Polyester and vinyl ester channels are manufactured from the pultrusion process and are color coded gray and beige respectively. Components are made by reinforcing a polymer resin (polyester or vinyl ester) with multiple strands of glass filament, alternating layers of glass mat and U.V. resistant surfacing veils. The glass is drawn through the liquid resin, which coats and saturates the fibers. The combination of resin, glass and veil is then continuously guided and pulled (pultruded) through a heated die that determines the shape of the component.
In the die, the resin is cured to form a reinforced part which can be cut to length. The hardened fiberglass pultrusion is reinforced with an internal arrangement of permanently bonded continuous glass fibers to increase its strength.
Fabrication requires just three simple operations: cutting, drilling and sealing as described below.
Cutting – Hand held saws, such as hack saws (24 to 32 teeth per inch) are suitable when a few cuts are required. For frequent cutting, a circular power saw with a carbide-tipped masonry blade yields the best results. When using a power saw, dust filter masks, gloves and long sleeve clothing should be worn.
Drilling – Any standard twist bit, even when used with battery-powered drills will work well. Carbide-tipped drill bits are recommended.
Sealing – To protect against future migration of corrosive elements into the cut sections, all cuts and holes should be properly sealed with clear urethane sealer.
Temperature Ranges – Fiberglass parts are supplied in five different materials covering distinct temperature ranges. The temperature ranges indicated are meant to be used only as a general guideline. Continual exposure to elevated temperatures reduces the strength properties of plastics and glass-reinforced fiberglass. Actual resin test data confirms that a 50% reduction in strength occurs at the extreme high temperature levels.
Chemical Resistance – See the chemical compatibility chart for corrosion resistance. The results are based upon immersion for a 24 hour period. This is typically the “worst case” exposure to corrosion. Less severe contact such as spills, splashes and vapor condensate will exceed the performance results listed in the table.
Loading – Channel loading is defined with description of each type of channel. Additional loading and design limitations for fittings and accessories are described in the appropriate section for that part.