Advantages and limitations
FRP allows the alignment of the glass fibres of thermoplastics to suit specific design programs. Specifying the orientation of reinforcing fibres can increase the strength and resistance to deformation of the polymer. Glass reinforced polymers are strongest and most resistive to deforming forces when the polymers fibres are parallel to the force being exerted, and are weakest when the fibres are perpendicular. Thus this ability is at once both an advantage or a limitation depending on the context of use. Weak spots of perpendicular fibres can be used for natural hinges and connections, but can also lead to material failure when production processes fail to properly orient the fibres parallel to expected forces. When forces are exerted perpendicular to the orientation of fibres the strength and elasticity of the polymer is less than the matrix alone. In cast resin components made of glass reinforced polymers such as UP and EP, the orientation of fibres can be oriented in two-dimensional and three-dimensional weaves. This means that when forces are possibly perpendicular to one orientation, they are parallel to another orientation; this eliminates the potential for weak spots in the polymer.
Structural failure can occur in FRP materials when:
- Tensile forces stretch the matrix more than the fibres, causing the material to shear at the interface between matrix and fibres.
- Tensile forces near the end of the fibres exceed the tolerances of the matrix, separating the fibres from the matrix.
- Tensile forces can also exceed the tolerances of the fibres causing the fibres themselves to fracture leading to material failure.
as discussed above FRP products has its advantages and limitations but as of today the FRP products are storming the market and are replacing the older and bulkier iron and steel products this is helping many industries and manufacturing firms.