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Construction: What is  GRP or  fibreglass ?

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GRP (glass reinforced plastic) is the technical name for what is commonly known as 'fibreglass'. Originally developed in 1938 for use in insulation, GRP is extremely durable and today is used in a variety of applications across a number of industries. Also known as FRP (fibre reinforced polymer) GRP is extremely versatile, strong and waterproof, making GRP the ideal solution for applications such as roofing systems. The ability to produce different finishes such as nonslip surfaces using GRP, in addition to being able to produce unlimited range of colour options for applications of almost any complexity, means that GRP is now a popular and viable alternative to traditional roofing systems used previously.

Many glassfibre laminates made during the early days of GRP production in the 1940s are still in use today. Extensive testing has demonstrated the typical life expectancy of a GRP roof product to be well in excess of 50 years. And, tests conducted to date have shown 'no deterioration' infrastructure or performance throughout the testing period. Additionally, because GRP products or use in extreme conditions such as underwater, when used in the manufacture of boats, a GRP product applied by a specialist company could be expected to last a lifetime.

What are the main applications of GRP?

GRP can be used for a number of applications including roofing, automotive, construction, marine and industrial, including, boats, car bodies, HGV roofs, and shells, pipes, hygienic linings, tanks, building products, ponds, pools, architectural features, green roofs, flat roofs (commercial and domestic), vertical cladding, walkways, bay windows, wind turbine blades, plus a number of other specialist areas.

What are the main benefits of GRP roofing?

GRP has a number of benefits compared to traditional roofing products, especially for flat roofing. There are a number of health & safety benefits from installing a GRP roofing system because GRP products are cold laid and therefore not require any form of heat treatment, helping to protect installers and the general public. As GRP roofing systems are cold-applied they are not subject to the same prohibitive insurance premiums levied at installers using hot-works. Unlike traditional flat roofing systems, GRP flat roofs are extremely durable and completely waterproof, plus they can be finished in any wide range of colours and include options such as nonslip finishes. The entire area on a GRP roof is encapsulated into one single continuous GRP membrane and there are no seams joints or welds. It is also completely UV resistant. GRP roofing systems are also highly adaptable allowing conversion of the roof area to include features such as balconies or walkways within the roof area. Special features such as roof lights can also be included within a GRP roofing system. GRP roofing systems can also be used instead of pitched roofs or to make special features. The major benefit of GRP roofing comes from the fact that a high-quality GRP roofing system which is installed correctly should remain leak-free for life.

How does GRP look when finished?

The surface and colour of a GRP laminate can be modified to your requirements. A choice of smooth or textured finishes can be achieved in any colours from the BS 4800 range.

Is GRP suitable for adverse conditions?

GRP systems are ideally suited to adverse weather conditions and temperature extremes. As GRP is used to make boats and pond liners, it performs well when exposed to cold climates or heavy rain. GRP systems are capable of delivering maximum protection in excess of 50 years. Whilst GRP may not be suitable for applications above 100C it will perform well within normal temperature extremes are found within global environmental conditions. GRP can withstand dilute acid conditions, it is unsuitable for prolonged immersion in alkaline solutions. A GRP roof is also fully bonded to the surface of the decking boards so it is very resistant to wind uplift.

How long does it take to install a GRP roof?

An average domestic garage roof of around 20m2 can be removed, re-decked, laminated and topcoated within a day by a team of two people.

( Source: http://www.gandbnw.co.uk/ G & B (North West) Ltd has championed the research and development of GRP roofing systems. The company supplies over one million square metres of GRP roofing systems to the trade every year. )

More information about GRP or fibreglass

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