The aim of the seminar was to highlight the benefits of Fibreglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) and Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) over the traditional alternatives used in construction. WPC and FRP are the technologies used by Dura Composites in the production of these Composite Products. The Wood Plastic Composites include Dura decking, tiles, cladding and pontoons while the Fibreglass Reinforced Plastic includes Dura gratings, slabs and profiles. The presentations which were handled by Andy Buckingham, Marine Key Account Manager, and Paul Fletcher, International Sales Manager, Dura Composites (UK), dwelt on alternative building and construction materials, which are a departure from traditional steel, wood and concrete:
- When it is saturated in water it loses strength and becomes more slippery. However the WPC Decking is made from a mix of recycled plastics and reclaimed hardwood with various bespoke additives, meaning that it gives you a similar appearance to natural wood decking with the benefit of being impervious to issues such as rot, mould and splintering. Furthermore, these composite products are anti-slip and have the added advantage of being maintenance free and aesthetically pleasing.
- The main drawback of concrete in certain applications such as the use of concrete covers for trenches and gutters is that such application can lead to the use of significant manpower and heavy machinery which increases the cost of construction and maintenance. The Dura Fibreglass slabs however, are lightweight and can support loads of up to 40 tonnes. In situations where Fibreglass passes its load limit it will deflect rather than crack before returning to its original form.
- Steel is heavy and when exposed to the elements can lead to corrosion. Unlike steel, FRP has an anti-slip surface, can easily be cut in various sizes unlike steel which requires special equipment and individuals trained in metal work. The Dura Profiles are easy to assemble, fire resistant and are more light weight than steel.