What is Fiber Reinforced Plastic/Polymer (FRP)?
Fiber reinforced polymers are made of two primary constituents; fibers and a polymer matrix. In FRP, the fiber is embedded in a polymer matrix. This structure gives completely different chemical and physical properties than the properties of the individual materials. In fact, these materials satisfy higher engineering requirements than the ordinary materials. Hence composites are applied in less sophisticated to very sophisticate and demanding manufacturing tasks. Mechanical, civil, biomedical, marine, and the aerospace industries are main users of composite materials.
The primary role of fires is to provide strength and stiffness to the material. But the fiber alone is brittle (ex: glass). Therefore, the fires are encased in a coating of polymer materials. Polymer matrix holds the fibers in their position and transfers the loads between the fires. It also contributes to the inter-laminar shear strength.
The fibres used in composite are as follows; E-glass, S-glass, Quartz, Aramid (Kevlar 49), Spectra 1000, Carbon (AS4), Carbon (IM-7), Graphite (P-100), and Boron. Polyesters, Vinyl Esters, Epoxies, Bismaleimides, Polyimides, and Phenolics are the polymers used. Each polymer has different chemical and physical properties; therefore, contribute differently to the composite structure. As a result, the composite properties are also different based on the polymer.
Polyester and vinyl are low cost materials, hence used extensively in commercial applications. Epoxies are used for high performance continuous fiber matrices. It also performs better than vinyl and polyester in high temperature conditions. Bismaleimides and Polyimides are high temperature resin matrices for use in temperature critical engineering applications. Phenolics are high temperature resin systems with a good smoke and fire resistance; therefore, used in aircraft interiors.