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    A-Z of Dura Composites Terminology

    Welcome to our A to Z of Composites

    Your comprehensive guide to understanding some of the key terminology and concepts in the world of composite materials. Whether you’re a seasoned engineer, a curious student, or a contractor stepping into the world of composites, this guide aims to demystify some of the language surrounding these versatile infrastructure materials.

    From aerospace to automotive, construction to marine, composites play a vital role in numerous industries due to their exceptional strength-to-weight ratio, durability, and customisation capabilities. But navigating through the vast array of composite jargon can be daunting. That’s where Dura Composites’ handy A to Z guide can help.

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    Various additives are used in GRP composites to enhance specific properties such as fire resistance, UV stability, and impact resistance. Consult our fire performance and chemical resistance sheets for more information on the specific properties of our core product ranges.


    All of our products are designed for safe and efficient assembly. From decking products that can be quickly installed at home, to train station platforms which can be assembled and installed in record time, keeping possession times low.


    Bar Bonding

    Occasionally, when a d² Dura Grating panel is cut to fit the frame of a landing or platform, the cut leaves open ‘fingers’ along the edge of the mesh. These can be unsightly and can create a ‘snag hazard’ for clothing or skin, but to minimise risk, our fabricators can deploy bar bonding, which involves cutting a bar from the off cut of the panel and bonding this along the open fingers, leaving a fully bordered panel.

    British Standards

    Standards are used to establish consistent protocols that can be universally understood ensuring the reliability of the materials, such as composites. British Standards are displayed as ‘BS’ followed by numbers that indicate which standard the product meets. For example, BS EN 13501-1 is a fire safety standard.



    Composite products are made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties that, when combined, produce a product with characteristics different from those of the individual components. Typically, one component is a reinforcement, which provides strength and stiffness, while the other is a matrix, which holds the reinforcement in place and transfers loads between the reinforcements.

    Composite products within the Dura Composites range include Glass Reinforced Polymer (GRP), Aluminium, Porcelain and WPC, collectively branded under the banner of d². This d² name underscores the distinctive attributes and features of these composite products, particularly their contributions to reducing embodied carbon and sustainability.

    Corrosion Resistance

    GRP is highly resistant to corrosion, making it an ideal material for applications in harsh environments, such as marine or chemical industries.


    Computer-Aided Design (CAD) systems are used to conceptualise project briefs into digital visual representations, with incredible scale and detail to ensure accuracy upon production.


    d² is the name for our unique product range, exclusive to Dura Composites. The d² range stands out for its exceptional features, including superior fire-ratings and advanced anti-slip properties. Rigorously tested and meticulously engineered, these products deliver unparalleled performance, ensuring safety and reliability in diverse applications. Moreover, sustainability lies at the heart of the d² range, with a remarkable reduction in embodied carbon of up to 50% in some cases. This emphasis on environmental responsibility reflects our dedication to promoting eco-friendly practices and minimising our carbon footprint.

    Design Flexibility

    GRP can be made into complex shapes, offering designers flexibility in creating custom components for various applications. Our in-house Design and Engineering capabilities help you adapt to specific challenges in complex projects. Our services include CAD, structural engineering support and FEA studies.


    Data is key in this industry. From providing clear and accurate product testing results to manufacturing products to exact specifications to meet the needs of a project. Our integrated approach to data and design is proven to improve safety – sustainably.


    Embodied Carbon

    Embodied carbon refers to the total greenhouse gas emissions associated with the entire life cycle of a product, including its production, transportation, installation, maintenance, and eventual disposal or recycling. It measures the environmental impact in terms of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) emitted during these stages.

    Assessing embodied carbon helps evaluate the overall environmental sustainability of a product or material, considering its contribution to climate change throughout its life cycle, and reducing embodied carbon is a key focus in promoting environmentally friendly and sustainable practices. That’s why at Dura Composites, we provide information about the embodied carbon value of our moulded and pultruded products, as well as offering a solution for repurposing our customer’s end of life waste, so you have a bona fide option for disposal and recycling for the very first time.


    Innovation demands expertise. We have over 25 years’ experience in the composites industry, and we’re gaining more by the day.



    Fabricated Access Covers Trade Association (FACTA) is a specification for fabricated access covers. A FACTA Classification Table exists as a guide for specifiers to understand the FACTA loadings and draw some comparisons with BS EN124.

