Pultruded FRP vs Steel vs Timber vs Aluminium

FRP Pultruded Profiles




Superior resistance to a broad range of chemicals. Unaffected by moisture or immersion in water if ends are properly sealed.
Surfacing veil and UV additives create excellent weatherability.
Subject to oxidation and corrosion.
Requires painting or galvanizing for many applications.
Can warp, rot and decay from exposure to moisture, water and chemicals.
Coatings or preservatives required to increase corrosion or rot resistance can create hazardous waste and/or high maintenance.
Can cause galvanic corrosion.
Corrosion resistance can be increased through anodizing or other coatings.
Unaffected by insects Unaffected by insects Susceptible to insect attack (marine borers, termites, etc.). Coatings to increase resistance to insects can be environmentally hazardous. Unaffected by insects
High strength-to-weight ratio, and pound-for-pound are stronger than steel in the lengthwise direction.
Ultimate flexural strength (Fu)
LW = 30,000 psi,
CW = 10,000 psi.
Compression strength is 30,000 psi
Homogeneous material.
Yield strength (Fy) 36 ksi
Extreme fiber bending = up to 2800 psi.*
Compression parallel to grain = up to 1800 psi.*
Flexural strength (Fu) 35 ksi.
Homogeneous material.
Modulus of elasticity
LW = 2.5 x 106 psi
CW = .8 x 106 psi
Will not permanently deform under working load.
Modulus of elasticity
29 x 106 psi
Modulus of elasticity = up to 1.8 x 106 psi.*  
Lightweight - weighs 75% less than steel & 70% the weight of aluminium on density basis1/2" thick plate = 4.7 lbs./sq. ft.
Specific gravity = 1.7 – 1.85
Could require lifting equipment to move from one place to another
1/2" thick plate = 20.4 lbs./sq. ft.
Specific gravity = .51 (oven dried).* Lightweight - about 1/3 that of copper or steel.
Does not conduct electricity.
Low Thermal Conductivity   4 (BTU/SF/HR/Fo/IN).
Conducts electricity. Grounding potential.
Thermal Conductivity  260-460 (BTU/SF/HR/Fo/IN).
Timber can be conductive when it is wet. Conducts electricity - grounding potential.
Pigments added to the resin provide color throughout the part.
Special colors available. Composite design can be customized for required finishes.
Must be painted for color. To maintain color and corrosion resistance, repainting may be required Must be primed and painted for colors. To maintain color, repainting may be required. Silver color. Other colors require prefinishes, anodic coatings and paints. Mechanical, chemical and electroplated finishes can be applied.
Lower installation and maintenance costs in industrial applications often equal lower lifecycle costs. Lower initial material cost Lower initial cost. Extrusion tooling is relatively inexpensive. Part price comparable or slightly lower.
FRP can’t be re-cycle. Therefore does not have any commercial values Due to high demand for scrap metals. Steels are prone to theft Prone to theft Prone to theft