The water and marine industries can be challenging environments, where constant exposure to weather can place high demands on materials. Aspects such as durability, weight and corrosion resistance all play an important role in the design and choice of materials required for applications in these industries.
Glass fibre reinforced products are increasingly being used in a wide range of water-related applications, including on oil rig platforms, jetties for leisure boating and sailing, aqua plants, fish farming and dredgers.
The Vitaglass range of products are resin-based, glass-fibre reinforced materials used for hand railings, barricading and flooring. The material’s corrosion resistance and strength lends itself to use in demanding environments such as wet and corrosive conditions.
The range is widely used in the leisure boating and sailing communities, where it is viewed as a practical and durable choice of material that is available in a range of colours and designs. The material can also be manufactured to include fire retardant and ultraviolet inhibitors.
In addition, the products can be used in industries where there is contact with effluent streams, such as wastewater treatment works and other industrial applications.
Vital Engineering manufactures the range of products and states that it offers environment-friendly and low-maintenance options that can be installed on site. In addition, the manufacturing process allows for the material to be tailored to specific requirements, related to the shape of the casting, patterns, material thickness and chemical properties.
The company sites the example of a number of flooring surface options, such as a solid or patterned top and various mesh surfaces. A mini-mesh surface with a fine grit allows for comfortable walking and prevents objects from falling through the small apertures, whereas a standard aperture mesh allows for maximum ventilation and has quick drying properties.
The gratings can be moulded or pultruded, with pultrusion resulting in a stronger material. A structure’s strength can also be improved by using a ribbed design, which allows for greater load-bearing at a lighter weight. The material’s properties can be altered by adding various chemicals into the resin mix, resulting in specific characteristics of the end product.
The company aims to engage with customers from the design phase of its projects, in order to offer a tailored solution that meets specific requirements.