    Fire Performance

    By selecting the right combination of resin, additives, and fillers, Glass Reinforced Polymer (GRP) materials can be used to construct structures that offer distinct advantages in fire performance compared to numerous other materials. Unlike metals, GRP composites can significantly limit the heat of a fire spreading. For information about the fire performance of our core products, see our fire performance sheet.



    GRP or Glass Reinforced Polymer is a composite material, and is a type of FRP (Fibre-Reinforced Plastic). However, the two terms are often used interchangeably. Dura Composites products are made from either moulded or pultruded GRP and are formed from continuous glass fibre strands which provide excellent structural qualities.


    Composite materials already have superior slip resistance compared to traditional alternatives, but we’ve taken it a step further. Additional grit on the surface of our GRP grating ensures maximum slip resistance in both wet and dry conditions, with finer, less abrasive grit options available to prevent wear and tear.


    High Strength-to-Weight Ratio

    GRP composites are known for their high strength-to-weight ratio, making them strong yet lightweight materials. But not all composites are created equal, and with a strong reputation for innovation, Dura Composites has continued to invest in its design, technology and manufacturing techniques to create a range of solutions known as , which have the best strength-to-weight-ratio in the industry, and truly redefine what customers should expect from their composite products.

    High-Traffic Areas

    We understand that many of our products are situated in high-traffic areas, so it’s important that they’re proven to withstand this heavy use. Our products are anti-slip tested to over 1m footfalls, so you can be confident of their guaranteed performance even after 1 million footfalls.


    Impact Resistance

    Our GRP is engineered to have excellent impact resistance, making it suitable for applications where durability is key. Whilst routine maintenance will normally be limited to occasional cleaning, it is important to take measures to ensure the safety of any structural GRP element which has been subject to accidental damage. We offer preventative maintenance inspections which can help lower your insurance premiums and give you peace of mind that your structure will achieve it desired in-use lifecycle.


    ISO is an international standard for health and safety at work. As part of our efforts to invest in health and safety, we have attained ISO certification in voluntary areas.


    Joining Techniques

    Various techniques can be used to join composite components. We have an extensive range of different fixings available for immediate dispatch from our fixings centre, including dome washers, Unistrut clamps and square recess clips.


    Kit Format

    The use of CNC technology coupled with skilled CAD and fabricators allow us to prefabricate GRP access structures, platforms and walkways into modular sections which can be shipped to site in kit format for convenient installation.

    King’s Award

    In 2024, we have been awarded the prestigious King’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category for our d² Dura Grating range. This follows a win of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Innovation) in 2020, and a Queen’s Award for Enterprise (International Trade) in 2017.



    GRP is known for its lightweight nature, contributing to ease of handling, transport, and installation. d² Dura Composites however have been design engineered to remove even more weight without compromising performance which lighter components can be seamlessly integrated into almost all scenarios, making projects more efficient and cost-effective. Moreover, being up lighter translates to an equivalent reduction in carbon footprint, making our d² product the most sustainable choice for environmentally conscious projects.


    Composite products offer an extended design life when compared to traditional materials. Whether it’s grating, decking, cladding or access structures, you can be confident that your composite product is designed to last.



    In the moulding process, liquid resin and glass fibres are combined and poured into a mould. The mixture then cures and takes the shape of the mould, resulting in the final product. This process is suitable for creating complex shapes and designs such as open mesh GRP grating.

    Market Leading

    At Dura, we design market leading products. With countless benefits over traditional materials and a company commitment to sustainability, our range is proven to be stronger, safer and greener than other composites on the market.



    GRP is non-conductive, making it suitable for applications where electrical conductivity could pose a risk. The use of GRP in these situations can hugely accelerate project delivery. In a recent project for the rail industry, we devised a GRP barrier solution between the working platform and live OHLE equipment which meant that work could continue during the day without the need for a railway possession, saving an incredible 288 working hours.

    NBS Source

    We understand the importance of having direct access to required product details when assessing and compiling project specifications. That’s why our composite products are listed on NBS Source, a specification platform that allows you to easily specify our GRP Grating and GRP Profile material properties and access technical performance information.


