By Matilde Espregueira, Intern
When two or more different materials are combined, the result is a composite material (the case of pultruded fibreglass profiles used to make BOAVISTA windows – See more here: www.boavistawindows.com/technology/ )
Composites first appeared in 1500 BC, when early Egyptian and Mesopotamian settlers used a mixture of mud and straw to create strong, durable buildings.
Later, in 1200 AD, the Mongols invented the first composite bow, using a combination of wood, bone and “animal glue”.
The modern era of composites began when scientists developed polymers. Until then, natural resins derived from plants and animals were the only source of glues and binders. However, polymers alone could not provide sufficient strength for some structural applications. Reinforcement was needed to provide additional strength and stiffness.
In 1935, Owens Corning introduced the first fiberglass. Fiberglass, when combined with a polymer, created an incredibly strong and lightweight structure. This was the beginning of the Fiberglass Reinforced Polymers (FRP) industry.
It was with the Second World War, that there was one of the biggest advances in composites. This brought the FRP industry from the laboratory into actual production. Alternative materials were needed for lightweight applications in military aircraft. But as well as being light and strong it was discovered, for example, that fibreglass composites were transposable to radio frequencies, and the material was soon adapted for use in electronic radar shelter equipment.
At the end of the World War, Brandt Goldsworthy, developed many new manufacturing processes and products, including pultrusion, a process that allows reliable fibreglass reinforced products.
Today, composite materials are used in a variety of areas, from technology used by defence departments in many countries to medical and prosthetics.
As the technology in composite manufacturing grows, so does our attention to sustainability and the impact of composites on the environment.
We are proud of our sustainable view on fibreglass windows. They have high durability due to the fact that they are highly resistant to corrosion. Other materials, such as iron and steel, have low resistance to sea breezes and salt water. This will reduce the future need to replace windows.
In addition, pultruded fibreglass profiles have a low CO2 footprint, contributing less to global warming than frame solutions such as uPVC or aluminium. See boavistawindows.com/sustainability/ to find out more.