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EBB 427 Application and Technology of Engineering Polymers (Second Half)


Dr. Hazizan Md Akil School of Materials and Mineral Resources Engineering Engineering Campus, USM.

Pultrusion Technology
Introduction Pultrusion is a continuous, automated closed-moulding process that is cost effective for high volume production of constant cross section parts. Due to uniformity of cross-section, resin dispersion, fiber distribution & alignment, excellent composite structural materials can be fabricated by Pultrusion The basic process usually involves pulling of continuous fibers through a bath of resin, blended with a catalyst and then into pre-forming fixtures where the section is partially pre-shaped & excess resin is removed

Pultrusion Technology
Introduction It is then passed through a heated die, which determines the sectional geometry and finish of the final product. The profiles produced with this process can compete with traditional metal profiles made of steel & aluminium for strength & weight. The Pultrusion process has developed slowly compared to other composite fabrication processes The initial pultrusion patent in the United States was issued in 1951

Pultrusion Technology
Introduction In the early 1950s pultrusion machines for the production of simple solid rod stock were in operation at several plants Most of these machines were the intermittent pull type In the mid-1950s, continuous pull machines were available The late 1950s were producing pultruded structural shapes and by 1970, there has been a dramatic increase in market acceptance, technology development, and Pultrusion industry sophistication.

Pultrusion Technology

Pultrusion Technology
The Process The process begins when reinforcing fibers are pulled from a series of creels. The fibers proceed through a bath, where they are impregnated with formulated resin The resin-impregnated fibers are preformed to the shape of the profile to be produced. This composite material is then passed through a heated steel die that has been machined precisely to the final shape of the part to be manufactured

Pultrusion Technology
The Process Heat initiates an exothermic reaction thus curing the thermosetting resin matrix The profile is continuously pulled and exits the mould as a hot, constant cross sectional member The profile cools in ambient or forced air, or assisted by water. The product emerges from the puller mechanism and is cut to the desired length by an automatic, flying cutoff saw.

Pultrusion Technology
The Process

Pultrusion Technology
Advantages Pultrusion is the most cost-effective method of producing fiber-reinforced composite structural profiles The process is capable of producing high performance composite of various continuous profiles, typically products such as light-weight corrosion free structures, electrical non-conductive systems, off-shore platforms and many other innovative new products from Research and Development to mass production and commercialization There are numerous advantages of pultruded Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) profiles of which can be summarized as shown in Table 1.

Pultrusion Technology
Features Description Unit strength in tension & compression is approx. 20 x that of steel when these properties are combined on the basis of unit density Density of pultruded components is about 20% of steel and 60% of aluminium Unaffected by exposure to a great variety of corrosive environment & chemicals. Provides strength & rigidity with dielectric properties. Benefits Optional strength as desired. Exceptionally high impact strength reduces damage potential Higher performance at less weight. Lower shipping, handling & installation costs. Less operational energy demand. Minimum maintenance costs. Long term safety. Longer life. Lesser no. of components. Nonmagnetic & safe. Predictable insulation values for wide range of frequencies. Reduces installation thickness. Eliminates condensation problems. Reduces energy operation requirements. Reduced assembly cost. Reduced inventory. Fewer parts improve reliability. Applications Structural process equipment support. Tank supports. Cooling tower ancillaries. Flooring supports. Trusses & joints. Automotive leaf springs & bumpers. Prefabricated walkways & platforms. Bus components. Chemical plant hand railings, gratings, walkways & bridges. Cable trays. Pipe supports. Ladders, Cable trays. Switch gear components. Mounting braces and backboards. Bulk head frames. Walk in refrigerator door jams. Window frames. Insulated roll up panel doors. Window latch supports. Roll up door Strong

Light Weight

Corrosion Resistant

Electrical Insulation

Thermal Insulation

Pultruded components have a low thermal conductivity, 1/250 of aluminium & 1/60 of steel. Many individual components can be combined into a large profile. Pultruded components are highly resistant to warping stretch/swelling over a wide range of temperature & stresses. The pultruded components are very strong & safe to work with. They are microbes and insect proof.


Dimensional Stability

No permanent deformation under high stress. Close tolerances.

Spring bumpers. Crossing gate arms. Scrubber components.


Many gratings suffer from the problem of microbes etc. due to wet or unhygienic working conditions.

This property makes them ideal choice for pharmaceutical & food industries.


Applications of Pultrusion Technology

Application Areas of Pultrusion

Recreation 7% Industrial 17%

Other 17%

Electrical 32%

Transport 10%

Building & Construction 17%


Pultrusion Technology

Fig. 3: Stork Bridge, Switzerland (Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer) built in 1996


Pultrusion Technology

Kempt Bridge Switzerland (FRP Composite Pedestrian Bridge built in year 2001)


Pultrusion Technology

Kolding Bridge, Denmark (GRP composite bridge) was opened on 18th July, 1997)


Pultrusion Technology

Grating products for sewer or drainage system-reducing the maintenance cost


Pultrusion Technology