What is FRP?

FRP is a Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic material that has the strength of steel at the fraction of the weight. FRP won’t corrode, rot, warp, attract insects, or rust, making it an ideal and long-lasting replacement for steel, wood and aluminum in a wide range of applications.

Because FRP is a composite material made up of fiberglass reinforcements and polymer resins, FRP can also stand for Fiberglass-Reinforced Polymer. The glass fiber provides the strength and stiffness, and the resin provides shape and protects the fibers.

FRP is a common reinforcement to provide strength and durability in fiber optic drop cable. However, you have a choice of strength members for optical cable, and steel is also a consideration.

Let’s compare FRP with Steel as a strength reinforcement in fiber optic cable:

Parameter FRP Composites Steel
Corrosion, rot and
and insect resistance
Resists a broad range of
chemicals and is unaffected by
moisture or immersion in water.
Resists insect damage. Painting
is only suggested when exposed to
UV rays/direct sunlight.
Subject to oxidation and
corrosion. Requires painting
or galvanizing for many
Strength Has greater flexural strength
and pound-for-pound
is often stronger than steel
and aluminum in the lengthwise
Homogeneous material
Weight Weighs 75% less than steel
and 30% less than aluminum
Could require lifting
equipment to move and place
Electrical conductivity Nonconductive
High dielectric capability
Conducts electricity
Grounding potential
Thermal properties Good insulator with low thermal
Conducts heat
Stiffness Will not permanently
deform under working load.
Modulus of elasticity:
2.8 x 106 psi
Modulus of elasticity:
29 x 106 psi
Impact resistance Will not permanently deform
under impact. Glass mat in
pultruded parts distributes impact
load to prevent surface damage,
even in subzero temperatures.
Can permanently deform
under impact
Color Color is molded within
No painting required
Must be painted for color,
may require repainting
over time
Cost Lower installation costs, less
maintenance and longer product
life allow for a lower lifecycle
Lower initial material cost
More expensive to maintain
Much higher over time

Where does FRP Strength Members fit into Fiber Optic Drop Cable?

FRP reinforcement is not the messenger, but in a common configuration will straddle the optical cable within the jacket. In the case of Multicom fiber optic cable, we have constructed our cable in such a way that the optical fiber has the absolute least exposure and the FRP strength members are in a position to guard the hair-thin optical cables to keep them out of harm’s way.

Multicom’s MFFTX Fiber Optic Drop Cable is priced right and configurable to your specifications. With FRP strength members, messenger cable, LSZH jacket and 1 to 6 optical cables, it is perfect for indoor and outdoor applications. Learn more about our Fiber Optic Drop Cable