You may have heard the term fiberglass before when talking with someone about a product. But, do you know what this material is? Many objects are made with fiberglass due to its strength, weight, flexibility, and versatility. If we’re buying or building a product, it's important to trust the materials it’s made of. We’re here to explain everything you need to know about what fiberglass is and how it can be used.
What is Fiberglass?
Fiberglass is a material commonly used to build products. It is a fiber-reinforced plastic using glass fiber. To make this, glass is heated until molten and then forced through a mold with thousands of super fine holes creating threads. These threads can be woven together to create various forms with the most commons ones being:
- Fiberglass Tape: Tapes are made up of glass fiber yarns and have great insulation properties.
- Fiberglass Cloth: Cloths are smooth and can be made of glass fiber yarns or glass filament yarns.
- Fiberglass Rope: Ropes are glass fiber yarns braided together and are typically used for packing purposes.
These fibers are often added to products to increase strength and provide thermal insulation. The strength of fiberglass is greater than that of steel and is also unable to combust from a flame. Unlike other materials, fiberglass does not rot, making it a good resource for outside use.
Types of Fiberglass
The basic components of all types of fiberglass are the same. Fiberglass can vary based on the raw materials used in the fiberglass and their mixing ratios. The major fiberglass types are:
- A-glass: Alkali glass, or soda-lime glass, is the most commonly available type of fiberglass. It is often used to make things like glass containers and window panes. A-glass is the ideal type of glass for recycling.
- C-glass: Chemical glass has the highest resistance to chemical impact. It is often used in the outer layer of laminates for things like pipes and tanks that hold water or chemicals.
- D-glass: D-glass is known for its low dielectric constant. It is often used in optical cables, electrical appliances, and cookware.
- E-glass: E-glass, or electrical glass, is typically used in aerospace, marine, and industrial applications. It is known as the industry standard, providing a balance between performance and cost.
- ECR-glass: ECR-glass, or electronic glass, has high mechanical strength, good waterproofing, and alkali and acid corrosion resistance. ECR-glass has an environmentally friendly manufacturing method.
- AR-glass: AR-glass, or alkali-resistant glass, was developed specifically for concrete because it prevents cracking.
How Can it Be Used?
The most commonly known use of fiberglass is in walls in the form of insulation. Since there are so many types of fiberglass, the uses vary. Its flexibility and size variety make fiberglass easy for the creation of custom builds. A mold can be made for almost any shape and, in turn, any product can come to life with the help of fiberglass. Fiberglass is also great because it doesn't necessarily need to be painted. A gel-coat finish is permanently molded into products’ surfaces. This topcoat protects the products from the environment and makes for an easy cleaning process.
How We Can Help
Don’t be fooled by our name. At American Steeples, we manufacture various custom fiberglass products. One of these is steeples, however, we also have experience building things like fiberglass baptistries, boats, crosses, and waterslides. We have been working with fiberglass for over 20 years, and we can build any mold to your specifications. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you with fiberglass. We’re here to answer any questions you have to ensure that you enjoy the entire purchase journey.