Fiberglass grating is an alternative to other types of grating made from metals or polymers. Fiberglass offers numerous material benefits for applications such as walkways, decking, stair treads, ramps, and drain grates. It is a reliable and durable product and provides a long lasting, low maintenance grating solution.
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Applications of Fiberglass Gratings
Industries such as food processing, beverage, chemical, transportation, textile, and water and wastewater treatment all utilize elements of fiberglass grating in their operating procedures.
Fiberglass Grating Design and Installation
Fiberglass is composed of two main elements: fiber and glass. The ratio of resin to glass is important and directly affecting the characteristics of the substance. The high resin content in fiberglass is responsible for its excellent corrosion resistance and allows fiberglass grating to be used in such applications as marine and chemical, in which corrosive substances are abundant and traditional grate materials like steel or aluminum would deteriorate rapidly. The presence of glass in fiberglass is important for strength and provides the structure needed in grating to support loads and maintain shape.
Installation of fiberglass or plastic grating is easier than that of metal grates or steel grates due to the difference in weight. Fiberglass weighs significantly less than metals and therefore does not typically require lifting machinery or extra bolstering to support the heavy weight. Furthermore, fiberglass grates are fire resistant and impact resistant.
Manufacturing Process of Fiberglass Grating
The two most common methods of fiberglass product fabrication are by molding or pultrusion. Molded fiberglass grates are cast in a single piece, therefore reducing the joint areas found in pultruded grates, which can give way under heavy continuous activity and traffic. In the molding process of fiberglass grates, the grates themselves are typically constructed in layers, allowing a manufacturer to determine the desired grate thickness and dimensions. This layering is often done manually, allowing for control over the quantity and quality of layers. Grates cure while in the mold and are then removed to be installed. Fiberglass molds can be reused after being cleaned and prepared. Pultruded fiberglass grates are constructed of separated load bars and cross bars, which are then joined together to produce the grate.
Benefits of Using Fiberglass Grating
Pultrusion significantly reduces material waste and can be used to meet a wide range of sizes, dimensions, and layouts. While molding adds a strong manual element to the formation process, pultrusion is an automated procedure that results in consistent and high quality products. Another advantage to using fiberglass for grating systems is the low maintenance nature of the product. It does not require coating or finishing to increase its strength or surface properties.