Science, Tech, Math › Science Properties of FRP Composites THe Unique Mechanical Properties of Fiber Reinforced Polymers Share Flipboard Email Print A. & F. Michler/Photolibrary/Getty Images Science Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Todd Johnson Science Expert B.S., Business Management, University of Colorado Boulder Todd Johnson has worked on the development, commercialization, and sales sides of the composites industry since 2004. He also writes about the industry. our editorial process Todd Johnson Updated August 12, 2018 Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composites are used in a wide variety of applications. Their mechanical properties provide unique benefits to the product they are molded into. FRP composite materials possess superior mechanical properties including: Impact resistanceStrengthStiffnessFlexibilityAbility to carry loads When designing products out of FRP materials, engineers use sophisticated composite material software which calculates the known properties of given the composite. Typical tests used to measure the mechanical properties of FRP composites include: Shear stiffnessTensileFlexible ModulusImpact Components of FRP Composite Materials The two major components of an FRP composite material is resin and reinforcement. A cured thermosetting resin without any reinforcement is glass-like in nature and appearance, but often very brittle. By adding a reinforcing fiber such as carbon fiber, glass, or aramid, the properties are vastly improved. Additionally, with reinforcing fiber, a composite can have anisotropic properties. Meaning, the composite can be engineered to have different properties in different directions depending on the orientation of the fiber reinforcement. Aluminum, steel and other metals have isotropic properties, meaning, equal strength in all directions. A composite material, with anisotropic properties, can have additional reinforcement in the direction of stresses, and this can create more efficient structures at lighter weights. For example, a pultruded rod having all fiberglass reinforcement in the same parallel direction could have tensile strength upwards of 150,000 PSI. Whereas a rod with the same area of random chopped fiber would only have tensile strength around 15,000 PSI. Another difference between FRP composites and metals is the reaction to impact. When metals receive impact, they can yield or dent. While FRP composites have no yield point and will not dent.