Complete Guide to Bedford’s ReadySeries FRP Solutions

When designing a project that requires platforms, handrails, ladders, stairs or bridges, there’s a limited array of appropriate materials from which to choose. It can be a challenge to find a suitable material that is durable, wear-resistant, low maintenance and safe for daily use. That’s why most projects end up settling for the traditional standbys of steel, aluminum and wood. Granted, these common materials are readily available and have their strengths, but a valuable and respected alternative is stronger, safer and more reliable: fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP).

What Is FRP?

FRP is a composite material made of plastic resin, fiberglass roving and fiberglass mat. These materials on their own are not nearly as strong and functional as they are when combined. When they are mixed, you get what is known as fiberglass-reinforced plastic, or FRP, which creates a sturdy, versatile building material. Fiberglass reinforcements make it stronger and less malleable, so FRP can withstand substantial loads without cracking, bending or breaking.

Of course, traditional building materials have their place. But for harsh, corrosive environments, Bedford’s FRP solutions are a smart choice.

Pound for pound, Bedford structural fiberglass has the strength of steel at a fraction of the weight. It won’t corrode, rot, attract insect damage or conduct electricity. It can be formed into infinite FRP profiles to fit your specs. And decades down the road when those other materials need to be replaced, FRP will still be going strong.

How Does FRP Stack Up?

We can say that FRP is superior, but it can be challenging to transition to a new material — and when you’re considering FRP as an investment into a project’s design, you need clear evidence that it’s the best choice. Let’s explore comparisons between FRP and traditional materials, keeping in mind that choosing the best materials for your project will protect your investment.

FRP vs. Steel

Bedford’s FRP is corrosion-resistant, so unlike steel, it won’t rust when exposed to harsh weather and chemicals. It’s also non-conductive and impact-resistant. Pound for pound, Bedford’s FRP members are stronger than many steels in the lengthwise direction and weigh up to 75% less. Compared to steel, our FRP provides the strength of steel at a quarter of the weight, simple fabrication with standard tools (no welders or cutting tools needed) and molded-in color and resin options, including fire retardant.

FRP vs. Aluminum

Bedford’s fiberglass shapes won’t corrode and are non-conductive. Unlike aluminum that is highly conductive, an advantage of FRP is low thermal conductivity, making it a great insulator. This is especially important in environments with high voltage. Our FRP pultrusions also won’t deform under impact, whereas aluminum will ultimately fail due to its low strength, undefined fatigue limit and low impact resistance.

FRP vs. Wood

In regard to structural applications, Bedford’s fiberglass-reinforced plastic solutions offer noteworthy advantages compared to timber. Unlike wood, our fiberglass shapes won’t warp, rot or decay from exposure to moisture. They are resistant to corrosion, insects, mildew and mold. Best of all, they don’t need environmentally hazardous coatings or preservatives to deliver exceptional durability and moisture resistance, whereas wood needs special coatings to be resistant to moisture and requires frequent reapplication.

Bedford’s ReadySeries Solutions

Bedford meets countless challenges faced by many industries with a wide range of ReadySeries FRP structures. ReadySeries modular FRP structural products can help you maximize safety and uptime while reducing maintenance needs compared to metal and wood structures. What’s more, the range of pre-engineered components and sizes makes it simple to get exactly what you need quickly and affordably and can be installed with common tools you already have on hand.

Why Choose ReadySeries?

ReadySeries offers a bounty of unique benefits:

  • Built to last: Resistant to heat, high winds, rain, snow, saltwater and chemicals; won't shrink, swell, warp, corrode, dent, attract insects or conduct electricity.
  • Safety first: Meets strict OSHA guidelines; features anti-slip surfaces; non-conductive and impact resistant.
  • Ready for quick shipping: Pre-engineered and fabricated from FRP structural profiles and stocked in standard sizes for quick shipping and easy onsite assembly.
  • Easy to assemble: ReadySeries bolt-together modular solutions can be assembled by virtually anyone with ordinary tools — no welding, special tools or hot permits needed.

ReadySeries Product Overview

Here’s a rundown of the ReadySeries lineup. Which one will suit your next project best?

  • Lightweight, easy-to-transport prefabricated platform systems make site assembly easy with standard tools.
  • Features anti-slip surfaces, safety yellow coloring and fire-retardant resins.
  • Designed for 60 pfs live load
  • Non-conductive and impact resistant for safety.
  • Ideal for stair handrails, platform guardrails, mezzanine guardrails, walkway guardrails and catwalk guardrails.
  • All safety rail components comply with IBC and OSHA regulations.
  • Includes UV inhibitors and fire-retardant resins.
  • Complements all ReadySeries products for a complete solution.
  • Stocked in a wide range of standard lengths.
  • Gain access to roofs, mezzanines, rooftop hatches and other ReadySeries components.
  • Sections bolt together with ease so you can get the ladder height you need without a custom build.
  • Includes non-slip rung surfaces for safety, as well as safety yellow, flame-retardant resins and UV inhibitors.
  • Unlike metal ladders, ReadyLadder products are non-conductive for added safety.
  • Designed for safe access, whether going up, down or over obstacles.
  • Includes everything you need for employee safety, including stair sections and handrail components in a range of standard sizes.
  • Meets strict OSHA stairs guidelines for worker safety, including yellow coloring, anti-slip surfaces on stair treads and fire-retardant resins.
  • Non-conductive and impact resistant, plus meets demands for load-carrying conditions.
  • Excellent for indoor and outdoor staircases.
  • High-strength bridge components available for pedestrian, equestrian and light vehicle applications up to 80' long and 10' wide.
  • Materials can be shipped in a kit in modules that require limited assembly in the field or can be shipped completely preassembled to drop into your space.
  • Strength meets demands of load-carrying conditions, yet lightweight material is easy to transport to remote sites.
  • Won’t rot, rust, shrink, swell, warp, attract insects or be affected by severe weather; will last for decades.

Backed by Bedford

Bedford offers the protection you need because we know a delay can derail your profitability. When we promise a ready-to-ship date, we meet it, or we pay the penalty. In fact, we’ve invested in our operation to ensure we can meet or exceed the industry’s best lead times — and we back our products with an unbeatable warranty.

Ready to Get Started?

If you’re looking into FRP composites or are ready to try ReadySeries for your next project, reach out to our experienced team with questions, request a quote or call 814-623-8125 to discuss the details of your project.