Fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) material is insulating material used in constructing parts of applications and devices used in the electrical network. The FRP cross-arms finds use in supporting the conducting wires on the pylons in an electrical grid work.
Desirable qualities of a cross arm
You must choose a cross arm unit with care. Look at all the attributes and then make comparisons. The desirable qualities of a cross arm are as follows.
- a) Anti-corrosive: The FRP cross arms stay exposed to the elements and so they must have enough toughness to resist them. The main thing that affects these structural elements is corrosion. So, it is desirable to make the cross arms from non-corrosive material as this will give them a long life.
- b) High quality material: Most of the excellent quality cross arms manufacturers use advanced composite material. Top companies use fibreglass because they are light and possess admirable strength. If you saturate the material with ultraviolet inhibiting substances the life of the product will be more.
- c) Light in weight: Cross arms that have less weight will prove easy to install. They will handle better during the installation process. This simplifies matters since you will not run into any problems. Further, you will not need any heavy machinery to hoist it up into place.
- d) Excellent insulation: The material is high quality plastic. It proves as one of the best insulating materials one will find.
- e) Survives extreme climates: You can install these in coastal areas or places where the smog is thick. This will withstand exposure to toxic gases and oppressive environment without suffering any damage.
Comparison of different material types
On a comparative note, one prefers plastic FRP cross arms to wooden or steel ones for many reasons. The first is that steel is a good conductor of electricity which could prove detrimental to the installation. Wood is a bad conductor and may show some leakage at times. Plastic is an insulator and does not conduct electricity at all.
When you think about the life of the cross arm, the steel one has a long life but is subject to corrosion. Wood rots and will deteriorate when exposed continuously to the elements. Plastic is the best since it will last long and does not undergo deterioration. When you consider the weight, the steel one is the heaviest and will prove cumbersome always. The wooden one will also be heavy and you will need heavy machinery for installing it. The FRP unit will not need any machinery to hoist it because it is so light. The bird fault is high for the steel unit alone.
Make sure they are green
When choosing cross arms, one must choose those that are environmentally friendly. The material must be green and the process of making the product must also be green. Further, they must be immune to attacks by ants, woodpeckers, and termites.
If they are made using pultrusion equipment, they have maximum repeatability and high quality. Cross arms that have undergone testing will give proof that they are capable of handling high stresses and come good. A superior product will last you for decades at a stretch.