A lot of people get confused by the idea of a fibreglass pool. For many, it looks just like a giant bathtub, while in reality, it's a whole lot different than that.
A fibreglass pool isn't like any other pools, so naturally, there is going to be some confusion about it. There are many advertisements for fibreglass pools and you might even have come across a lot of them.
Ads for fibreglass pool shells are typical along roadsides and even the back of trucks. The makings of a fibreglass pool are far more complex than anyone can imagine.
If you're curious about how fibreglass pools are made, read on!
Definition Of Fibreglass Pool
Before we go into the details of making a fibreglass pool, let us understand what it is. A fibreglass pool refers to a one-piece pool that has been made in a different facility. In the beginning stages, these pools are created from plugs or patterns. From that stage, it then gets transformed into a master mould. It is from this mould that other pools are made.
In other words, fibreglass pools are single piece swimming pools. These pools are prebuilt from the mould we just mentioned. After that, they get shipped to a different location. While the name implies that these pools are made of fibreglass, that isn't always the case. They are made of a number of different layers, each of them adding strength and support to the last.
The layers come together and form a tough as well as a flexible shell that becomes the pool. These pools have several different shapes and can take the form of rectangles, circles or even amoebic shapes, depending on what you chose. There are also pools with a combination of different shapes and inbuilt seats as well as steps.
Benefits Of Using Fibreglass Pools
There are a number of advantages of using fibreglass pools. We'll take a look at a few of them now.
1. Low Maintenance
One of the most significant advantages of using fibreglass pools is that they do not take too much effort to be cleaned or maintained. This is due to the fact that fibreglass pools come with a waterproof gel coating on their surface. This coating creates a layer that makes it extremely hard for it to absorb chemicals.
2. Durable And Damage-Resistant
Concrete pools are nice to look at and they come in different shapes, but they are vulnerable to cracks. The plaster of concrete pools can crack over time due to constant chemical exposure and age.
That is not something to worry about when it comes to fibreglass pools. These pools come with six different layers, which makes them quite durable. Also, they are flexible enough to make them immune to significant wear and tear.
3. Safer On All Counts
Fibreglass pools are more expensive than other pools, but that ends with the initial cost you pay. Due to their low maintenance and damage resistance, they are far easier to own. There isn't a need to replaster anything or worry about vinyl with a fibreglass pool. Lastly, these pools don't get exposed to too many chemicals, thereby making them safer to use.
4. Good Warranty
So far, you've learnt that fibreglass pools are chemical-free and more durable. This also means that they are the least risky kind of pools. That’s not all; they usually have an excellent warranty backing them.
Making Fibreglass Pools
We've learnt what fibreglass pools are and why they make a good option. Now, it's time to understand how they can be made. In this section, we'll take you through the process right from the very first step.
1. Building Plug/Pattern
The first step in building a fibreglass pool is building the plug. It is also called a pattern and it refers to the structure that will become the pool later on. This can be made of any different material. Plugs and patterns can be made of anything that includes wood, steel, fibreglass, body filler or even primer.
2. Making The Mould
Once the plug or pattern is ready, the next step is to build the mould, also referred to as the shell. Once a fibreglass pool manufacturer ensures that the plug and mould are separated, it's time for the next step.
This is to mass-produce the pool shape, which can be anything from a singular shape to a combination with seating areas and steps. The moulds will have to be cleared of any dirt.
3. Getting The Gel Coat Ready
One thing to understand about these pools is that they are made in reverse order. The coating gel refers to the colours that are chosen for the pool. This coat is manufactured from a coloured resin. You can apply it to the mould after choosing one with the assistance of a spraying device of any kind.
Take note to remember that the coat has layers of three forms to ensure that the finish has enough strength to it. The coat needs to be three layers because if the gel is applied thinly, there could be some blistering to the pool's finish. Also, it shouldn't be spread thickly because that could lead to cracks being formed.
4. Coat Made Of Vinyl
The next step is to spray the coat made of vinyl ester resin on the pool. Since the gel coat is partially penetrable, there is a chance that water will pass through the coating’s first layer. A reaction is most likely to occur if the area under the gel coat is made of polyester, most probably a blister or decay of any kind.
