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How to Cut Fiberglass Grating: Your Quick Guide

Posted by Fibergrate Marketing on Sep 5, 2023 11:27:28 AM

How to Cut Fiberglass Grating

Whether you’re researching how to cut fiberglass grating (FRP grating) as part of exploring this versatile material or you already know it is a great choice for your project, this quick guide explains how easy working with FRP grating can be.  

Why Cutting FRP Grating is Easier (and Less Costly) than Working with Steel

Compared to steel:

  • FRP grating is significantly lighter and easier to transport, handle, and install. 
  • It reduces strain on support structures and simplifies maintenance tasks. 
  • It is resistant to corrosion, rust, and rot (ideal for corrosive environment applications).
  • FRP panels take roughly one-third of the time to install and about 40% fewer people

...and, while it’s important to learn how to cut fiberglass grating if you haven’t worked with it before, the process is fairly straightforward.

Safety First

Before starting, observe some common sense safety precautions:

    1. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect yourself from potential hazards. Wear safety glasses and a dust mask (NIOSH/MSHA approved, with a permissible exposure limit (PEL) of not less than 0.1 mg/M3). This is essential to shield the eyes and respiratory system from fiberglass dust particles. Note that if you have a respiratory ailment, you should not fabricate FRP products.
    3. Always wear gloves when handling and cutting FRP grating.

    4. Wear clothing to reduce exposure to dust, which can cause skin irritation.

    5. Review and follow epoxy coating or sealing kit safety procedures prior to use.

    6. Ensure that the work area is adequately ventilated to prevent the accumulation of airborne fibers.

    7. Familiarize yourself with the safety data sheets (SDS), for your chosen product. These will outline the necessary precautions and handling procedures. 


Cutting Fiberglass Grating Requires Only Common Tools and Materials

The required tools include:

  1. Safety glasses, dust mask, and other essential PPE
  2. A measuring tape for accurate measurements
  3. Cutting equipment appropriate for your installation, which may include a circular saw, jigsaw, or grinder
  4. Clamps to secure the grating and a marking pen to create precise cutting lines


Prep Your Work Area for Cutting FRP Grating

how to cut FRP grating

Before you begin:

  1. Ensure your work area is clear of any obstacles that could hinder your movements, including any debris or tools that could interfere with the cutting process. 
  2. Set up a stable work surface or workbench where you can securely place the grating for cutting. 
  3. Arrange your tools and materials within easy reach, promoting efficiency and minimizing the risk of accidents.


Measuring, Marking, and Cutting FRP Grating

As with any construction material, “measure twice, cut once” applies when cutting fiberglass grating to ensure a proper fit:

  1. Identify the correct dimensions for the grating based on your installation requirements.
  2. Using a measuring tape to measure the length and width accurately, mark the cutting lines with your marking pen. 
  3. Double-check the measurements before proceeding to the cutting stage to avoid costly mistakes.


Methods and Techniques for Cutting FRP Grating

Note: Support the panel to make sure it doesn’t move or flex while you’re cutting. 

The choice of cutting method depends on the thickness of the grating and the complexity of the cut:

  • For straight cuts, a circular saw with a fine-toothed blade is often the most efficient option. 
  • If you need to make curved or angled cuts, a jigsaw with a fiberglass-cutting blade can provide the necessary precision. 
  • In some cases, a grinder with a cutting wheel can be used for intricate cuts.

In all cases, remember to follow the manufacturer's instructions for each cutting tool and wear appropriate PPE throughout the process.


Finishing and Smoothing Edges

After cutting the fiberglass grating:

  1. Inspect the cut edges for any roughness or imperfections. 
  2. Smooth out any unevenness using a file or sandpaper. 
  3. Double-check all edges, ensuring they are smooth and free from sharp protrusions that could pose a safety hazard during installation or handling.
  4. Use an epoxy sealer to coat sanded/cut surfaces to prevent corrosive chemicals from reaching exposed glass fibers.


Cleaning Up, and Additional Resources for Learning How to Cut Fiberglass Grating

Safely dispose of any fiberglass dust or debris generated during the cutting process. Fiberglass dust can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory system, so it is crucial to handle it with care. Clean the work area thoroughly, removing any remaining dust or debris. Store your tools and leftover materials properly to maintain their longevity and ensure they are ready for future use.

This is a “quick guide” providing a high-level overview of the process. You should review our detailed guide to FRP fabrication along with the other references mentioned here.

We also invite you to explore the diverse range of Fibergrate FRP products and contact your local dealer for more information. We’re confident you’ll find significant benefits in choosing fiberglass grating, and you’ll enjoy its durability and versatility in various industrial and commercial applications for years to come.

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Topics: FRP, Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic, Benefits, Low Installation Cost, Low Maintenance, Rapid Installation

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