Fiberglass (American English), or fibreglass (Commonwealth English) is a common type of fiber-reinforced plastic using glass fiber. The fibers may be randomly arranged, flattened into a sheet (called a chopped strand mat), or woven into glass cloth. The plastic matrix may be a thermoset polymer matrix—most often based on thermosetting polymers such as epoxy, polyester resin, or vinyl ester resin—or a thermoplastic.
Cheaper and more flexible than carbon fiber, it is stronger than many metals by weight, is non-magnetic, non-conductive, transparent to electromagnetic radiation, can be molded into complex shapes, and is chemically inert under many circumstances. Applications include aircraft, boats, automobiles, bath tubs and enclosures, swimming pools, hot tubs, septic tanks, water tanks, roofing, pipes, cladding, orthopedic casts, surfboards, and external door skins.
Other common names for fiberglass are glass-reinforced plastic (GRP), : Glasfaserverstärkter Kunststoff). Because glass fiber itself is sometimes referred to as "fiberglass", the composite is also called fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP). This article will adopt the convention that "fiberglass" refers to the complete fiber-reinforced composite material, rather than only to the glass fiber within it.glass-fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP) or GFK (from German
Glass fibers have been produced for centuries, but the earliest patent was awarded to the Prussian inventor Hermann Hammesfahr (1845–1914) in the U.S. in 1880.
Mass production of glass strands was accidentally discovered in 1932 when Games Slayter, a researcher at Owens-Illinois, directed a jet of compressed air at a stream of molten glass and produced fibers. A patent for this method of producing glass wool was first applied for in 1933.Owens joined with the Corning company in 1935 and the method was adapted by Owens Corning to produce its patented "Fiberglas" (spelled with one "s") in 1936. Originally, Fiberglas was a glass wool with fibers entrapping a great deal of gas, making it useful as an insulator, especially at high temperatures.
A suitable resin for combining the fiberglass with a plastic to produce a composite material was developed in 1936 by du Pont. The first ancestor of modern polyester resins is Cyanamid's resin of 1942. Peroxide curing systems were used by then.With the combination of fiberglass and resin the gas content of the material was replaced by plastic. This reduced the insulation properties to values typical of the plastic, but now for the first time, the composite showed great strength and promise as a structural and building material. Many glass fiber composites continued to be called "fiberglass" (as a generic name) and the name was also used for the low-density glass wool product containing gas instead of plastic.
Ray Greene of Owens Corning is credited with producing the first composite boat in 1937 but did not proceed further at the time due to the brittle nature of the plastic used. In 1939 Russia was reported to have constructed a passenger boat of plastic materials, and the United States a fuselage and wings of an aircraft.The first car to have a fiber-glass body was a 1946 prototype of the Stout Scarab, but the model did not enter production.
Unlike glass fibers used for insulation, for the final structure to be strong, the fiber's surfaces must be almost entirely free of defects, as this permits the fibers to reach gigapascal tensile strengths. If a bulk piece of glass were defect-free, it would be equally as strong as glass fibers; however, it is generally impractical to produce and maintain bulk material in a defect-free state outside of laboratory conditions.
The process of manufacturing fiberglass is called pultrusion. The manufacturing process for glass fibers suitable for reinforcement uses large furnaces to gradually melt the silica sand, limestone, kaolin clay, fluorspar, colemanite, dolomite and other minerals until a liquid forms. It is then extruded through bushings, which are bundles of very small orifices (typically 5–25 micrometres in diameter for E-Glass, 9 micrometres for S-Glass).
These filaments are then sized (coated) with a chemical solution. The individual filaments are now bundled in large numbers to provide a roving. The diameter of the filaments, and the number of filaments in the roving, determine its weight, typically expressed in one of two measurement systems:
These rovings are then either used directly in a composite application such as pultrusion, filament winding (pipe), gun roving (where an automated gun chops the glass into short lengths and drops it into a jet of resin, projected onto the surface of a mold), or in an intermediary step, to manufacture fabrics such as chopped strand mat (CSM) (made of randomly oriented small cut lengths of fiber all bonded together), woven fabrics, knit fabrics or unidirectional fabrics.
