, and a variety of chemicals including most acids. As GRP is chemically inert, it is also non-corrosive.
The unique physical properties of glass reinforced plastic make it extremely flexible meaning it can be easily tooled, moulded and manufactured to meet almost any specifications. With GRP there are few constraints on size, shape, colour or finish.
Glass reinforced plastic is considerably less expensive than stainless steel and owing to its natural strength, durability and non-corrosive properties, it has a longer life expectancy when compared to a variety of construction materials, making it more economical.
Glass reinforced plastic is non-conductive, RF transparent, and helps to insulate against electromagnetic fields, making GRP the obvious choice for electrical and electronic equipment storage like electrical meter boxes and cabinets.
PRACTICAL INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS OF GLASS REINFORCED PLASTIC
The practical uses of GRP are virtually endless. There is a growing demand for GRP across many industries as the composite material offers many benefits to a wide range of users and industrial applications such as the following:
GRP pipes, as well as other GRP fittings, are used extensively in desalination plants from the intake and pumping station to the internal process piping and subaqueous outlet. GRP pipes allow desalination plants to provide a uniform supply of potable water through sea water allowing proper water distribution. Smooth inner pipe surfaces minimize friction and pressure loss. GRP pipes are able to withstand both the operational loads and external loads coming from machinery and its light weight makes them easy to install, even in obscure and challenging terrain. Since GRP pipes are non- corrosive, they comply with local health requirements as well.
Air Purification Systems
Glass reinforced plastic has become an important component in the air purification industry. Traditionally air purification systems were constructed from non-corrosive materials like nickel alloys and stainless steel. However, due to the rise in prices of these materials and the presence of high levels of chloride and fluoride during flue-gas desulphurization (FGD) process, these materials needed to be replaced.
GRP has a long history of success in the air pollution control process. Typical applications include stack liners, storage tanks, limestone slurry piping and low pH/ high chloride scrubber systems. Air pollution control equipment made from glass reinforced plastic is relatively inexpensive compared to alloys.
Food and Beverage Industry
GRP products assist in the storage and transport of food related liquids. The sugar, wine, olive, brewing and canning industries benefit from the low thermal conductivity and the good resistance of GRP against aggressive acids, chemicals and cleaning liquids aiming them safe and ideal for their final destination – your home.
Petrochemical Industry Plants
The Petrochemical Industry uses GRP pipes and GRP tanks for the transport and storage of oil, hydrocarbons and petrochemicals as well as the sewerage and brine derived from this process. GRP pipes and GRP tanks are also widely used in the fire extinguisher systems on oil rigs.
Thermal power plants depend heavily on a water circulation system as a cooling medium. GRP pipes are used in cooling water circuits particularly where sea water or other corrosive water may be used as a cooling medium. GRP has also found a home in the process of flue gas desulphurization and is used extensively in this part of a thermal power plant.
Industrial Sewage Treatment
GRP pipes and various other glass reinforced components are widely used in the Industrial sewage treatment plants.
GLOBECLAD has developed in-house expertise to undertake custom GRP fabrications related to and including fan rings, slurry GRP cooling towers, distribution launders and troughs, inlet louvers and similar.