Fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) composite materials have the ability to withstand the harsh effects of corrosive conditions better than galvanized steel. Composite materials have been used in traditionally corrosive industries such as chemical processing, plating, and marine construction for many years now. In the past, the initial price of FRP was a deciding factor for many engineering and architectural professionals despite the savings in the overall life cycle cost of the project. However, because of recent changes in steel pricing, FRP grating is actually priced similarly to steel grating. With a comparable initial price and significant savings in the life cycle of the product, FRP grating is the clear choice.
Fiberglass materials begin to save you money before they even arrive at your facility. They are significantly lighter than steel allowing you to save on shipping.
In addition to the shipment savings, you will continue to save a considerable amount through the installation of fiberglass. Installing steel grating takes a structural steel foreman, two structural steel workers, a welder, an equipment operator, an electric welding machine, a portable crane, acetylene cutting torch, a grinder, a metal drill, a couple of wrenches, and about 45 minutes a panel. Installing fiberglass grating takes two carpenters, a carpenter foreman, a handsaw, some hand tools, and 15 minutes a panel. The installation not only saves money but also time. In fact, some choose fiberglass based merely on ease of installation.
Fiberglass materials continue to save you money due to a variety of long term benefits. The corrosion resistant properties mean you will save money on various maintenance expenses including the material cost, labor cost, and opportunity cost of down time when cleaning and repainting steel grating. Without cleaning and repainting steel, you are allowing rust to build up under the surface - compromising the structural integrity leading to potentially unsafe conditions. Sometimes the corrosion is so extensive, the steel grating will need to be replaced all together.
The corrosion resistant properties of FRP also lead to an extended product life, so you will not have to deal with cost of replacing the material as you would with steel.
As you can see, the long term cost savings of fiberglass materials far outweigh any initial cost difference. This, among various other benefits of fiberglass composites, makes FRP the right choice for your next application.