Why Are Architects and Engineers Choosing Pultruded Windows?

Fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) has been a material of choice for architects and engineers for over 40 years. Today however, it is catching the eye of a new generation who are focussed on eco-friendly building solutions without compromise of aesthetic appeal – and the applications for its use are growing.

Composites in Building Design

Mondial House on the bank of the River Thames in London is a great example of FRP in building design. It was constructed in 1974, using FRP on the exterior. At the time, Fibre Reinforced Plastic was expected to last around 60 years – new applications suggest 120 years – with very little discolouration, fading, weathering or tendency to show surface dirt. It has even been shown that it can be polished to look like new after more than 30 years in use, which is a definite advantage over building materials that require regular painting for protection or for aesthetic reasons.

FRP Pultruded Profiles – The Advantages

1. The longevity of FRP is just one reason that pultruded windows are being chosen by architects and engineers.

Pultruded windows are lightweight – ideal for creating large triple-glazed windows. These are easier to handle and give architects greater scope for creating buildings with vast windows, an aesthetic that is becoming increasingly popular in modern architecture, and home design.

2. Pultruded windows can be manufactured in almost any colour.

The creative expression here for designers is a given, the potential for reduced maintenance costs is also attractive. This material can be used for frames, and lintels, as well as doors, decking and exterior trim.

3. Pultruded Windows can be manufactured in a wide range of sizes and even curved.

Again, the flexibility in design is eye-catching for architects. As long as the window design is uniform in the linear axis and allows total penetration throughout the forming die so the glass fibres and resins can solidify into a strong, robust form – a pultruded window can be made! Take a look the pultrusion process to see what is involved.

4. Pultruded profiles are thermally efficient and recyclable – perfect for meeting new regulations. Pultruded profiles prevent thermal bridging, so an excellent option for when energy efficiency is key to the performance of a building, and at the end of their useful life thermoplastic pultruded profiles can be reused.

How FPR Pultruded Profiles Compare with PVC, Aluminium and Steel

Pultruded profiles have many clear advantages over steel, timber, aluminium and uPVC – especially when it comes to building design. Generally speaking, PVC does not have the weather resistant qualities of pultruded profiles; aluminium doesn’t score well for energy efficiency; and compared to steel composites are lighter, stronger, more corrosion resistant, and can be constructed as a single piece. Here are some other compelling stats that show the advantages of FRP pultruded profiles over other materials.

ItemUnitFRPPVCAluminiumSteel
Density103kg/m31.91.42.97.85
Thermal expansivity10-8/°C7652111
Thermal conductivityW/m.°C0.30.3203.546.5
Tensile strengthMPa42050150420
Specific strength 221365353

 

To find out more about the benefits of pultruded composite profiles in construction, or to discuss bespoke manufacture or pultrusion machinery call Pultrex on 01206 395559.

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