A Brief History of Fiberglass
Fiberglass, (also called fibreglass and glass fibre), is material made from extremely fine fibers of glass. It is used as a reinforcing agent for many polymer products; the resulting composite material, properly known as glassfiber-reinforced plastic (GFRP), is called "fiberglass" in popular usage. Glassmakers throughout history have experimented with glass fibers, but mass manufacture of fiberglass was only made possible with the invention of finer machine tooling.
What is commonly known as "fiberglass" today, was invented in 1938 by Russell Games Slayter of Owens-Corning as a material to be used as insulation. It is marketed under the trade name Fiberglas, which has become a generic trademark.
What is GFRP
Glass-fiber Reinforced Plastic (GFRP) is a composite material or fiber-reinforced plastic made of a plastic reinforced by fine glass fibers. Like graphite-reinforced plastic, the composite material is commonly referred to by the name of its reinforcing fibers (fiberglass). Thermosetting plastics are normally used for GFRP production, most often unsaturated polyester, but vinyl ester or epoxy are also used.
As with many other composite materials, the two materials act together, each overcoming the deficits of the other. Whereas the plastic resins are strong in compressive loading and relatively weak in tensile strength, the glass fibers are very strong in tension but have no strength against compression. By combining the two materials, GFRP becomes a material that resists both compressive and tensile forces well.
What is GFRC
Glass-fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) is an inorganic composite material mainly made up of alkaline-resistant glass-fiber, cement, sand and gravel. Similar to GFRP, glass fiber provides extra tensile strength to traditional concrete, while making the composite material 80% lighter than traditional concrete. The lower expansion rate makes the material even more weather resistant than concrete. Being light, strong, tensile, malleable, heat and water resistant, GFRC products are very popular in construction and architectural façade design. It is extensively used in modern construction throughout the world.
GFRP and GFRC products can be applied in both indoor and outdoor usage. GFRP planters are ideal for declarative purpose as they are light, durable and can be customized into many different styles, shapes with differrent colors and textures. GFRC products are even more weather resistant and can withstand extreme outdoor weather such as fast freeze-thaw cycles. Therefore, it is widely used as building material and architectural façade. Both GFRP and GFRC planters are designed to handle direct contact with soil. The drain-hole option is highly recommended for outdoor usage or when used with direct soil and water contact. If used with excessive water without drain hole, moisture may come out from the base of the planter over time. Please consult your landscaper or gardener to get best results for your plants.