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Fiberglass refers to a group of products made from individual glass fibers made into a variety of forms. It is used as a reinforcing agent for many polymer products; the resulting composite material is properly known as fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) or glass-reinforced plastic (GRP). The basic raw materials for fiberglass products are a variety of natural minerals and manufactured chemicals. The major ingredients are silica sand, limestone and soda ash. Other ingredients may include calcined alumina, borax, feldspar, nepheline syenite, magnesite and kaolin clay. Silica sand is used as the glass former, with soda ash and limestone used to help lower the melting temperature. Other ingredients are used to improve certain properties, such as borax for chemical resistance. The raw materials must be carefully weighed in exact quantities and thoroughly mixed together (called batching) before melting into glass.

Reinforced plastics, more commonly known as composites, are a combination of at least two physically distinct materials, acting in concert by virtue of the interfacial bond between them.

Fiberglass composites have a number of advantages over competing materials, such as steel, aluminum, concrete and wood. These advantages include the following:

  • Low weight – Fiberglass composites are lightweight compared to other materials; therefore, the weight of the component may be significantly reduced without compromising the strength of the component part.
  • Installation costs (including transport) – The reduced weight facilitates the transport of large-sized component parts, in particular. In addition, other objects may be moved manually without special equipment or facilities.
  • Favorable corrosion properties – Certain compositions of fiberglass, such as INNOFIBER® CR Fiberglass are corrosion resistant. This is a crucial aspect for applications such as gratings on oil rigs, as well as applications where the weather is a factor.
  • Good chemical resistance – Due to their resistance to a variety of chemicals, fiberglass composites lend themselves to pipeline construction throughout the chemical industry.
  • Heat resistance – reinforced plastics and thermosets in particular form a tight lattice structure during manufacturing, that cannot be destroyed or dissolved even at high temperatures. Also, they do not lose stability at extremely high temperatures.
  • Durability/longevity/maintenance – Fiberglass composites are weather-resistant and largely impervious to road salt. This eliminates to need for demanding maintenance that is required for steel.
  • Freedom of design – Processing techniques make it possible to produce component parts with a complex geometry or relatively large size in one shot and in one piece.
  • Specific mechanical properties – Depending on the type and amount of fiber added, the specific properties (such as rigidity or strength) of finished products may be adjusted in accordance with the demands of specific application purposes. 
Glass fibers fall into two categories: general purpose and special purpose. The most widely used glass fiber types are general purpose, also known as E-Glass fibers. 
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Direct rovings from PPG Fiber Glass are a collection of parallel filaments coated a proprietary sizing, bonded together into a single strand...
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Chopped strands from PPG Fiber Glass are bulk strands (parallel filaments bonded together) that have been cut to usual lengths from 1/8" to 1/2", or up to 2".
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Using long fiber thermoplastic (LFT) reinforcements in thermoplastic composite processes enables molders to produce structural or semi-structural parts...
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Texturized yarns are continuous multi-strand products that have been volumized to provide higher bulk, thickness and coverage per weight than standard filament glass yarns.
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MATVANTAGE® Continuous Strand Mat is a reinforcing mat composed of multiple layers of continuous strands that are randomly oriented and bound together.
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E-Glass yarn is made of glass with high stability and durability. The glass composition meets the certification for E-Glass as defined by ASTM D 578-98, Section 4.2.2.
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