If you’ve been considering fiberglass doors for the exterior of your next commercial door installation, you’ve probably run across the term “FRP,” or fiber-reinforced polymer or plastic. This composite material is made up of a polymer matrix reinforced by fibers, and is designed for durability, longevity, and to stand up against a variety of environmental challenges.
When used in doors and frames, FRP offers significant advantages over other materials, such as these:
- Unlike wood, FRP is not affected by moisture, even in an excessively damp environment.
- FRP won’t rust like hollow metal when exposed to fresh or salt water. The initial cost of the door may be more than metal, but it requires little maintenance and its life cycle will be longer than metal.
- Chemicals can discolor stainless steel and aluminum but usually don’t affect FRP.
- FRP doors can be designed to be easy to clean and graffiti- and scratch resistant.
- The cost of FRP doors is generally less than aluminum doors.
- FRP is lighter than aluminum or steel.
- Fiberglass doesn’t deform or break under impact. Impact loads are distributed by the glass mat in pultruded parts so that surface damage is prevented.
- FRP is impervious to insect attacks.
- FRP doors are good insulators, with low thermal conductivity. Fiberglas doors maintain a constant temperature and are cool to the touch.
- FRP doors are seamless in construction, so eliminate crevices where bacteria and germs may flourish. They are also resistant to mold.
- Doors made of FRP can resist frequent washdowns and harsh chemicals.
- There is no need to paint FRP doors, although sometimes owners do when they want to update a look.
- Fire-rated FRP doors are available.
- FRP doors are available in a wide variety of colors and finishes, including wood grain.
- FRP doors have some environmental appeal, in that they last for many years, so don’t face frequent replacement leading to more doors in landfills. The fact that there is no need to paint them is also environmentally appealing, as are their insulating properties.