Fiberglass Grating | Fiberglass Installation

Fiberglass Grating | Fiberglass Installation

We all know the value and versatility of fiberglass by now. After decades of it finding uses in so many things from construction, pools, automotive manufacturing and even grating and plumbing, there’s no doubt that it’s one of the most diverse and adaptive materials our technology can currently create. It can withstand a wide array of temperatures, it can hold up against corrosive chemicals and all manner of weather and stress tests and not even show wear in many cases.

But, what goes into fiberglass installation, and how do these things contribute to costs? Sure, we all know what fiberglass is, an epoxy resin hardened to a molded shape, but what does it take to practically apply this molded shape? Does it require special care versus other materials such as metals, glass and fabrics?

FRP Grating

The truth is, it does and doesn’t. It all depends on how it’s being used. But, one constant is that it has to be handled and delivered with care. Fiberglass must be shipped with significant padding and protection, as despite its pretty durable nature, unless designed for shock absorption, it doesn’t handle rough shipping or unloading well.
Take for example swimming pool shells. They’re designed to hold up against water and weather remarkably, but they’re not designed to have their weight distributed unevenly during unloading and carrying, nor severe jostling during shipment.

As a result, shippers and installers of fiberglass pool shells must be skilled in handling them the right way – which isn’t easy by the way, or it will be destroyed to costly effect. As a result of this difficulty and needed special skill, these individuals will charge more for their time and work – and understandably so.

When it comes to other uses of fiberglass, outside of automotive which is all kinds of special in many ways, it is a bit less of a difficult thing to deal with. Fiberglass grating, for example, can be shipped in stacks like any kind of grating. However, steel or plastic straps to batten it down in the truck are out of the question, only bungee or fabric fastenings are really viable. This means that trucks outfitted for shipping grating, and fiberglass grating at that, may do so. This can incur a bit of extra cost if a specific truck and driver has to be called upon to make a delivery. Again, this makes sense.

Installing fiberglass grating simply requires an understanding from the builders of what it will and won’t tolerate. Fiberglass doesn’t like having holes or screws drilled through solid areas of it, as it will form stress points that compromise the surface, especially once the weather fluctuates. It doesn’t like the screws intended to be attached to it to be unbearably tight either, so in cases where a seal must be formed, special adhesive to seal the gaps is necessary. This adhesive can be costly, but the skill to apply it is nothing extraordinary.

It does stand to reason, though, that seeking a crew that has a good understanding of fiberglass and how it likes to be treated is a wise decision when having the material installed. This is a good crew indeed, and a skilled one, and as such, may be a costlier crew to employ than one less knowledgeable in diverse modern materials.

Ultimately, it’s more about shipping and handling fiberglass that brings about the most cost, aside from specialized applications like installing pools or automotive manufacturing. It comes down to being willing to spend the price for a skilled construction crew who knows many materials well, fiberglass definitely included.

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