Fiber Reinforced Plastic | Types, Advantages, Disadvantages, Applications

By | October 21, 2018

What is fiber reinforced plastic?

Fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) is a type of plastic in which the strength of low strength plastic material is increased by means of high strength of fibers.

Fiber reinforced plastics contains to main things one is matrix and another is fiber. The function of matrix is to support and hold the fibers in the correct position. Matrix also prevents fibers from surface damage and environmental conditions.

The matrix material should show stability with moisture and temperature. The FRP fibers are the main component which bears the actual load.

The bond between the fibers and the matrix is generally made with the help of a chemical adhesive. The length of fibers should be more so that the strength of bond between matrix and fibers is more than the tensile strength on fibers.

Advantages of fiber reinforced plastic

  • It is lightweight
  • It has high strength
  • It has high modulus of elasticity
  • It has high resistance to fatigue failure
  • It has good resistance to corrosion

Disadvantages of fiber reinforced plastic

  • Strength of FRP in a direction perpendicular to the fibers is extremely low (up to 5%) compared with the strength along the length of fibers
  • The design of components made from FRP is complex
  • The manufacturing and testing of FRP components is highly specialized

Types of fiber reinforced plastics

  1. Glass reinforced plastic (GRP)

  2. Carbon reinforced plastics (CRP)

Glass reinforced plastic

Advantages of glass reinforced plastic

  1. They can be easily drawn into fibers from molten state
  2. Glass is cheaper and readily available
  3. Glass fiber is relatively strong
  4. Glass is chemically inert with respect to plastic matrix materials

Disadvantages of glass reinforced plastic

  1. It has poor rigidity and stiffness
  2. Its application is limited to a temperature below 300-degree Celsius

Applications of glass reinforced plastic

It is used as a manufacturing material in following things.

  • In the manufacturing of Automotive bodies due to its low weight
  • Pipes
  • Valve bodies
  • Pump castings
  • Storage containers

Carbon reinforced plastics

Advantages of carbon reinforced plastics

  • It has maximum strength compared to other reinforcing fibers
  • It retains its strength at elevated temperatures
  • At normal temperature moisture, acids and solvents do not affect carbon fibers
  • They are relatively cheap

Disadvantages of carbon reinforced plastics

There is only one limitation of carbon reinforced plastic. The manufacturing techniques associated with CRP are relatively complicated.

Applications of carbon reinforced plastic

Carbon reinforced plastics are used for the manufacturing of.

  • Pressure vessels
  • Aircraft components
  • Casting of rocket motors