An Introduction to GRP in Uganda
Glass reinforced plastic (GRP) is a composite material commonly known as fibreglass. Composites are materials combined from two or more materials with different physical or chemical properties to create a material with characteristics of both materials. GRP is a composite made from resin and glass, which results in a strong lightweight product. The glass is in the form of either chopped strand mat, woven roving or glass strands. Aramid or Carbon fibres can be used when additional strength is required for advanced applications.
GRP can be used for a multitude of applications as it is extremely adaptable and versatile. From Flat Roofing to Boat Repairs, Fibreglass has many properties which can’t be found in ordinary building or repair materials.
Advantages of GRP
Unlimited Design Potential
The unique attributes of GRP allow it to be moulded and engineered to almost any shape or design. This allows for unlimited design possibilities. It can also be engineered with virtually any finish, colour or size. These design capabilities has seen an increase in the use of GRP as a choice material for Engineers, Architects, Designers and Builders.
In recent years, the overall costs of GRP Materials have decreased. Competitive prices combined with its long life expectancy make it an economical alternative to traditional building materials.
GRP is traditionally a lightweight but very strong material which appeals to a variety of industries and types of users. Again, GRP will provide lots of advantages for a wide range of products thanks to its light weight and low-maintenance requirements. It is an attractive feature for architectural and building projects. Other industries where GRP use is prevalent are; leisure, marine, automotive, aerospace, transport, defence to name but a few.
Lack of Constraints
Imagination is the only inhibitor when it comes to what can be achieved with GRP. As GRP can be designed, moulded and finished to the desired specification there are minimal limitations on its design and production capabilities.
Aesthetics and Finishes
GRP can be finished with a choice of matt, semi-gloss or high gloss coloured topcoat or gelcoat. The gelcoat is applied prior to the product being moulded ensuring a high quality finish.
In highly corrosive environments Topcoat will perform much better than most paints.
Various textures can also be achieved by adding different finishing materials e.g. Surface Tissue to mould the product. In comparison to traditional building materials, GRP components will finish with a sleek contour and a superior moulded appearance.
GRP is corrosion and weather resistant which makes it a perfect component for most indoor or outdoor products. It is a popular alternative over metal, wood, or plastic. Where exposure to harsh environments is a concern, GRP can aid resistance to UV light, extreme temperatures, salt air, and a variety of chemicals. As GRP is chemically inert and corrosion-resistant it is often a cheaper alternative to stainless steel.
Its longevity and long life expectancy is superior compared to traditional building materials particularly in highly corrosive environments. Once materials are applied correctly, GRP structures will enjoy a long life span with GRP Pond and Roofing Projects lasting in excess of 20 years.
Easy to Maintain
GRP Products are extremely easy to keep clean and require little or no maintenance. They will not rust or corrode which makes them highly durable and cost effective.
Choosing FibreGlassDirect for GRP Materials
Tricel, trading as FibreGlassDirect has been at the forefront of the manufacturing and distribution of GRP Materials for over 40 years. We began selling online in 2009 from our successful distribution centres in Gloucestershire and Newry, UK. We operate from both these collection and dispatch depots, which has allowed our comprehensive GRP product range to grow year on year.
Industrial Applications of Fibreglass
Fibreglass or GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) is all around us, and its unique characteristics will ensure that it remains one of the most versatile and easy to use composites for many years to come, both in Uganda and abroad. UEL’s fibreglass products feature low technology fabrication, durability, high flexing tolerance, moderate/high strength/weight ratio, corrosion resistance, impact resistance and can be used in the following industries:
Aviation and Aerospace
GRP is used extensively in aviation and aerospace though it is not widely used for primary airframe construction, as there are alternative materials which better suit the applications. Typical GRP applications are engine cowlings, luggage racks, instrument enclosures, bulkheads, ducting, storage bins and antenna enclosures. It is also widely used in ground-handling equipment.
Boats and Marine
This is an area where fiberglass is supreme. Its properties are ideally suited to boat building. Although there were problems with water absorption, modern resins are more resilient, and the composites continue to dominate the marine industry. In fact, without GRP, boat ownership would never have reached the levels it has today, as other construction methods are simply too expensive for volume production and not amenable to automation. In Uganda UEL has supplied resins for boat fibreglass repair to several marine companies in Entebbe on Lake Victoria.
GRP (fibreglass) is widely used for circuit board manufacture (PCB’s) – there is probably one within six feet of you now. TVs, radios, computers, cellphones – GRP holds our electronic world together.
Almost every home has GRP somewhere – whether in a bathtub or a shower tray. Other applications include furniture and spa tubs.
Leisure and Recreation
Fibreglass is used everywhere in fun parks – The cars on the rides, the towers, the castles – so much of it is based on fiberglass. Even your local fun park probably has water slides made from the composite. And then the health club – do you ever sit in a Jacuzzi? That’s probably GRP as well.
Because of its low porosity, non-staining, and hard wearing finish, GRP is ideally suited to medical applications, from instrument enclosures to X-ray beds (where X-ray transparency is important).
Most people who tackle DIY projects have used fiberglass at one time or another. It is readily available in hardware stores, easy to use (with a few health precautions to be taken), and can provide a really practical and professional looking finish.
Building 100’ wind turbine blades is a major growth area for this versatile composite, and with wind energy a massive factor in the energy supply equation, its use is certain to continue to grow.
Truck bodies, canopies, bumpers, windshields can all be made of fiberglass.
Building and Construction
From fibreglass corrugated roofs and sheets to shades in residential homes or public bus stages, reinforced plastic is used by engineers to achieve their goals.
Get a free quotation on various GRP/Fibreglass applications at the right prices in Uganda by submitting your inquiries using the contact form provided below: