Fibreglass was developed in the late 1940s. It was
the first modern composite and is still the most common. It makes
up about 65 %of all the composite materials produced today. GRP
or glass fibre reinforced plastic consists of two distinct materials,
a fibres of glass (ceramic), which is the reinforcement and a
polymer resin called polyester, which serves as the matrix.
The polyester resin polymer alone is brittle and has a low strength
but when fibres of glass are embedded in the polymer it becomes
strong, tough, resilient and flexible. It becomes an ideal material
to make boat hulls, swimming pool linings, car bodies, roofing
and furniture. The other advantage of GRP is that it is very light.
It is said to have a very good strength to weight ratio. A resilient
material is one that returns to its original shape after bending,
twisting, stretching, compression.
A tough material is one that has the ability to withstand sudden
blows or shocks without breaking. This material can also be bent
without cracking. The image below is of a GRP flight simulator.