We're often asked – how does PVC compare to FRP when used for wall cladding?

So we thought it was time to get down to the facts.

Fiberglass Reinforced Polymer, also known as fiberglass or FRP, is widely used in wall cladding, especially in the USA, parts of the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent and China.

FRP is cheap and quick to produce, strong, lightweight and resistant to heat. Although FRP has been used for interior wall cladding since the 1960s, there's a new kid on the block – PVC.

The increasing use of PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride, or vinyl) hygienic wall cladding in worldwide construction has challenged the dominance of FRP as an effective interior cladding material. So which is best?

It's time to put them to the test – PVC vs FRP!

PVC can be infused with silver ions during the manufacturing process, producing antimicrobial cladding which is resistant to bacteria and viruses. This means antimicrobial PVC wall cladding can be an important component in infection control measures, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Antimicrobial properties cannot be added to FRP.

Premium-grade PVC wall cladding (like AM-Clad) is self-extinguishing and complies with the most demanding international fire resistance standards for plastics, including US, EU and UK Fire Safety standards.

When exposed to fire, the plastic component of the FRP composite burns and tiny fibers (with diameters of nanometers) are released into the air. These minute fibers create a similar threat to human health as asbestos fibers.

PVC (as used by AM-Clad) can be recycled easily and cost-effectively. The recycling process reduces the PVC sheets into micro pieces and removes any impurities, refining the material to make new, pure PVC sheets. PVC can be recycled up to seven times and has a lifespan of around 140 years.

FRP is difficult to dispose of and almost impossible to recycle. FRP is derived from polymers and monomers that often cannot be separated and returned to their individual elements. This is an issue of increasing importance, as businesses seek to uphold corporate environmental and social responsibilities.

AM-Clad’s PVC cladding is colourfast, resistant to weathering and ultraviolet light and is guaranteed for 20 years. PVC is a long term interior cladding solution that will create and maintain the highest standards of hygiene in a variety of healthcare, foodsafe and manufacturing environments.

FRP coloured cladding can fade in sunlight causes and result in unsightly 'surface chalking'. FRP whites can turn yellow and darker colors can lose their original sheen and fade noticeably. This often means affected sheets need to be replaced, even when the structural integrity and corrosion resistance of the material is sound.

AM-Clad PVC cladding can be thermoformed on-site during installation ensuring a professional finish and minimising edge joints around corners, recesses, windows and doors. Vulnerable seams can harbour germs and this problem is eliminated by thermoforming. 

FRP cannot be thermoformed.


When PVC splits, cracks, fractures or is damaged, there is no release of toxic particles or fibers into the air.

When FRP splits, cracks, fractures or is damaged, fine fibers are released into the atmosphere and can be inhaled or come into contact with skin. Working with FRP is a potentially hazardous for workers involved in installing or removing the cladding or are routinely involved in building maintenance and repair. People who work with fiberglass wear protective clothing, gloves, and safety glasses with side shields and use a particulate respirator.

The results are in – PVC wall cladding is a clear winner.
Requesting a PVC specification and price for your next new build and refit project makes perfect sense!

For many of the reasons stated above, PVC wall cladding has been replacing FRP in building specifications around the globe. When FRP has been fitted in older buildings, it is being routinely replaced by safer, more cost-effective Antimicrobial and Hygienic PVC.

All AM-Clad Antimicrobial and Hygienic PVC wall cladding sheets are Guaranteed for 20 years.

For more information, call AM-Clad on +44 1274 578 051
email or Whatsapp +44 789 187 9050.