Our infrastructure largely relies on conduit. Often, the conduit used for our utilities is PVC. However, more businesses are realizing that Fiberglass conduit has a lot more benefits than PVC.
So, why are more companies and contractors turning to fiberglass? Here’s a look at how the two types of conduit compare to each other
Installation Time and Cost
Several factors, including a few we’ll mention below, makes fiberglass a more cost- and time-efficient option for contractors. It’s lighter and easier to install, saving on labor costs. It’s also cheaper and easier to mold for custom projects.
As mentioned above, fiberglass conduit is significantly lighter than PVC. However, that doesn’t just make for faster installation and reduced labor costs. Due to the fiberglass conduit lightness, it also puts less stress on supporting structures.
That equates to even more savings on the construction side since you won’t need the additional support that PVC would need.
Resistances: Friction, Corrosion, Vibration, and Impact
There are a few times where PVC may be more corrosion resistant, but it still has its (dangerous) flaws. However, fiberglass conduit resists most chemicals, even more than PVC, and temperatures. It’s also more impact resistant. It’s especially useful in earthquake-prone areas, where its flexibility is exceptionally useful.
It’s also an excellent choice for bridge projects since it can resist the high levels of constant vibrations. Finally, fiberglass has a higher friction coefficient. That means that there’s less chance of causing a fire from moving cables through the conduit.
While you can customize both PVC and fiberglass conduit, it’s much easier to shape and form the latter. Most contractors will already own a ‘hot box’ that can quickly alter the shape of the fiberglass conduit.
However, fiberglass can be altered in other ways. The fibers can be reinforced to make it more resistant to corrosion or to provide better electromagnetic shielding. If you want to learn more about fiberglass fittings and customization, make sure to speak with a professional.
Safety and Toxicity
PVC is widely used for conduit, but very few people understand the risks involved. If there’s an accident, burning PVC can release chlorine and bromine. These chemicals can affect your central nervous system, as well as your respiratory system.
When it comes to electrical installations, it’s also far safer since the fiberglass acts as an insulator. That’s a big boon for electrical contractors, since many of them suffer shocks and burns every year, while some accidents result in fatalities.
There aren’t many downsides to using fiberglass conduit over PVC. In fact, in many ways, fiberglass conduit leaves its older cousin in the dust. It’s more affordable, lighter, and more resistant. It’s also easier to use with custom layouts. To top it off, it’s safer and healthier.
If you want your conduit project to last, use a quality product. In this case, fiberglass conduit seems to be the way to go.