GRP: The multi-talent among materials

In which sectors is GRP used? Where exactly is it installed and what advantages does GRP bring to your industry?

Reading time: ca. 10:00 min.

Application areas of glass fibre-reinforced plastics

Glass fibre-reinforced plastics combine many properties that strongly influence the lifecycle of a product. Although the initial investment is somewhat higher that processing other materials, over the entire service life, not only do you save money, but also a great deal of trouble associated with subsequent repairs. Glass fibre-reinforced plastics can be used in a wide range of applications, as the material combines the following properties:

  • Durability, lightness and robustness
  • Resistance to weathering and hail
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Easy cleaning and repair
  • Can be produced in all colours

Due to its durability, lightness and weather resistance, the material is very popular in the caravan, bus, commercial vehicle and construction industry. Further properties and precise information on the composition and manufacture of GRP can be found in the article "Glass fibre-reinforced plastic - A definition".

GRP in the caravan industry

GRP in Caravans | insights by LAMILUX

Whether camping holidays over the weekend or a trek around the globe - no matter how long the camping trip lasts, the van's four walls are the camper's home for this period. Above all, a caravan must combine the following: Functionality and homeliness.

However, these properties are not just applied to the interior design and decoration of the mobile home, but incorporated right from the start into the design of the vehicle. Here, standards are already set for how functionally and visually appealing the interior and exterior walls, floors and interior of the mobile home are. 

Application areas in caravans

GRP can be found as a multifunctional material in many application areas in caravan and mobile home construction. The material makes the mobile home more durable and stable, which saves annoying visits to the workshop for subsequent repairs.

GRP in the bus industry

GRP in busses | insights by LAMILUX

Similar to a caravan, a bus gets around a lot - it is exposed to a wide range of influences, from snow, hail and ice in winter to sun, salt water and heat in summer. A bus, whether a long-distance bus or city bus, must be able to withstand a lot, including the interior.

Passengers' luggage is often struck carelessly against the inner and outer walls of the bus, which can quickly cause dents or scratches in the material. The floors in buses are stressed by people boarding and alighting on a daily basis, bringing dirt, moisture and stones into the bus. To ensure that no major damage occurs, a bus must be optimally equipped so that it retains its beautiful appearance for a long time.  

Application areas in buses

GRP is used both internally and externally in buses. Sheets made of fibre-reinforced plastic form the outer face sheets of the bus roofs and side walls. On the other hand, other product variants provide the option to clad inner walls or construct and coat floors. 

GRP in the commercial vehicle industry

GRP commercial vehicle industry | insights by LAMILUX

Whether trucks or last mile delivery vehicles - regardless of the size of the delivered goods, the delivered products are part of the design of the vehicle. GRP must withstand particularly high loads here and ensure that goods are also well protected.

The low weight combined with high stability makes the use of fibre-reinforced plastics suitable for all applications, such as roof and wall cladding as well as in floors. In particular, its stability and long life-cycle under daily loads and the design for heavy mechanical loads make GRP the perfect material for truck bodies and delivery vehicles. 

Application areas in trucks and delivery vehicles

GRP panels are particularly suitable for manufacturing long side walls of trucks, as they facilitate one-piece manufacture without the need for a seam in the side wall. LAMILUX Composites is a manufacturer specialising in the continuous production of GRP panels. The continuous manufacturing process enables the production of glass fibre-reinforced plastic in thicknesses between 0.3 – 5.0 mm, in widths of up to 3.20 m and as rolls up to a length of 300 m. 

1.    Roof and outer walls 

The roof of a commercial vehicle should not only be weather-resistant, but also particularly robust and long-lasting. LAMILUX Woven Roving is suitable as an external layer. It has high tensile and flexural strength and is well suited for large-surface roof applications due to its low linear expansion coefficient. In addition to the roof, the outer side wall of a truck also has to withstand a great deal. GRP is also a good solution here – GRP is extremely impact-resistant with a high resistance to frontal impact loads. 

GRP in Commercial vehicles | insights by LAMILUX

2.    Inner wall cladding and floor structures

Just like in buses and caravans, GRP also offers individual design options for truck interiors. Not only are the decorative designs of GRP beneficial, but it is also a surface-hardened, food-grade and easy-to-clean material. Fibre-reinforced plastic with anti-slip surface is also recommended as an upper face sheet for the floor in trucks. In addition, the floor in commercial vehicles is equipped with a stabilising GRP as a lower layer and with a wooden or foam insert in between. This means that the floor can withstand any load and the vehicles are even PIEK-compatible

GRP in the construction industry

[Translate to English:] LAMILUX GFK auf dem Bau | insights by LAMILUX

Fibre glass-reinforced plastic is not only used in vehicle construction, but also in the construction industry.

Suspended, ventilated facades made of fibre-reinforced plastic panels are increasingly used in modern architecture.

Architects and planners are also increasingly using glass fibre-reinforced plastics for room solutions or halls in agriculture, as GRP can be adapted to any building. 

Application areas in the construction industry

Glass fibre-reinforced plastics can be used in a wide range of construction areas as they combine optical and physical benefits in a single material. They can be semi-transparent, diffusely illuminated or ventilated.

1.    Facades 

As a cladding sheet, glass fibre-reinforced plastic enables visually appealing facade cladding in a wide range of colours. The LAMILUX façade panel combines aesthetics and design with efficiency and function. 
The range of colours, the implementation of appealing backlighting effects and the creative design freedom through different element dimensions enable architects and builders to design the facade cladding to be project-specific. There is sufficient scope to adapt the building envelope  to the aesthetic ideas and property-specific building characteristics by using fibre-reinforced plastic panels.  
However, the cladding sheet not only looks good, but also makes a major contribution to optimised thermal insulation in the context of ever-increasing building energy efficiency requirements. This is achieved by the rapid implementation of ventilated facades on a delicate substructure. 

 LAMILUX Facade panel | insights by LAMILUX
[Translate to English:] LAMILUX Fassadenplatte | insights by LAMILUX