Fiberglass Composite Columns
RoyalCast™ Composite Fiberglass Columns
Material Composition and Process
Typically, calcium carbonate is the main filler used in RoyalCast™ fiberglass columns. Calcium carbonate is essentially fine particles of crushed rock that when mixed with polyester resin, industrial glue essentially, solidifies or cures into a hard stone-like substrate. These hollow columns, a result of the rotational manufacturing process, will sound like you are knocking on stone. When projects call out for Class A fire-rated columns, Alumina Trihydrate or ATH is mixed in with the calcium carbonate to form filler that meets the ASTM E 84 Class A test method for surface flame spread and smoke density.
Without ATH, the columns will still pass the flame spread Class A test but fail the smoke test, which typically isn’t of concern in the exterior use of columns. Even though our RoyalCast™ fiberglass columns are robust, they are still considered a lightweight column (ranging from 46 lbs. to 4000 lbs. depending on column size). In instances where someone wants these composite columns even lighter, we substitute lightweight filler which decreases the column weight by approximately 25%, while maintaining the same material thickness.
So a 10” x 10’ Round Tapered Fiberglass Column with a Tuscan Cap and Base would go from weighing roughly 128 lbs. to 96 lbs. The final ingredient is fiberglass strand chopped or cut to ¼” or ½” strands. The strand size used will depend on the diameter or width of the column and is used to reinforce the column and provide it with added strength. For even lighter fiberglass column options, visit our RoyaLite™ fiberglass reinforced polymer columns.
Royal Corinthian manufactures RoyalCast™ fiberglass columns from a combination of filler, resin, and fiberglass chop strand. This composition is the most popular for what the industry calls fiberglass columns; however, this is a misnomer as these types of columns have a small percentage (1% to 3%) of fiberglass content. Our RoyalCast™ columns should really be called fiberglass-reinforced polymer marble composite columns. Regardless of the naming convention, these are the most popular fiberglass porch columns and interior columns used in America. These offer the greatest advantage over our other columns when paint-grade, robust, load-bearing columns are desired. We also manufacture significantly lighter fiberglass columns with 35-40% fiberglass under our RoyaLite™ brand.
Fiberglass Columns for Sale
The majority of the column industry follows a 2-steps sales process: A manufacturer offers fiberglass columns for sale to wholesalers who in turn sell to retailers. Even big box stores don’t have direct accounts with manufacturers. Royal Corinthian, however, has a 1-step process where we sell our fiberglass columns directly to the retailer who can pass on the savings to you. We are able to guarantee the lowest prices for fiberglass columns because we cut out the wholesaler, who quite frankly, is more or less a paper pusher that adds little to no value to the process of getting columns to the end user. When fiberglass column “manufacturers” offer products directly to consumers, chances are the company is actually a distributor under the guise of something else. If you are looking for fiberglass columns at the lowest guaranteed price, contact us for a retailer that can supply them.
Exterior Fiberglass Columns
The exterior and interior fiberglass columns manufactured by Royal Corinthian are one and the same. We don’t do anything different to front porch fiberglass columns because by the very nature of the composition, fiberglass pillars are impervious to the elements. Wood columns, on the other hand, go through a special treatment process for exterior use and still don’t last very long, which is why we replace them for consumers on a weekly basis, especially rotting bases with our fiberglass column bases that last a lifetime.
Structural Fiberglass Columns
Exterior fiberglass columns, made by anyone, are not structural in that they will not prevent uplift to a roof when confronted with strong winds; however, they do provide structural integrity laterally when a railing system needs to be attached between columns. Many manufacturers and distributors use the word “structural” when really they mean load-bearing. Our fibreglass columns are load-bearing, some of which can bear tens of thousands of pounds. These columns can be made structural for uplift protection with hardware that we can recommend.
You can learn more about cutting, painting, splitting, screwing into, and installing fiberglass columns in our fiberglass columns faq.
Fiberglass Composite Columns Features
|Best Application||Paintable Whole Columns|
|Factory Finish (standard)||Paint-grade Gray, sanded seam|
|Factory Finish (options)||Paint-grade Only|
|Wall Thickness||3/8″ to 2″|
|Weight (per sq ft)||3 to 20 lbs|
|Fire Rating||Available: Class A|
Our RoyalCast™ fiberglass columns are available in every style and size that we offer. Shaft styles are as follows: Round Tapered Plain, Round Tapered Fluted, Round NON-Tapered Plain, Greek Doric, Round Twist Rope, Square NON-Tapered Plain, Square Non-Tapered Fluted, Square NON-Tapered Recessed Panel, and Square Tapered Plain. Depending on the shaft style, we offer columns from 4” in diameter/width and as short as you want them and up to 48” in diameter x 45’ tall. Our most diverse offering is our round tapered plain as tapered fiberglass columns are considered architecturally correct. Our round non-tapered plain columns are some of the tallest in the industry and we offer sizes from 6” in diameter to 36” in diameter. We offer square fiberglass columns from 6” to 25” x 26’. We also offer several sizes of twist rope columns (not offered by any other manufacturer) and square tapered columns.
In this video learn about the 3 types of fiberglass columns offered by Royal Corinthian and why they are the most affordable and superior column material in the market. We compare the price, sound when knocked on, style, size, and plan type availability, fiberglass content, and manufacturing process of each material.
The majority of our round columns come with integral astragals or neck rings so you won’t have to attach a neck ring, that is typically made from a different material, to the shaft on the jobsite. Many manufacturers save money by making you do more work on the jobsite. We have the ability to remove our astragal if desired. Our fluted fiberglass columns have deep, rich, architectural flutes as opposed to shallow, routed, choppy flutes. We are also one of the few manufacturers that offer our caps and base made from the same poly/marble material as the shaft. Most column suppliers, in an effort to save themselves money, offer cheap foreign made caps and bases from alternative materials. Mixing materials presents problems when painting the columns as different materials react to paint adhesion differently and contract and expand differently. In addition to offering the typical Tuscan style caps and bases, we offer Roman Doric caps and bases, 11 styles of decorative capitals, and Attic Bases. Unlike most manufacturers, we are able to modify our Tuscan, Doric, and Attic caps and bases to have a round abacus or round plinth. Our replacement base capabilities are unrivaled and you can read more about our semi-customized options in our blog about replacing rotted bases.