Following the lead of the Egyptians who used glass fibre reinforcement in the fabric of clay jars to stop them breaking during transit, GRP or “Glass Reinforced Polyester” was developed for a wide range of applications by the British military during WW2.
The initial aim was to use GRP for a number of applications such as minesweeping, because of its lack of magnetic footprint. The benefits of GRP were subsequently picked up for use outside of the military in the boat building, motor manufacturing and construction industries.
As the name suggests, the material is produced by combining thermosetting polyester resin and glass fibres under strictly controlled factory conditions. Glass fibres are applied into the resin with each layer of fibres facing in different directions, enabling the stiffness and strength of the finished material to be controlled.
GRP is a strong, lightweight material which is naturally watertight, aesthetically pleasing and has great longevity. Its bulk strength and weight being better than many metals mean that it can be readily moulded into complex shapes and can be used for a wide variety of roof coverings.
As GRP benefits from being fire retardant, easy to handle and UV resistant, it is ideal for roofing installations. The flexible material is incredibly versatile and easy to repair, and providing it is offered by a responsible manufacturer, is fully recyclable at the end of its service life.