Fiberglass is a material made from fine glass fibers. Glass is heated and forced through superfine holes to manufacture fiberglass. This creates extremely thin glass filaments that can be measured in microns. The manufacturing process of fiberglass is called pultrusion. Basically, fiberglass is made of individual glass fibers that are combined in different forms.
Glass fibers can be divided into continuous fibers used in textiles and yarns and discontinuous fibers used as blankets, batts, or boards for filtration and insulation. Fiberglass can be formed into yarn like cotton or wool and woven into the fabric used for draperies and curtains.
Manufacturing Products With Fiberglass
Once the fiberglass is woven, different resins can be added to give the final product greater strength and enable it to be molded in different shapes. Various manufactures use products made of fiberglass in many different industries. It is most commonly used to make swimming pools, hot tubs, septic tanks, surfboards, doors, boat hulls, various sporting equipment, and a wide range of external automobile parts. Fiberglass is light and ranks high in terms of durability. Since it has a durable and light nature, fiberglass is ideal for delicate applications, like circuit boards.
Fiberglass can be produced on a large scale in the form of mats and sheets. For products like shingles, resin compound and a massive sheet of fiberglass is manufactured and then cut with the help of a machine. Fiberglass also has many custom applications designed to suit specific purposes. For instance, car bumpers must sometimes be custom-made to replace damaged parts of existing vehicles or produce new prototype models.
Fiberglass Vs. Glass-Reinforced Plastic and
Fiberglass is neither carbon fiber nor glass-reinforced plastic. Strands of carbon are used to make carbon fiber. Though carbon fiber is very strong and durable, it cannot be extruded into strands as it is brittle. This is one of the reasons why fiberglass is less expensive as compared to carbon fiber.
Glass fiber reinforced plastics have become popular in the recent era due to their superior mechanical performances, making them a good substitute for metals or engineering plastics.
One of the major problems with fiberglass until a few years ago was that it was nearly impossible to recycle it. However, with the latest advancements in recycling techniques, it is now possible to recycle fiberglass. Some companies in the United States of America claim to transform fiberglass products into wood substitute planks that can be used to manufacture picnic tables and chairs, sea walls, fencing, and other such items. The equipment used for recycling fiberglass is expensive. There are three processing methods used for recycling fiberglass; incineration, pyrolysis, and grinding.
The National Waste and Recycling Association’s newsletter “Waste360” states that many recyclers convert broken Glass into cullet, which is a viable resource.
Uses Of Fiberglass In Various Industries.
Fiberglass is a sustainable building construction material mainly made of sand, an abundant resource available on our planet. It is used by almost everyone, from engineers, builders, and project managers. It is stronger and durable than many traditional materials. It can withstand harsh weather conditions and is resistant to corrosion and rust. Because of this quality, fiberglass is used to build bridges and manufacture sporting equipment. Fiberglass can be converted into various shapes, which is why it ranks high in household value.
You will commonly find fiberglass in boats, roofing, aircraft, and windows. Marinas and docks also use fiberglass as a protective barrier from rust and corrosion from the natural elements. Fiberglass is also used to manufacture various products, including automobile parts, boat hulls, arrows, shower curtains, tent poles, and roofing. However, as an insulator, it slows the transfer of heat in various places. This way, fiberglass can help you keep your rooms cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Fiberglass also has applications in the food industry. It is an affordable grating option and is beneficial for holding up corrosive blood released from beef and chicken.
One of the most useful features of fiberglass is that it is slip-resistant. This characteristic of fiberglass makes it popular in the paper and pulp industry, chemical industry, and manufacturing industry. Aquariums, waterslides, tubs, and even fountains are some of the products which can benefit greatly from the anti-slip property of fiberglass.
Fiberglass is a composite of glass fibers randomly laid across each other and held tightly with a binding substance. It is combined with resin to form a durable and strong composite.