The use of fiberglass conduit systems has been around for decades now, but most people still don’t know much about them. It doesn’t help that we live in an era where disinformation can travel very quickly through social media, that we have too many self-confessed “experts” in the field, and many of these people present their uniformed opinions as fact.
The real fact is that over the last 20 years or so, fiberglass conduits have begun to really become popular especially when compared to steel conduits coated with PVC. Still, myths abound about this lightweight and corrosion-resistant material. You may be unknowingly holding fast to some of these erroneous beliefs and that may be costing your business a lot of money.
Here are just 5 of the more pervasive myths about fiberglass conduits that you may still believe in:
1. The Installation Will Cost a Lot
Many in the conduit industry at least are aware that material costs for fiberglass conduits can be very low. But some may still think that the installation process can cost a lot of money that can wipe out your material costs savings. But that’s not true at all.
Admittedly, in the past the installation of fiberglass conduits may require a lot more support that can increase expenses. But now these supports are no longer necessary. In addition, the lightweight material is easier for workers to carry around, so you can also save up on manpower costs during the installation.
2. It’s Cheap and Therefore Low-Quality
It’s a truism for most things that you pay for quality. But there are exceptions to each rule, and the use of fiberglass conduits is an example of how high-quality products can be of exceptional quality.
Forget price for the moment and make a head-to-head comparison of fiberglass conduits with PVC-coated steel conduits. In just about every category, fiberglass conduits come out looking much better. It has a better coefficient of friction, it’s more resistant to corrosion in a wide range of environments, it’s more impact-resistant, it’s also vibration-resistant, and it’s easily customized.
Factor in price, and fiberglass is also less expensive!
3. It’s Not Strong Enough
This myth seems to persist as many people recognize just how lightweight it really is. What’s more, fibers and glass tend to offer an image of fragile materials, right?
But the fiberglass material is actually extremely strong, with exceptional resistance to vibration and impacts as we’ve already noted. It also has zero burn-through and it’s also extremely resistant to friction.
Some fiberglass conduits are stronger than others, since different companies can use their own composite formulas. With certain fiberglass conduit manufacturers, their products can be twice as strong as aluminum conduits and seven times as strong as their steel counterparts. Fiberglass is really that tough.
4. It’s Toxic Because It’s Plastic
It’s true that the fiberglass can reinforce plastic resin, but that doesn’t mean anything. Fiberglass conduits are actually non-toxic unlike other thermoplastic conduits (including PVC conduits). When you have fires and other similar accidents, the other PVC conduits will release toxic bromine and chlorine. That does not happen with fiberglass conduits at all.
In fact, fiberglass functions as an electrical insulator. It doesn’t conduct electricity at all. If inside a fiberglass conduit you get an electrical fault, no one working on the outside of the fiberglass conduit will receive electric shocks.
5. There’s No Practical Use for Fiberglass Conduits
This is perhaps the strangest myth of them all, and it is still believed by people who have no idea what fiberglass conduits have been used for in the last few years. Fiberglass conduits have been used in the waste water treatment industry, bridge and tunnel installations, in dams and power stations, and in various industries with chemically corrosive environments!