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American Structural Fiberglass Supplier (Video Series)

Aug
17

 

We are Bedford, a leading manufacturer of fiberglass-reinforced polymer (FRP) – a strong, lightweight alternative to traditional building materials.

That’s what we do, but our story really starts with who we are and what we believe in as a company. We started in Bedford, Pennsylvania, in 1974, as a family-owned company with a dozen employees and a small factory in a converted barn.

Today, we’re still a family-owned company. We’re still in Bedford, Pennsylvania. And we now have a quarter of a million square feet of manufacturing space. Our operation includes two factories, corporate offices, and multiple locations as well as nationwide distribution and manufacturing. In the past four decades, our family has grown substantially, but we’ve also stayed close to our roots, employing hundreds of American workers. In fact, all of our pultruded products are made right here in the U.S.A. And true to our American values, we’re a family-oriented company that believes in giving back to the community. We take care of our people, and they take care of you, our customers. Because we believe our people truly make the difference.

Bedford offers an extensive line of FRP products, including a wide range of stock and custom PROForms profiles as well as PROGrid and PROGrate FRP grating. FRP was first developed in the early 1940s. Today, it’s used in many ways all around us – from building projects to cooling towers. FRP offers several advantages over traditional materials like wood, concrete, aluminum and steel. It’s strong yet lightweight, offering a high strength-to-weight ratio that’s pound for pound stronger than steel. It won’t rust, warp or rot. And it resists corrosion, even in harsh environments. FRP is easy to install with standard tools – perfect for platforms, stairs, ladders and more.

Now let’s take a look at how our pultruded products are made.

Pultrusion is the process used to form fiberglass-reinforced polymer, or FRP, into a strong but lightweight profile. This process creates continuous lengths of FRP with a consistent cross-section. The possibilities for custom shapes are virtually endless.

For example, Bedford PROForms structural shapes like these are made of pultruded FRP. The pultrusion process starts by pulling in a combination of fiberglass reinforcements. Creels of fiberglass roving provide the strength along the length of the profile. Rolls of continuous filament mat provide the strength across the width of the profile. These reinforcements are fed through pre-forming guides that begin to shape the raw glass fibers into the finished profile. The glass is then pulled into a resin bath that saturates the reinforcements. The resin bath contains a mixture of resin, most commonly polyester or vinylester, pigments to add color, filler to enhance properties, and a catalyst to aid in curing, or to turn it from a liquid into a solid. Surfacing veil may also be added to give the profile a resin-rich surface and enhance the appearance of the finished product.

The materials are then pulled through the heated pultrusion die. The heat causes the resin to cure or harden to create a solid, rigid profile in the exact shape of the die. The cured profile is then advanced by a caterpillar-style puller to a cut-off saw, where it will be cut to its final length. The finished product is now put into inventory at one of our warehouses, sent to our state-of-the-art fabrication center for additional processing, or crated for shipment to the customer. And it all happens right here in the USA, where Bedford’s pultruded profiles are proudly made by American workers.

Bedford products have also been used in a wide range of industries, such as:

Architectural projects
Cooling towers
Industrial platforms and walkways
Pedestrian bridges
Resorts
Theme and water parks
Aquariums
Military products
Fishing piers
Coastal installations
Wastewater and water treatment
Ladders and tool handles
Sports and recreation
Utility markers

The properties of FRP also make it perfect for corrosive environments, such as:

Oil and gas drilling
Plant and chemical processing
Pulp and paper manufacturing
Mining applications

No matter what kind of project you have, Bedford is committed to total customer satisfaction as your full-service supplier. Our sales team can answer all of your FRP questions. And our engineers can work with you to provide design, technical knowledge, and assistance before, during and after production. Our quality control department also works to ensure you are completely satisfied with your FRP investment. From the start, random samples are taken off the line and tested by our in-house QC department to ensure the color, glass percentage and strength level match your specifications. Plus, we stand behind all of our PROForms profiles with a 25-year limited warranty against structural defects along with a ship date guarantee in most areas.

No matter what services we provide, we believe in treating every customer the way we would want to be treated ourselves. As we’ve said, our people make the difference and it shows in everything we make and everything we do. FRP offers many benefits, including exceptional strength and corrosion resistance. So find out if FRP is right for your project and what it can do for you.

Call us today at (800) 377-3280 or contact us through our website, where you can request a quote, check our inventory or send us a question 24 hours a day.

Discover the possibilities with FRP.