Composites in our homes
Examples of composites can be seen everywhere. Let us go through a few examples of composite materials that we come in contact with on a daily basis in our homes.
Fibreglass doors are an excellent example of composites in your home. Composite doors are a great alternative to wood and they are so well made that many people cannot tell the difference. In fact, many fibreglass doors are actually made from molds originally taken from wood doors. Because composites are extremely strong, these doors are long-lasting, as they will never warp or twist with moisture. They will never rot, or corrode, and have excellent insulative properties.
Window frames are another excellent use of GFRP composites. Traditional aluminium window frames have two drawbacks which fibreglass windows improve upon. Aluminium is naturally conductive, but when combined with fibreglass profiles used as window lines, there is improved insulation.
Another advantage of fibreglass window frames is that the coefficient of expansion of both the glass frame and the glass window is almost exactly the same. This is important because aluminium has a much greater coefficient of expansion than glass. When aluminium window frames expand and contract at a different rate than the glass pane, the seal can be compromised and with it the insulation properties.
Bathtubs and shower stalls
If your bathtub or shower stall is not porcelain, chances are it is made from fibreglass-reinforced composite. Many bathtubs and showers are first gel coated and then reinforced with glass fibre and polyester resin. Usually, bathtubs are manufactured through an open molding process, usually either chopped gun roving or layers of chopped strand mat. More recently, FRP bathtubs have been manufactured using the RTM process (Resin Transfer Molding) where positive pressure pushes thermoset resin through a two-sided hard mold.
Hot tubs and spas
Hot tubs and spas are yet another great example of fibre-reinforced composites. Most all above-ground hot tubs today are reinforced with fibreglass. First, a sheet of acrylic plastic is vacuumed-formed to the shape of the hot tub. Then, the back side of the sheet is sprayed with chopped fibreglass. The ports for jets and drains are drilled out and plumbing is installed.
Study program Lightweight Engineering & Composites
We appreciate you taking the time to read our blog post. If you are thinking about studying abroad, take a look at our Master’s degree in Composites. At PFH we make sure you get high-quality education while also enjoying your study abroad experience to the fullest.