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What are the opportunities for pultruded composites in energy efficient buildings?
 August 1, 2022
pultruded composites
 
Pultrusion is a continuous process of manufacturing scrap with constant cross-section. Combining "pull" and "squeeze", pultrusion stretches the material as opposed to the extrusion that pushes the material.
 
In a standard pultrusion process, reinforcements, such as glass fiber roving or woven fabric or chopped fiberglass strands or fiberglass matt, are dipped into resin, followed by a separate preform system, which is then pulled through a heated stationary die to polymerize the resin.
 
 
In a report, the European Pultrusion Technology Association (EPTA) outlines how pultruded composites can be used to improve the thermal performance of building envelopes to meet increasingly stringent energy efficiency regulations. EPTA's report "Opportunities for Pultruded Composites in Energy Efficient Buildings" presents energy efficient pultrusion solutions to a variety of building challenges.

"Increasingly stringent regulations and standards for the U-value (heat loss value) of building elements have led to increased use of energy-efficient materials and structures. Pultruded profiles offer an attractive combination of properties for the construction of energy-efficient buildings: Low thermal conductivity to minimize thermal bridging while providing excellent mechanical properties, durability and design freedom". EPTA Secretary Dr. Elmar Witten said so.
 
Energy-saving doors and windows
 
According to EPTA, fiberglass direct rovings are the material of choice for high-quality window systems, outperforming wood, PVC and aluminum alternatives overall. Pultruded frames can last up to 50 years or more, require minimal maintenance, and limit thermal bridges, so less heat is transferred through the frame, thus avoiding subsequent condensation and mold problems. Pultruded profiles maintain dimensional stability and strength even in extreme heat and cold, and expand at a rate similar to glass, reducing failure rates. Pultruded window systems have very low U-values, resulting in significant energy and cost savings.