Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP)
Fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) is a lightweight, versatile and durable construction material for exterior architectural detailing. FRP is used to create columns, capitals, moldings, domes, decorative balustrades, pergolas, rafter tails, entablatures, pediments, rakes, brackets, quoins, window and door surrounds or any architectural feature you wish to create. Fiberglass is extremely versatile. It can be molded and produced in practically any shape. FRP parts can be made on a radius or ellipse. You can have letters preformed in the fiberglass parts to mimic the look of chiseled stone words on building facades.
There are great advantages to specifying and installing fiberglass on your construction project. Fiberglass is lightweight with strong and durable properties. Since it is lightweight, FRP enables the building design to require less structural load requirements, thus reducing costs for the project.
FRP can be supplied several ways. For many projects, FRP is supplied unpainted. This enables the installer to attach the FRP to the structure with the ability to countersink screws, patch the screw holes with body filler and sand the screw holes flush with the fiberglass surface. The entire project is then primed and painted giving the material a uniform, finished appearance.
FRP products can also be supplied with a gel coated colored finish. Almost any color can be achieved. Some projects require that the FRP arrive to the job site with a finished coat. When specifying a finished FRP, there are certain things to take into consideration. Firstly, there needs to be strong communication between the architect, construction manager, supplier and installer. Prefinished FRP needs to handled and installed properly to protect the finish. Screws need to be strategically installed to minimize the number of exposed areas on the surface of the material.
A third process for producing fiberglass is with a simulated stone finish. This can give the FRP the appearance of limestone and other stone finishes.