    Open Hole Size

    Our GRP grating panels come in a wide range of open hole sizes depending on panel thicknesses. Open hole size is a particular consideration when it comes to the BS 4592 Standard and with our GRP Grating range, we’re able to meet 20mm and 35mm sphere requirements, including offering the only 50mm Standard Mesh grating on the market that meets the 35mm Ball Fall test.


    Never fret over oxidation with composite products. Our products are simple to maintain, never requiring re-painting or re-staining, with no risk of oxidation.



    Pultrusion involves pulling continuous strands of glass fibres through a resin bath and then through a heated die. This continuous process produces uniform profiles with a consistent cross-section. Pultrusion is well-suited for creating linear and constant cross-section shapes, such as heavy duty GRP floor slabs and treads and structural beams.


    Our composite products are so unique, solving the most ambitious infrastructure challenges, that plenty have patents in place.


    Quantitative Research

    We have a vast range of numerical data which specifically relates to our unique products to help customers make informed decisions about the right product selection for their project. From load and deflection information to tensile strength, we can help.


    We are experts at what we do, with a diverse range of staff boasting the ideal combination of skills to help us continuously progress our products and solve the biggest infrastructure challenges.



    Our unique GRP designs use less raw material without compromising strength or performance, resulting in major carbon savings versus competitor products. We’re also the only company able to provide the option to repurpose your product at the end of its use, making us an even greener choice.


    We offer high-performance cladding and decking products that are ideal for remedial works. Choose composites for your remediation project to ensure the highest level of safety, along with guaranteed longevity.


    Slip Resistance

    Our products have a robust anti-slip surface that returns an ultra-low slip potential test result in all directions, in both wet and dry conditions. Visit the Testing & Certification section of our resource centre for specific information about a particular product.


    Revolutionising project planning and execution, our photogrammetric surveys are non-invasive, capturing the physical world with unparalleled precision. Using drones, the site is quickly and safely surveyed, minimising disruption while delivering highly accurate results.


    Thermal Insulation

    GRP composites are good thermal insulators, making them suitable for applications where thermal conductivity needs to be minimised. This property can significantly limit the heat of a fire spreading in the way that can occur with metals.


    The quality of our products is proven through stringent testing. We don’t leave anything to chance, instead, we’ve invested heavily in real world testing and analysis to produce a range of technical information for all of our composite products.


    UV Stability

    Choose products from suppliers like Dura who subject their core stock to UV resistance testing which ensures that the material does not degrade when exposed to sunlight over time.


    Having products tested by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) provides nationally recognised certification under confidently competent lab conditions.


    Vehicular Loading

    We have a number of products which have been engineered to carry vehicular loads. For example, our Dura Slab is compliant with a number of standards including the Fabricated Access Cover Trade Association (FACTA) standard and our experienced team can help recommend the right solution for your needs.


    Verify your product selection using parameters such as clear span dimension, type of load, max load requirement, allowable deflection criteria and fire rating. The filters on our power of composites tool fensure that the resulting product selections meet the needs of the project specification.


    Water Absorption

    GRP composites have extremely low water absorption versus walking surface materials like timber, making them suitable for industrial and manufacturing facilities and marine and water-related applications.

    Wood Grains

    Interested in composites but looking for a natural wood appearance? Our timber alternatives, such as many of our decking products, boast a natural wood-grain pattern to give the appearance of timber without any of the usual drawbacks.


    Xenon Arc Test

    This is a widely accepted laboratory technique specifically designed for simulating and assessing the impact of prolonged exposure to sunlight. We’ve exposed many of our products to this test to help you make informed decisions about the durability and lifespan of materials. Find out more in the Testing and Certification section of our website.



    Many of our GRP products are available in a bright yellow shade for increased visibility, which is especially important for safety applications. Upon request, we are able to design and produce bespoke special order colours, such as sand, to suit individual projects.


    Yetta is the name of one of our library designs of canopy dagger boards, which each feature a Victorian-era name to aid recognition, and to ensure ease of specification for our end clients. Dura Dagger Boards, are the ideal replacement material for timber daggerboards on railway station canopy fascias, with over 45 library designs already on offer to the market, mimicking a vast range of heritage designs.


    Zero Landfill

    We have committed to not sending any of our GRP waste to landfill by the end of 2024. Our recyclable d² product range includes walkway grating, trench covers, structural profiles, handrailing, access structures, and station platforms. We’re the only company able to provide the option to repurpose your product at the end of its use, making us the greenest choice.