Fiberglass Work Product Guide

When working with fiberglass, think of safety first.
Whether you have experience working with fiberglass, or you are going to do it for the first time, you should, always, observe and promote people’s safety – including your own. Prior to starting the project, obtain, read, understand, and follow Material Safety Data Sheets pertinent to each and every item which will be used in the job. Stay within every product manufacturer’s recommendations. Wear appropriate protective gear. Consult your local authorities, and dispose of the waste, according to your local regulations.

What is Fiberglass?Fiberglass Chopped Strands
Fiberglass is a type of fiber-reinforced plastic, where the actual reinforcement is glass fiber.
Considering the intended application, the fibers are produced from various types of glass, containing silica or silicate with different quantities of oxides of calcium, magnesium, and, occasionally, boron.
Glass fibers are made with very low levels of defects, so that they can be used in fiberglass. Differently from the ones used for insulation, the surfaces of the fibers have to be virtually free of blemishes, and that allows the final product to reach enormous tensile strength.
A strong, lightweight article, despite not being as tough and stiff as carbon fiber composites, fiberglass is less brittle, and its raw materials are much less expensive. In addition to being more readily molded into very complex shapes, its bulk strength and weight are also better than many metals.
Based on the end use and chemical composition, glass and glass fibers are classified as follows, per ASTM® C162 standards:
E (electrical) – Low electrical conductivity
S (strength) – High strength, used for reinforcement in composite structural applications
C (chemical) – High chemical durability in corrosive acid environments
M (modulus) – High stiffness
A (alkali) – High alkali or soda lime glass
D (dielectric) – Low dielectric constant

Fiberglass StylesFiberglass Chopped Strand Mat Roll
Fiberglass is produced as fiber, roving, mat, fabric, yarn, or chopped strand. When the glass fibers are, randomly, arranged in a sheet form that is held together by a powder or an emulsion binder, they produce what is known as Chopped Strand Mat. Used, mostly, in the hand-layup approach, CSM – along with Chopped Strands – is placed on a mold, and brushed or sprayed with resin. The glass fibers could also be woven into a mat, however, the plastic matrix may be a thermosetting plastic – in many cases, epoxy, polyester resin, vinylester, or even a thermoplastic.
Multi End Roving, is a bundle of many continuous filaments kept together, with little or no mechanical twists, through the fibers’ entire length. Single End Roving is pulled directly from the bushing, and wound onto a roving package.
Assembled Roving – also known as Gun Roving – can be packaged as detached bobbins, or in multiple rolls that are interconnected from the first through the last one. In the latter pattern, except for the first spool, each subsequent cylinder is a true continuation of the previous one. One benefit of this configuration is the minimized downtime required for replacing the doffs.
Woven Roving is threaded in a 0°/90° fabric format, and packaged as a roll.
Reinforcement styles of fiberglass are Chopped Strand, Chopped Strand Mat, Continuous Filament Mat, Milled Fibers, Surfacing Veil, and others.
Fabrics include Unidirectional (stitched, woven, and hot-melt reinforcements), Biaxial, Double Bias, High Performance, Molding Mat, Triaxial, and Quadriaxial, which are stitch-bonded, or powder-bonded.

Pultruded Materialspultruded_250-211
Pultrusion – a combination of “pull” and “extrusion” – is a process that uses specialized machinery to produce profiles from a blend of, at least, two rolls of fiberglass mat and several doffs of Single End Roving, that get saturated with resin, catalysts, pigments, and fillers. While the excess resin mixture is forced out, the composite material is pulled through custom toolings and a heated precision steel die, in order to acquire the desired shape of the final product, cure, and get cut to size.
Pultruded fiberglass profiles include I beams, W beams, window frames, door frames, channel bars, angle bars, round tubes, square tubes, rectangular tubes, solid bars, solid square bars, studs, nuts, flat sheets, etc. Their features and benefits incorporate high strength, lightweight, corrosion/rot resistance, electro-magnetic transparency, dimensional stability, low temperature capabilities, non-electrical conductivity, and low thermal conductivity. Custom colors and specific surface appearances can be accomplished with pigments and special surfacing veils.

Some Applications for Fiberglass
Glass fibers can be classified by four basic functions: Insulation, Filtration Media, Reinforcements, and Optical Fibers.
In no particular order, some of the applications for reinforcement fiberglass are water slides, ship hulls, large wind turbine blades, helmets and other protective sports gears, surfboards, tent poles, fishing poles, kite rods, bicycle frames, bicycle wheels, automobile body parts, reinforcement of asphalt pavement, fiber reinforced composite columns, printed circuit boards, pods, light weight architectural features, gliders, kit cars, sport cars, karts, boats, kayaks, canoes, flat roofs, glass reinforced panels, sub-sea installation protection covers, tow bodies, gratings (for walkways on oil rigs, factories, ships), bath tubs, swimming pools, hot tubs, septic tanks, pipes, fittings, tubes, water tanks, external door skins, manholes, manhole covers, casts, furniture pieces, decorative objects, statues, mannequins, window profiles, motorcycle fairing panels, helicopter rotor blades, chemical enclosures, chlorine shelters, airplane propeller spinners, oil/water separator tanks, art pieces, fish ponds, lamps, air filters, sewing threads, corrugated roof panels, ceiling/attic access doors, ceiling boards, planters, public benches, tool handles, ropes, braids, airplane nose cones, speaker boxes, jacketed/coated petroleum tanks, scaffolding, step ladders, deck panels, deck slats, shower pans, shower stalls, shower walls, skateboards, silk wrap finger nails, roof shingles, roofing mops, storage boxes, dock decking, swimming pool coping, translucent and opaque wall panels and sheets, soffit panels, pruning poles, pontoons, tank sumps, recycling receptacles, fuel tanks, exterior wall siding, tool boxes, dock storage boxes, laboratory sinks, umbrellas, locomotive service doors, balusters, cornices, finials, cupolas, domes, storage cabinets, window/door insect screen mesh, portiere, outdoor signage, window plant boxes, wall liners, rowing paddles, archery arrows, archery bows, violin cases, stove and firebox gaskets, flagpoles, overhead garage doors, wire running kits, lamp shades, struts, litter receptacles, trash and ash receptacles, braided sleevings, railroad ties, load pallets, wall fountains, fishing rods, antenna masts, ladders, modular micro houses, baptistries, steeples, windsock poles, storage tanks, wall covering, flexible solid rods, nonstick baking sheets, sculptures, column covers, sword handles, conduits, extension poles, automotive suspension coil springs, boat center consoles, pergolas, welding blankets, toys, fence posts, French doors, sliding doors, aquaculture tanks, awnings, basketball backboards, molds, bucket seats, deer blinds, dinghies, fencing, floorings, greenhouses, hockey sticks, hard hats, oil tanks, pens, pipe wrap, remote control planes, reinforcement bars (rebars), roof tiles, shower cubicles, skimboards, trays, wicks, protection masks, recreational vehicle bodies, bookcases, shelvings, display props, utility carts, fillet tables, ceiling rafters, wall baseboards, crown molding, wall partitions, antiques chest, bar stool seats, swing set seats, gazebo roof panels, etc.