Fibreglass was developed in the late 1940s. It was the first modern composite and is still the most common. It makes up about 65 %of all the composite materials produced today. GRP or "glass fibre reinforced plastic" consists of two distinct materials, a fibres of glass (ceramic), which is the reinforcement and a polymer resin called polyester, which serves as the matrix. The polyester resin polymer alone is brittle and has a low strength but when fibres of glass are embedded in the polymer it becomes strong, tough, resilient and flexible. It becomes an ideal material to make boat hulls, swimming pool linings, car bodies, roofing and furniture. The other advantage of GRP is that it is very light. It is said to have a very good strength to weight ratio. A resilient material is one that returns to its original shape after bending, twisting, stretching, compression. A tough material is one that has the ability to withstand sudden blows or shocks without breaking. This material can also be bent without cracking.
- Next >>