Material Spotlight: FRP Mini-Mesh

Posted: June 27, 2016 in FRP Grating
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Fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) Mini-Mesh is a completely underused product for the DIY community. The product is a grey fiberglass mesh with small (3/4″ x 3/4″) openings and comes in standard sheet sizes of 4′ x 12′ and 4′ x 10′. The Mini-Mesh replaces metal and wood in flooring applications and offers significant advantages over both materials. FRP Mini-Mesh will not rust, will not corrode, will not suffer termite attack, will not absorb water, and can withstand UV exposure from the sun. It is virtually maintenance free requiring only cleaning as you deem necessary. The small size of the openings in the grating is designed to prevent objects such as keys from falling through below.

This makes the product excel as a deck or a dock. FRP Mini-Mesh is lightweight and easy to install – the easiest way is to build a frame out of metal angle and anchor the FRP sheet in. Specialized hardware called “M-clips” are available for a few dollars apiece to anchor the Mini-Mesh into the frame but if the frame is measured properly this anchorage is often not needed. The Mini-Mesh will supply a long-lasting, weather resistant, near-zero maintenance deck or dock.

The design parameter you most need to be concerned with is span. FRP is very strong; however, it is also more flexible than metal or wood. This means that as the span gets wider the FRP will store energy when you walk on it (flex down) and then push back up. On large spans, this effect can destabilize the individual leading potentially to a fall. Spans between 1.5′-3′ are high recommended and load tables can be supplied.

The only potential drawback to the product is the cost involved compared to metal or wood. The FRP grating will be significantly more expensive than metal or wood alternatives (several hundred dollars per sheet before freight costs) so not everyone will have the budget. However, you “get what you pay for” and the advantages of FRP over competing materials is well worth the price premium. For questions or pricing on FRP Mini-Mesh contact us today.

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