"The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas, as in escaping old ones" John Maynard keynes
Profiles made of composite - Glass Fibre Reinforced Polyester (GFRP) - today provide an alternative to conventional structural materials such as concrete, steel, aluminium and wood. Used for structural purposes, composites have the advantage of combining a number of properties not usually found together in a single material. Whilst the use of composites will be a clear choice in many instances, material selection in others will depend on factors such as working lifetime requirements, number of items to be produced (Run length), complexity of product shape, possible savings in assembly costs and on the experience and skills of the designer in tapping into the optimum potential of composites. In some instances, best results may be achieved through the use of composites in conjunction with traditional materials.
Composites in particular combines high strength and low weight, whilst at the same time it is non-corrosive and has thermal and electrical insulation properties. It can also be machined like wood using diamond tool equipment. Let's have a brief look at the benefits of composites.
Composites are light in weight compared to most metals and woods. This allows for easy delivery, assembly and installation. Reduced mechanical handling risks and no requirement for RRV's (Road Rail Vehicles), reducing costs, rail movements and potential possession over-runs. In some cases GRP can be up to 80% lighter than steel.
GFRP is safer than more conventional materials. The non-conductivity of the material results in no risk of electric shock and removes the requirement for earth-bonding materials and designs.
High Corrosion Resistant
Composites resist damage from the weather and from harsh chemicals than can eat away at other materials. Composites are good choices where chemicals are handled or stored. Outside, they stand up to severe weather and wide changes in temperature.
Excellent durability ensures a long service life with only minimal maintenance needs. UV protected through a surface veil. With a 50+ year life span, the use of GFRP will significantly reduce or eliminate life cycle costs.
Composites are good insulators - they do no easily conduct heat or cold. A heat transfer coefficient significantly lower than steel and aluminium contributes to an energy efficient end product.
EN13706 - The European Structural FRP Standard
iLECSYS Rail utilise Fiberlines Structural profiles. These are all certified according to EN13706 ensuring that all products meet or exceed the certified minimum criteria. Like steel types are graded by their yield strength (ie. S235) in the European structural steel standard (EN 10025), the grade designation system in EN13706 is based on the elasticity (ie. E23) and specifies everything from testing and tolerance to surface quality and mechanical properties.
The combination of corporate dedication, constant process optimisation and an energy efficient material make Fiberline structural profiles a very environmentally friendly choice, leaving less than half the carbon footprint compared to conventional construction materials.