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Fiberglass vs. Plastic Storage

How Does Fiberglass Compare to Plastic?

 

Fiberglass

Plastic

Strength

Fiberglass will maintain up to 25 times the strength of steel per pound, giving it a very impressive strength-to-weight ratio.

Plastic serves as an alternative for wood and metal, though it does not compete with the strength of fiberglass.

Weight

Fiberglass is an excellent and lighter substitute for metal, or wood storage cabinets.

Although slightly lighter in weight, plastic enclosures are much less durable than Fiberglass safety equipment cabinets

Durability

The inherent strength of Fiberglass gives it exceptional durability in highly corrosive environments. It will also withstand heat, salt, and a wide array of chemicals, including chlorine and most acids.

Plastic will not tolerate extreme environments or chemicals, leaving your personal protection equipment exposed to the elements.

Appearance

One of the most obvious differences between fiberglass and other cabinet types is the appearance. Fiberglass cabinets have sleek contours and superior molded appearance with high visibility colors.

In many cases, storage cabinets constructed of plastic do not have the smooth lines common to Fiberglass cabinets. The superior appearance of fiberglass products allows them to be used in just about any setting.

Conductivity

Fiberglass is non-conductive RF transparent and acts as an insulator against electromagnetic fields, making it the best choice for electrical and electronic equipment storage.

Plastic is less of an electrical insulator than fiberglass and, because of its limited durability, plastic will not protect highly sensitive electronic equipment as consistently as fiberglass.

Corrosion

Fiberglass is highly resistant to corrosion caused by a multitude of environmental elements including salt air, chemicals, acids, and chlorine, making it the preferred choice over plastic.

Plastic storage cabinets have a short lifespan when used in highly corrosive environments potentially exposing their contents to the harsh elements and thereby compromising their reliability.

Finish

Gel-coated fiberglass storage units offers a high-quality, durable finish that requires little or no maintenance. In addition, gel-coating comes in multitude of high-gloss color finishes for a clean, custom look.

Plastic colors do not hold up over time, especially in environments where they are exposed to salt air.

Acoustic Properties

Fiberglass provides superior acoustical properties when compared to plastic or metal. Various type of sound deadening materials can be laminated between high strength layers of Fiberglass matte to achieve the preferred level of sound deadening.

Plastic does not offer the same type of sound dampening or the ability to have laminated layers

Stability

Fiberglass exhibits the least amount of expansion and/or contraction when compared to plastic, wood, or metal utility cabinets. Fiberglass parts have excellent dimensional stability and will hold their shapes under severe mechanical and environmental stresses. Fiberglass provides protection against UV rays, extreme temperatures, salt and a variety of chemicals including many acids.

Though durable for less extreme conditions, plastic will not hold shape under extreme environmental stresses. UV light causes degradation of plastic, rendering it brittle and vulnerable to cracking. In addition, gas and oil can affect the integrity of a plastic storage unit.


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