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What Are Fiberglass Reinforced Panels & How Do They Work?

Fiberglass-reinforced panels have emerged as a useful building material for various applications. This is thanks to their unique combination of durability, strength, easy maintenance, and clean aesthetic appeal.

Not only are they incredibly strong and visually appealing, but they are also incredibly light and easy to install. These attributes make fiberglass-reinforced panels incredibly versatile.

To better understand what fiberglass-reinforced panels are, we will provide a thorough overview, including what they are composed of, what they can be used for, and how they actually work.

So, if you are ready to learn all about fiberglass-reinforced panels, it’s time to get started!

What Are Fiberglass-Reinforced Panels?

As the name implies, fiberglass-reinforced panels are pre-assembled panels consisting of a thin layer of high-strength fiberglass backed by a lightweight and durable polymer resin. The fiberglass that gives the panel its strength is also incredibly light, as the individual glass fibers it is made from are layered in a way that they have incredible tensile strength.

The polymer resin that binds the fiberglass together and provides the base for the finished panel can be made from various materials; however, most use a mixture of polyester and epoxy, as this mixture offers excellent weather and impact resistance.

Since the panel does not need to contain any metal, it is also wholly corrosion resistant, so it can withstand regular exposure to moisture and water vapor, which adds to the versatility of the finished panel.

How Do Fiberglass-Reinforced Panels Work & How Are They Made?

plastic fiberglass raw material

Part of what gives fiberglass-reinforced panels their unique strength-to-weight ratio and other impressive qualities is the materials they are made from and the process used to manufacture them.

While the exact process can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, most start by weaving individual glass fibers in a specific pattern that will maximize their combined strength. Once this is done, a liquid resin covers the woven glass fibers to bond them together.

Additional layers of polyester and epoxy are sprayed over the panel to give it added bulk and strength. This is done so in layers, as it ensures a uniform finish.

From here, the now-formed panel is heated and allowed to cure. The curing process transforms the combined materials into a solid and durable panel.

Some fiberglass-reinforced panels are molded to give them certain aesthetic characteristics, such as faux brick, fake wood grain, or an endless variety of modern designs.

What Can Fiberglass-Reinforced Panels Be Used For?

As mentioned, fiberglass-reinforced panels are incredibly versatile so that you can use them for a wide range of applications. The following are just some of the ways that these unique building materials are being used today.

Interior Wall and Ceiling Facings

One of the primary applications for fiberglass-reinforced panels is their ability to act as aesthetically pleasing interior wall and ceiling facings. Not only do they look great, but they are impact-resistant, easy to clean, rust-proof, and easy to install. Plus they are useful for a wide range of residential and commercial building applications.

They are particularly useful in high-traffic indoor areas regularly exposed to high moisture levels, like public bathrooms, commercial kitchens, indoor pools, spas, changerooms, and even hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

The fact that they are easy to clean, mold and mildew resistant, and incredibly hygienic also explains why they are so popular for use in commercial kitchens and in food processing and packaging facilities.

Exterior Wall Facings

They are practical indoors and work well for adding a visually appealing outer layer to a building. Thanks to their weather and UV ray resistance, as well as their high strength, they can be used to give the exterior of a building a long-lasting facelift.

Agricultural Facility Partition Walls

A surprisingly common use of fiberglass-reinforced panels is their ability to act as corrosion-resistant dividers and wall panels in the agricultural industry.

They provide a clean and hygienic surface that has high resistance to moisture, chemical exposure, and even the corrosive damages that various forms of animal waste can cause. The fact that they are also incredibly low-maintenance explains why they are becoming such a popular option for agricultural facilities.

What Benefits Do Fiberglass-Reinforced Panels Offer?

industrial kitchen restaurant 3d illustration

Part of what makes fiberglass-reinforced panels so versatile is their unique combination of benefits. The following are just some of the advantages that fiberglass-reinforced panels can offer over the alternatives:

  • Scratch and dent resistance
  • Incredibly easy to clean, even with pressure waters and steam cleaners
  • Corrosion and rust resistance
  • Incredible strength-to-weight ratio
  • Ease of installation
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors
  • Resistant to UV rays
  • Visually appealing uniform surface
  • Ability to be customized to any shape and dimension
  • Naturally resistant to mold, mildew, and even chemical damage
  • Incredible impact and weather resistance
  • Suitable for a wide range of applications where sanitation is required
  • Moderate levels of insulation and non-flammable properties

As you can see, fiberglass-reinforced panels can act as durable, scratch-resistant surfaces that can fit the needs of various indoor and outdoor wall and ceiling applications.

Final Words

While fiberglass-reinforced panels are incredibly versatile and they offer some awe-inspiring qualities, they are far from the only type of wall panel that you can choose for your upcoming project. Structural Panels Inc. provides a variety of wall panel solutions that can easily fit the needs of your specific facility.

Learn more about your options and the unique advantages each type of wall and ceiling panel offers by clicking the link below:

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If you run a business where sanitation is essential, you can learn more about fiberglass-reinforced panels and other sanitary, easy-to-clean wall panel options by reading What Food Processing Panels Are Safe to Use?