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The Importance of Fiberglass

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Fiberglass is a form of fiber-reinforced plastic where glass fiber is the reinforced plastic. This is the reason why fiberglass is also known as glass reinforced plastic or glass fiber reinforced plastic. The glass fiber is usually flattened into a sheet, either randomly arranged or woven into a fabric. Depending on the use of the fiberglass, the glass fibers can be made of different types of glass.

Fiberglass is lightweight, strong and not too brittle. The best part of fiberglass is that is has the ability to be formed into various complex shapes. This is why it is widely used in bathtubs, boats, aircraft, roofing, and many other things.

Types and Forms of Fiberglass

A-glass: Similar to window glass. In some parts of the world, it is used to make process equipment.

C-glass: C-glass offers very good resistance to chemicals and is called chemical glass.

E-glass: Also, called electrical glass and is very good at insulating electricity

AE-glass: Alkali resistant glass.

S glass: Called structural glass and is known for its mechanical properties.

Properties of fiberglass

Mechanical strength: Has a specific resistance greater than steel.

Electrical characteristics: Fiberglass is a good electrical insulator even at a low thickness.

Incombustibility: Fiberglass is naturally incombustible. It does not propagate or support a flame. It does not emit smoke or toxic products when exposed to heat.

Dimensional stability: Fiberglass is not sensitive to variations in temperature and weather.

Compatibility with organic matrices: Has the ability to combine with many synthetic resins and certain mineral matrices like cement.

Non-rotting: Fiberglass does not rot.

Thermal conductivity: Fiberglass has low thermal conductivity, making it very useful in the building industry.

Dielectric permeability: This property of fiberglass makes it suitable for electromagnetic windows.

Applications of Fiberglass in various Industries

Beverage industry: Fiberglass grating is used in many areas like bottling lines and in brew houses.

Car washes: Fiberglass grating is used for rust resistance and to give a contrast color to areas that previously looked forbidden. It brightens the inside of the carwash tunnel.

Chemical industry: Fiberglass grating is used for anti-slip safety feature of the embedded grit surface and the chemically resistant feature of different resin compounds.

Cooling towers: Since cooling towers are always wet, they must be protected from rust, corrosion, and other safety issues. Due to the properties of fiberglass, it is used in these towers as screening to keep people and animals away from the danger zones.

Docks and marinas: Docks get corroded, rusted and damaged by salty sea water. So, fiberglass is used for protection.

Food processing: In chicken and beef processing plants, fiberglass grating is used for slip resistance and for holding up to blood. which is corrosive. Most of the areas of food processing also use fiberglass as other grating materials are not suitable.

Fountains and aquariums: All sizes of fountains and aquariums use fiberglass to support rocks to help in circulation and filtering from under the rocks. In large public fountains, fiberglass grating is used to protect spray headers and lights from getting damaged. This also keeps people from drowning in the fountains.

Manufacturing: The embedded grit surface of fiberglass grating ensures slip resistance in the areas that are wet or in places where hydraulic fluids or oils are present.

Metals and mining: Fiberglass grating is used in electronic refining areas prone to chemical corrosion. Other grating materials cannot be used here.

Power generation: Many areas of the power generation industry such as; tank farms and scrubbers use fiberglass because of the non-conductive property of fiberglass.

Plating plants: This application uses fiberglass grating because of the anti-slip property of the surface.

Pulp and paper industry: The property of fiberglass which makes it chemical corrosion resistant is useful in pulp and bleach mills.

Automotive industry: Fiberglass is extensively used in automobile industry. Almost every car has fiberglass components and body kits.

Aerospace & Defense: Fiberglass is used to manufacture parts for both military and civilian aerospace industry including test equipment, ducting, enclosures, and others. In Aerospace and defense, fiberglass was starting to be used by Weber Aircraft of Burbank, California, for use in a commercial aircraft. The aircraft components have unusually intricate and angular design. There are 18 different shapes, from door framing to panel joiners.

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