Strongwell manufactures EXTREN® using a proprietary combination of thermosetting polyester or vinyl ester resin systems and fiberglass reinforcements. EXTREN® is available in over 100 standard shapes (Figure 1).
Figure 1. EXTREN® fiberglass structural shapes and plate
Advantages of EXTREN®
Compared to aluminum, EXTREN® fiberglass structural shapes and plates provide a number of significant benefits (Figure 2).
Figure 2. Typical aluminum shapes extruded from aluminum billets
The following are the key advantages of EXTREN® fiberglass structural shapes and plates over aluminum:
- Impact resistant
- EMI/RFI transparent
- Highly corrosion resistant
- Thermally and electrical nonconductive, a key safety feature
Figure 3. EXTREN® fiberglass structural shapes and plate have a number of significant advantages over aluminum.
EXTREN vs. Aluminum
The following table lists the advantages of EXTREN® fiberglass structural shapes over aluminum extruded shapes:
||EXTREN® Fiberglass Structural Shapes
||Aluminum Extruded Shapes
||Superior resistance to a broad range of chemicals.
Surfacing veil and UV additives improve weatherability.
|Can cause galvanic corrosion.
Corrosion resistance can be increased through anodizing or other coatings.
||Very lightweight — about 80% the weight of aluminum.
||Lightweight - about 1/3 that of copper or steel.
||Insulates — low thermal conductivity (4 btu/sf/hr/f°/in); low thermal coefficient of expansion (7 (in/in/f°)106).
||Heat conductor — high thermal conductivity (150 btu/sf/hr/fo/in); thermal coefficient of expansion 11-13 (in/in/f°) 106.
||Ultimate flexural strength (Fu) lw = 30 ksi, cw = 10 ksi.
EXTREN® has 86% of the yield strength of aluminum and pound-for-pound, is stronger than aluminum in the lengthwise direction.
|Flexural strength (Fu) 35 ksi.
|FINISHING AND COLOR
||Pigments added to the resin provide color throughout the part. Special colors available. Composite design can be customized for required finishes.
||Silver color. Other colors require prefinishes, anodic coatings and paints. Mechanical, chemical and electroplated finishes can be applied.
||Transparent to radio waves, EMI/RFI transmissions; used for radar and antennae enclosures and supports.
||Easy field fabrication with simple carpenter tools — utilizes adhesive bonding and/or mechanical joining. No torches or welding.
||Good machinability — welding, brazing, soldering or mechanical joining.
||Slightly higher tooling costs; price per lineal foot marginally higher.
||Extrusion tooling is relatively inexpensive. Part price comparable or slightly lower.
||Glass mat in EXTREN® distributes impact load to prevent surface damage even in sub-zero temperatures. Will not permanently deform under impact.
||Easily deforms under impact.
This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Strongwell Corporation.
For more information on this source, please visit Strongwell Corporation.