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Is Corrosion Eating Away at Your Budget?

Corrosion presents a huge problem for mining companies the world over, but in Australia, where extreme environmental conditions play a role, it’s a critical consideration. Reviews carried out by the Western Australian Corrosion Research Group suggest that corrosion creates a significant cost burden to the mining industry, with estimated costs as high as 3% of GDP. In monetary terms several billion dollars per year.

While some corrosion problems are so serious they can render operations ineffective, others can be easily remedied. The use of composite materials for the construction of walkways and other structures, leaves accessways safe and with need for very little maintenance. This means companies can concentrate their time and budget investing in high-risk corrosion issues that have a direct impact on their core business.

To meet this need, engineers are turning to products such as Fibreglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP), as a viable, safer alternative to steel. The replacement of corroded, unsafe flooring has become a huge market for FRP manufacturers.

Perth-based FRP Engineering supplies a large number of these products to the mining sector, including walkway grating, handrails, ladders, access ways, cable ladders, trays and fixings. Their clients are impressed by both the cost effectiveness of the product during its lifecycle and the increased safety factor that it provides.

The strength and corrosion resistance of FRP is related to its glass content, resin content, resin type and method of construction. This unmatched protection is ensured by the manufacturing process in which fibreglass is thoroughly wetted providing continued structural integrity, even in tough environments.

This is, of course, not a new technology. FRP products have been used for over 40 years and have already met the challenges brought by the harsh environmental conditions Australia. However, in the past, the final decision often came down to a matter of budget which saw steel being selected as a cheaper alternative. More recently, the cost of installing composite materials has reduced dramatically and although metallic components may appear more economical initially, they often end up costing more due to high maintenance and replacement costs.

“Our clients come from all sectors of the industry. Many of them who followed the traditional metallic route in the past are now coming back to us to make the switch to FRP because traditional metals often deteriorate in a few years or less, requiring numerous replacements within the facility life.” says Dirk Bevilaqua, Director of FRP Engineering.

“Chemical treatment, washdown and water treatment areas benefit greatly from the use of our products. Problems where weight is an issue, or there’s an increased risk of corrosion, can be solved by installing FRP components.”

The use of composite materials is already very popular within the oil and gas industry where they offer superior resistance to corrosive saltwater, drilling fluids and other chemical compounds. The lighter weight of the composites, one-third the weight of steel, provides substantial savings for floating offshore facilities and significantly reduces the lifting requirements during installation.

So it’s not just their corrosion resistance that makes composite products an attractive prospect for the mining industry. There are a number of benefits associated with choosing FRP over traditional metals such as:

Slip resistance

Provided by a meniscus top or permanent grit on FRP flooring products, provides a safer walking surface whether wet, oily or dry

Flame retardant

Most products engineered to have a low flame spread rating and self-extinguishing properties

Non-conductivity

Composite products are both electrically and thermally non-conductive, as well as not affecting electromagnetic or radio wave frequencies

Impact absorption

They can withstand major impacts with negligible damage

Low maintenance

Corrosion resistant and do not require scraping, sandblasting or repainting

Overall, the result is a product that has minimal maintenance requirements, a long service life and a lower life cycle cost than ferrous metals and aluminium.

So, if you are looking to prevent corrosion, improve the safety of your operation, as well as finding a cost effective and versatile solution , maybe now is a good time to consider looking at the benefits of installing high performance composite products.

If you are interested in learning more you can contact the team at FRP Engineering on (0) 89455 4343 or at https://www.frpengineering.net/contact-us/

Fertiliser Plant Safety Issue Solved – Corrosion Control With Solid Top Grating

Due to the nature of the chemicals they work with, industrial fertiliser plants are very frequently plagued with corrosion issues that can represent real hazards to both occupational health & safety as well as productivity.

At FRP, we’ve been worked with a wide variety of different fertiliser plants over the last 15 years and are very familiar with the issues that they face. When a client came to us with a safety issue at their weighbridge, our engineers and planners had lots of experience to call on and were able to commence work on a solution almost immediately.

