Uses and Benefits of FRP
When compared to metals, plastics, and other traditional materials used for structural applications, fiberglass reinforced plastics offer a number of benefits including:
- Increased strength to weight ratio
- Lower cost
- Low conductivity
- Improved flexibility
- The ability to be molded into complex shapes
- Chemically inert
For the reasons listed above the uses for fiberglass reinforced plastics are commonly used as alternatives to metal or plastics. The applications are nearly endless and include storage tanks, piping, automobile parts, ship hulls, and general building & construction materials.
Common Types of Resin Used in FRP
As mentioned above FRP material consists of a thermosetting resin that is reinforced with glass fibers. There are a number of resins used in reinforced plastics including epoxy, vinyl-ester, and polyester resins. By far the most common type of FRP resin is polyester. Polyester based FRP resins are popular due to their ease of use and provide good temperature and chemical resistance. In some applications, however, the chemical or heat resistance of polyester FRP material is not enough and a more durable material is needed.
QuaCorr® - Corrosion & Flame Resistant FRP Resins
QuaCorr® is a line of furfuryl alcohol based resin systems that are designed to be used in the manufacture of corrosion resistant and flame retardant FRP products. FRP composites based on QuaCorr® exhibit superior chemical resistance, temperature resistance, and fire retardant properties than polyester composites.
QuaCorr® FRP is highly resistant to aggressive solvents, strong acids, and strong bases. It is especially useful in applications where the presence of a solvent is in combination with an acid or base such as chemical processing, agricultural chemical manufacturing, and acrylate production. In the table below, the corrosion resistant properties of QuaCorr® composites are compared to common metals and polyester composites.
A = Attacked, R = Resistant
In addition to outstanding corrosion resistance, QuaCorr® composites have inherent fire retardant properties. The highly cross-linked nature of cured furan resin coupled with a high char yield gives QuaCorr® resin natural low flame spread and low smoke development properties. Typical fire and smoke test results for laminates made of QuaCorr® 1001
are listed in the table below.
How to Use QuaCorr®
FRP products can be fabricated from QuaCorr® by hand lay-up, spray-up, and filament winding techniques. QuaCorr® is an acid catalyzed, modified furfural alcohol system that consists of two parts: the resin, QuaCorr® 1001
or QuaCorr® 1300
, and the catalyst QuaCorr® 2001
. Once the resin and catalyst are blended, curing proceeds via a condensation mechanism with water produced as a byproduct. The reactivity of the QuaCorr® system has been optimized to allow a reasonable balance between pot-life and viscosity, as well as allow for rapid hardness development at ambient temperatures.