Have an Unusual FRP Application? Nothing Is Too Out-of-the-Box for Bedford.

The composite industry is evolving constantly — and expecting the unexpected goes with the territory for Bedford. Because sure, our fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) is utilized where you most likely expect to find it, including manufacturing, marine, mining, utilities, water treatment, oil and gas and many other industrial applications. But FRP composites have come a long way from solely being used for traditional industrial purposes.

An FRP Application for a Variety of Industries

Manufacturers, builders, engineers, architects, designers and more are beginning to realize the many phenomenal advantages of using FRP, and they are finding new and unexpected applications for it beyond typical industrial uses. Here are some examples of unique FRP applications:

  • Pedestrian bridges — FRP systems can solve any pedestrian, equestrian and light vehicle bridge challenge. They have the strength to meet the demands of load-carrying conditions, yet the lightweight material is easy to transport to out-of-the-way sites. And since it won’t rust, rot or be affected by weather, the deck board, railings and support members of the bridge will last for decades.
  • Theme parks and waterparks — From elaborate waterpark platform structures to simple theme park handrails, stairs and walkways, FRP solves many costly challenges. Able to withstand repeated use, outdoor environments, elevated temperatures and harsh weather, FRP, pound for pound, provides the strength of steel at significantly less weight and won’t corrode or rust. It also won't rot, warp or shrink and swell like wood. FRP really makes a splash with waterparks, mainly because they have to treat the water with chemicals and chlorine, which are extremely corrosive.
  • Agriculture buildings — Because they can be used in challenging environmental conditions where other materials deteriorate, FRP structural members are ideal in farming and ag applications that are regularly exposed to water, salt, chemicals and manure. These applications include enclosures, silos, fertilizer storage, shed framing, grain handling and utility buildings because the FRP won’t warp, rot or corrode.
bellagio and parking garage
  • Cooling towers — While wood deteriorates and steel corrodes, fiberglass structural shapes offer the strength of these traditional materials without the rot, rust or corrosion. Therefore, FRP products are a durable solution for ladders, platforms, stairs, grating and decking in the corrosive cooling tower environment. It also weighs significantly less, making it an ideal alternative for cooling tower construction.
  • Parking garages — With traditional building materials like wood, steel and aluminum, adding strength means adding size and weight. FRP is an alternative that offers more design flexibility for parking garage applications such as handrails, guardrails, stairs and decking, as well as more unusual parking garage applications such as aesthetically pleasing architectural screening to camouflage the garage and protect against falls, HVAC screens and more.

What's more, FRP reinforcements may be used in concrete structures such as parking garages — by adhering reinforcements to the tension side of structural members such as slabs or beams. This provides additional tension reinforcement and improves flexural strength. When FRP reinforcements are wrapped around the webs of joists and beams, shear strength is added to the structure. When it's wrapped around columns, both shear strength and axial strength are added.

  • Consumer sporting goods and recreational equipment — Most sports equipment relies on humans to make the movement, so the lighter the equipment, the better. Many manufacturers rely on FRP composite materials for equipment such as skis, fishing rods, tennis racquets, hockey sticks, bicycles, golf clubs and surfboards because of its high strength-to-weight ratio.
  • And a wide variety of other construction purposes — From custom residential and commercial railings, fences and fountains, commercial kitchens, office buildings, hotels, classrooms, healthcare facilities, hospital rooms and so much more, FRP is becoming increasingly popular.
readyspan and readyplatform

ReadySeries: A Perfect Fit for Countless Applications

It’s no surprise that FRP is used in so many diverse applications. Bedford’s corrosion-resistant ReadySeries modular FRP structural products have proven ideal for countless applications and for good reason. The ReadySeries FRP structures and components offer high performance and significant advantages:

  • Resistant to harsh weather, chemicals and saltwater — so it won’t rot, rust or corrode
  • Strong yet lightweight — pound for pound, Bedford’s FRP structural members are stronger than many steels in the lengthwise direction and weigh up to 75% less, making them easier to transport and install
  • Slip-resistant surfaces available — safety is important in wet, slick and oily conditions to protect people from slips and falls
  • Humidity resistant — no shrinking or swelling
  • High structural integrity — exceptionally durable and impact resistant; won’t warp, dent or bow
  • Long-lasting — gratings, profiles and structures stand the test of time
  • Simple fabrication — easily installed using standard tools, so no specialized labor, welding equipment or cutting torches are necessary
  • Wide range of pre-engineered components and sizes with limitless configurations — makes it easy to meet any need, fast
  • Fire-retardant options available
  • OSHA compliant — with OSHA safety yellow color option available
  • Virtually maintenance-free
pro forms

PROSeries: Endless Design Possibilities

Bedford’s well-established lineup of PROSeries structural shapes and fiberglass grating are for customers seeking a durable alternative to steel, aluminum and wood, with lower maintenance costs and added safety features. This selection of products for FRP applications includes:

  • PROForms® Structural Shapes — Minimize maintenance costs with long-lasting, lightweight FRP shapes like I-beams, channels, angles, tubes and rods to meet a wide array of structural needs.
  • PROGrid® Molded Grating — Safety comes standard with this low-maintenance molded grating. It’s the most flexible, corrosion-resistant and impact-resistant FRP grating.
  • PROGrate® Pultruded Grating — Ease safety concerns and minimize maintenance with pultruded grating. PROGrate is the stiffest and strongest FRP grating option.

Lower Cost of Ownership

FRP is lighter and much more durable than steel, so fiber-reinforced polymer matrix solutions are cost effective and save you money early on as well as over time. The lighter weight of FRP material reduces shipping costs to your jobsite. You’ll also save on installation costs because the lighter weight makes FRP easy to handle and move without added labor or equipment. And while installing a metal structure can require special skilled labor and equipment, such as a welder or cutting torch, many FRP solutions install easily with ordinary tools. Therefore, a Hot Work Permit is not needed for installation. (A Hot Work Permit is required for any operation involving open flame, heat or sparks.)

In addition, you’ll save money throughout the life of your FRP solution because it is virtually maintenance-free. And, of course, since FRP components offer superior corrosion and impact resistance, the lifespan will be much longer than you can expect from metal.

Get Started

Interested in learning how Bedford can create a custom solution for your unique FRP application? We are here to help. Reach out to our experienced team with questions, request a quote or call 814-623-8125 to discuss your project.