The brief was to find a suitable access/egress solution so drivers could safely exit their trucks during the weighing process. Traditionally, the sump/drain next to the driver had been covered by mild or galvanised steel that was prone to corroding under the weight and frequency of fertiliser spills. This created a safety issue as there was no way of ensuring the steel was suitable to be walked on. In addition to this, the steel plate was very heavy to move, which made routine sump clearing a difficult and dangerous process.

FRP Engineering resolved the brief with a fully composite access solution. Using FRP Solid Top grating on an FRP Frame, all access and cleaning issues were easily resolved. The custom FRP Solid Top grating will not corrode and is strong, waterproof, slip resistant and easy to clean.

The FRP Frame and Platform also shares all those same properties, but with the added benefit of being a lightweight solution. With the inclusion of some clever hidden lifting points, the whole access way can now be removed for cleaning simply and quickly. This means that drivers are now safe to get in and out of their cabs and go about their work.

FRP Engineering is here to solve problems. Our Composite and FRP solutions are well known for their ingenuity, quality, timeliness and price. If you have an issue that needs solving in a timely and cost efficient manner then why not call today and see if we can help!

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Planning Ahead with FRP Engineering – Save Time, Money and Aggravation

At FRP we pride ourselves on founding great, long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships. One of our clients was recently in need of some floor grating for a plant expansion at a remote worksite and, having been very happy with the work we’d done for them in the past, they contracted us to do the job

Our expert team worked closely with the client from the very early stages of the design process.  This allowed for the identification of any floor mesh related issues at the design stage when they could be easily rectified.  As such we were able to advise on flooring layouts that would maximize efficiency, reduce wastage and ensure safety at all stages of the installation.

Once we had finalized an agreed layout, our production team was able to liaise with the client and agree on a production schedule that complimented the onsite requirements for material.  This approach allowed the provision of flooring on a ‘just-in-time’ basis to further reduced waste by providing site personnel with FRP grating in smaller batches relating to the areas in which they were working.

This also meant that site workers didn’t have to spend hours looking through hundreds of pieces of the grating for the correct piece.  Everything was supplied in packs that were marked up for areas agreed from the original layout drawings.  In addition, these packs could be transported with other items on scheduled delivery runs without the expense of special transport.

The other great advantage of planning ahead was a big reduction in errors.  Managing the process from the start and supplying all of the materials meant that we were able to cut and supply hundreds of individual pieces of grating – with cutouts and penetrations – and hit a target of 99% accuracy.

The client’s site installation team was extremely happy with this result as it allowed them to finish their project ahead of time with a minimum of aggravation.


Do you have a mesh grating job coming up? Let us help you get it done on time and on budget with a minimum of fuss and hassle. We specialize in FRP Materials so you don’t have to. Get in touch today on (08) 9455 4343 for a bit more of a chat.

Chemical Storage Facility Benefits from FRP

For decades, FRP tanks have been used as the material of choice for the containment of chemicals, whether that be storage in the form of tanks or transmission in the form of pipes, that are used in the water treatment and waste water treatment industries.

The ability to tailor a specific resin blend to suit different chemicals and the cost effective manufacturing process mean that it is hard to go past FRP as the most appropriate option. Why then would you design the infrastructure in these areas from materials that don’t have the same level of corrosion resistance.

The advances in manufacturing processes have now meant that “structural composites” are becoming more common place in highly corrosive environments.


For more information, please contact FRP Engineering.

Lightweight FRP Platforms The Main Difference

FRP Engineering was contacted by a client with what appeared to be a pretty straight forward job on first look. A platform, walkway and stairs were required to replace a rotted timber structure and to provide access down a step bank to a river below. It had to be designed to met the relevant Australian standards (AS1657-2013 & AS 1170).

Where the job became a little more involved was the location. It was in the middle of nowhere and access was limited to “whatever you can carry in by hand”. For years, the job was put on hold while a suitable solution could be found by which time the existing timber platform was well past its used by date.

Steel was considered but proven to be far to heavy to carry down the steep bank and over the dam wall. Aluminium was then looked at however the cost of fabrication meant the client had to keep looking.

After much deliberation, FRP Engineering provided a solution that ticked all the boxes.

The lightweight nature of the FRP structural elements coupled with the design meant that components were easily carried to the site and assembled without the use of any specialised lifting equipment.


For more information, please contact FRP Engineering.