This is one of the main reasons why a vinyl ester resin layer is a good idea; installing this layer helps prevent such problems.
5. First Coat Of Chopped Fibreglass
Chopped fibreglass is nothing but a form of multiple materials that get applied with the help of a fibreglass chopper. This includes resin catalyst along with chopped fibreglass. The blend of these three ingredients helps in adding more strength and longevity to the pool.
Once the first layer of chopped fibreglass has been added, it is rolled to ensure that air doesn't get trapped in. This layer needs to be cured before the next step.
6. Second Coat Of Chopped Fibreglass
After the chopped fibreglass is added for the first time, you need to prepare for the next step. This is the second layer of chopped fibreglass coating. Adding a second layer of chopped fibreglass coating adds more strength and stability to the pool.
Adding this is a guarantee of further endurance to the pool, so it is always recommended to add this second coating. After the second coating has been added, it is rolled to prevent air from being trapped in and then cured.
7. Roving Fibreglass Layer
Once the chopped fibreglass coat is done, a layer of woven roving fibreglass is the next step. There are a few manufacturers who prefer to simply add in more chopped fibreglass. Whichever type you add, it is highly recommended that it is as thick as you would prefer.
Special care is to be given in a few areas like the corners and the point where the pool's wall and floor meet. When a thin layer of chopped fibreglass is added to this region, faint spots develop, leading to slight damage to the gel coat in the long run. To prevent such imbalance, a layer of woven roving can be used.
Coats of chopped fibreglass that are too heavy can also create issues in the long run. So rather than worrying about this imbalance, a coating of woven fibreglass does wonders for the pool's durability and quality.
8. Third Coat Of Chopped Fibreglass
As mentioned earlier, there are chances that the third coat of chopped fibreglass could create an imbalance by being too thick or too thin. If you are confident enough about its coating structure, go for another coating of fibreglass. Adding this can help as much as woven roving fibreglass layers. Make sure to roll it to prevent air from getting trapped in and then have it cured.
9. Layer Of Honeycomb Core
Once the layers of chopped fibreglass and woven roving fibreglass are done, the next step is to add thin layers of honeycomb core. This layer is placed along the walls. The honeycomb core is also referred to as “ribs.”
They are added to make sure that the structure and strength of the fibreglass pool is intact. This step is necessary to make sure that the fibreglass is flexible and can withstand water pressure.
10. Fourth Coat Of Chopped Fibreglass
Once the honeycomb core has been added, the next step is to add another chopped fibreglass coat. Adding the fourth layer of chopped fibreglass is necessary to ensure further strength and durability to the pool. Once the coat is applied, rolling helps in preventing air bubbles from popping up.
11. Fifth Coat Of Chopped Fibreglass
The fifth coat of chopped fibreglass is the last step that goes into making the shell of the fibreglass pool. The last layer of fibreglass coating adds further integrity to all the other layers of the pool's shell. It is rolled to prevent air from getting trapped in and is then cured.
An Intricate Process
Once the eleven steps that go into making your fibreglass pool are complete, the pool will be delivered to the backyard. A hole would already have been dug to accommodate the pool. It will then be installed in this space.
We're pretty sure plenty of people who thought that making a fibreglass pool was simple will have a better idea of the intricate process that goes into it. As we mentioned earlier, this is actually quite a complex process. If you are considering the benefits of buying a fibreglass pool, make sure you follow these eleven steps.
Fibreglass Pool Constructions
Whether you're buying a pool made of fibreglass, commissioning a concrete pool or any other kind, the point is to understand how they are made and clear the queries you might have. As mentioned earlier, though a fibreglass pool has a lot of work behind it, it is less expensive in the long run and saves you quite a lot of energy.
Also, it is quite durable because of the different extra layers of protection that keep it sturdy. In addition to this, the pool is free from harsh chemicals that can be a problem in the long run. Once you understand how fibreglass pool shells are made, you understand why they are so durable and have so much strength.
Take care and see you soon!