FRP cooling tower structures have become increasingly more popular over the past 20 years. Historically, galvanized metal for small to mid-sized applications and wood for mid to large-sized applications had the dominant role in cooling tower structures. Due to environmental, aesthetic, dependability and life expectancy concerns, many users have turned to alternate materials of cooling tower construction such as FRP.
Galvanized metal and wood structures have posed serious environmental concerns due to the harmful chemicals that can leech out into the cooling tower blow down. The corrosive nature of the materials can become unsightly, require maintenance and repair, and result in reduced life expectancy of the cooling tower.
FRP cooling tower structures are not corrosive and therefore improve environmental friendliness and aesthetics while significantly improving life expectancy with little to no maintenance required. FRP cooling towers include hand laid up, injection molded and pultruded methods of construction. Hand laid up is less popular due to the difficulty of getting consistent fiber distribution, which can result in fiber bloom and degradation concerns. Injection molded FRP is popular for keeping a low price with smaller HVAC applications. Pultruded FRP is the material of choice for mid and large size applications due to the structural integrity of the structure.
Most pultruded FPR cooling towers will have an initial investment 30% greater than that of galvanized metal or wood. However, the benefits to the environment, lack of required maintenance, improved aesthetics and dependability, and significantly improved life expectancy offer a solid ROI.