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Comparison of fiberglass and steel

stikal šķiedras un tērauda salīdzinajums

When it comes to rebar, widely used in industrial and civil applications, you may have wondered about the differences between fiberglass and steel rebar. Despite the obvious trends in various industries in the transition to fiberglass reinforcement, some companies are still hesitant and are conducting research on the prospects, characteristics and performance of fiberglass and steel reinforcement.

Steel is known for its excellent properties used in various industries. The disadvantage of steel is that it is exposed to moisture and therefore to corrosion. All types of chemical reactions, such as oxidation, ultimately have a negative effect on the properties of steel. Thus, the use of steel reinforcement is limited in some industries.

The advantages of low initial costs are offset by higher transport and installation costs due to its heavy weight. In the long term, corroded steel reinforcement requires expensive maintenance and increases the load on concrete structures.

Glass fiber reinforcement and its properties

Fiberglass, or fiber-reinforced epoxy, has replaced steel in various industries. Due to its resistance to corrosion and various chemical processes and reactions, fiberglass has become a desirable material.
Various additives used to improve certain properties can increase the overall tensile capacity and strength of fiberglass products. The tensile strength of fiber reinforcement is 20% higher than that of steel bars.

The bond strength of fiber reinforcement material is significantly stronger compared to steel; this explains the better service life of fiberglass reinforcement.
Customizable manufacturing allows resins used in the production of fiberglass reinforcement to be tailored to meet specific requirements, such as improving wear or corrosion resistance.

Fiberglass rebar vs. steel rod

Another significant advantage of fiberglass over steel is its light weight. Fiberglass rebar weighs only ¼ of an equivalent size steel rebar. Thus, the use of fiberglass reinforcement reduces delivery and installation costs.

Another important factor is impact resistance. At high working loads, the fiberglass does not deform irreversibly, because the resin-reinforced epoxy matrix is able to distribute the impact load, preventing surface damage. Under similar conditions, especially at lower temperatures, steel products can deform.

Despite an equally wide range of applications, fiberglass differs from steel in terms of electrical and thermal conductivity. Steel is a good conductor of electricity and heat, while fiberglass has lower thermal conductivity and zero electrical conductivity. In an environment with thermal fluctuations, fiberglass shows more stable properties than steel, whose properties can change as a result of the influence of external temperature.

Industrial and commercial applications of fiberglass reinforcement include tunnels, bridges, airports, highways, water plants, waste management, sewage and chemical plants, and all types of coastal facilities.

When it comes to choosing between fiberglass rebar and steel rebar, fiberglass wins in many cases due to its superior thermal, corrosion and chemical resistance. Add here a much lighter weight, which makes it easier to transport, reducing costs, the choice seems pretty obvious. However, steel rebars are indispensable for fiberglass industrial applications, where electrical conductivity is required as a mandatory attribute. Except for very specialized applications, fiberglass rebar is rightly considered a cost-effective alternative to steel rebar.

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The company SIA Composite PRO is engaged in the production of a unique building material - fiberglass reinforcing bars.

This composite material has excellent corrosion resistance, is lightweight and durable.

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