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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.

    A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

    A

    Additives

    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.


    B

    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.


    C

    Corrosion Resistance

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


    D

    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.


    E

    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.


    F

    FACTA

    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.


    G

    GRP

    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.


    H

    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 d², which have the best strength-to-weight-ratio in the industry, and truly redefine what customers should expect from their composite products.


    I

    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.


    J

    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.


    K

    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.


    L

    Lightweight

    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.


    M

    Moulded

    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.


    N

    Non-Conductivity

    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.


    O

    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 d² 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.


    P

    Pultruded

    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.


    Q

    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.


    R

    Repurposing

    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.


    S

    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.


    T

    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.


    U

    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.


    V

    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.


    W

    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.


    X

    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.


    Y

    Yellow

    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.


    Z

    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.