Composites Compared:

Why GRP is the better alternative

Glass fibre reinforced plastic (GRP) offers not only technical and functional benefits but also a number of sustainable aspects that make it an environmentally friendly choice in many applications:

Per kilogram, a glass fibre composite is mechanically far
more resilient than steel. This is because the fibres bear the
load while the resins distribute the weight. The result is a
material that withstands immense loads.

At one-fifth the weight of steel, GRP offers significant advantages
in transportation and installation.
Its light weight makes it easier to handle and install. The
low weight of GRP can also result in substantial energy
savings in applications where weight is an issue, such as
transportation systems.

Resource efficiency:
Due to its structure, GRP can often be made thinner and
lighter than other materials, reducing the amount of material
and energy consumption during production and transportation.
Long life and durability: GRP is corrosion, rust and chemical
resistant. This means that it lasts longer and requires less
maintenance, particularly in harsh environments such as
maritime or chemical applications.

GRP can be individually adapted, providing designers with
a high level of design freedom. It can be used

Compared with other composite materials, GRP has the
lowest CO2 footprint in the entire value chain. This makes
it an environmentally friendly choice in respect of climate

While the recycling of GRP can be challenging, progress
is being made in developing recycling methods for composite
materials. There are currently a number of research
projects concerned with the recycling of composites. These
involve the studying and advancing of a diverse range of
technologies such as pyrolysis and solvolysis.
In the co-processing method of recycling, the GRP component
serves both as a raw material and as a source of
energy that can replace natural mineral resources and
fossil fuels.
Bio-based reinforcement fibres: the anticipated use of
biobased natural fibres is also a good option for the future.

To sum up, fibre-reinforced composites offer a combination
of strength, lightweight, resilience, design freedom,
durability and sustainability that make it a top choice for
many applications. Whether in the windpower, automotive,
maritime, construction or railway segment, glass fibre
reinforced plastic offers advantages that only few other
materials can offer.