Chopped strand mat or CSM is a form of reinforcement used in fiberglass. It consists of glass fibers laid randomly across each other and held together by a binder.
It is typically processed using the hand lay-up technique, where sheets of material are placed on a mold and brushed with resin. Because the binder dissolves in resin, the material easily conforms to different shapes when wetted out. After the resin cures, the hardened product can be taken from the mold and finished.
Using chopped strand mat gives the fiberglass isotropic in-plane material properties.
A coating or primer is applied to the roving to:
An individual structural glass fiber is both stiff and strong in tension and compression—that is, along its axis. Although it might be assumed that the fiber is weak in compression, it is actually only the long aspect ratio of the fiber which makes it seem so; i.e., because a typical fiber is long and narrow, it buckles easily.On the other hand, the glass fiber is weak in shear—that is, across its axis. Therefore, if a collection of fibers can be arranged permanently in a preferred direction within a material, and if they can be prevented from buckling in compression, the material will be preferentially strong in that direction.
Furthermore, by laying multiple layers of fiber on top of one another, with each layer oriented in various preferred directions, the material's overall stiffness and strength can be efficiently controlled. In fiberglass, it is the plastic matrix which permanently constrains the structural glass fibers to directions chosen by the designer. With chopped strand mat, this directionality is essentially an entire two-dimensional plane; with woven fabrics or unidirectional layers, directionality of stiffness and strength can be more precisely controlled within the plane.
A fiberglass component is typically of a thin "shell" construction, sometimes filled on the inside with structural foam, as in the case of surfboards. The component may be of nearly arbitrary shape, limited only by the complexity and tolerances of the mold used for manufacturing the shell.
The mechanical functionality of materials is heavily reliant on the combined performances of both the resin (AKA matrix) and fibers. For example, in severe temperature conditions (over 180 °C), the resin component of the composite may lose its functionality, partially due to bond deterioration of resin and fiber. However, GFRPs can still show significant residual strength after experiencing high temperatures (200 °C).
Composition: the most common types of glass fiber used in fiberglass is E-glass, which is alumino-borosilicate glass with less than 1% w/w alkali oxides, mainly used for glass-reinforced plastics. Other types of glass used are A-glass (Alkali-lime glass with little or no boron oxide), E-CR-glass (Electrical/Chemical Resistance; alumino-lime silicate with less than 1% w/w alkali oxides, with high acid resistance), C-glass (alkali-lime glass with high boron oxide content, used for glass staple fibers and insulation), D-glass (borosilicate glass, named for its low Dielectric constant), R-glass (alumino silicate glass without MgO and CaO with high mechanical requirements as Reinforcement), and S-glass (alumino silicate glass without CaO but with high MgO content with high tensile strength).
Naming and use: pure silica (silicon dioxide), when cooled as fused quartz into a glass with no true melting point, can be used as a glass fiber for fiberglass but has the drawback that it must be worked at very high temperatures. In order to lower the necessary work temperature, other materials are introduced as "fluxing agents" (i.e., components to lower the melting point). Ordinary A-glass ("A" for "alkali-lime") or soda lime glass, crushed and ready to be remelted, as so-called cullet glass, was the first type of glass used for fiberglass. E-glass ("E" because of initial Electrical application), is alkali-free and was the first glass formulation used for continuous filament formation. It now makes up most of the fiberglass production in the world, and also is the single largest consumer of boron minerals globally. It is susceptible to chloride ion attack and is a poor choice for marine applications. S-glass ("S" for "stiff") is used when tensile strength (high modulus) is important and is thus an important building and aircraft epoxy composite (it is called R-glass, "R" for "reinforcement" in Europe). C-glass ("C" for "chemical resistance") and T-glass ("T" is for "thermal insulator"—a North American variant of C-glass) are resistant to chemical attack; both are often found in insulation-grades of blown fiberglass.
|Material||Specific gravity||Tensile strength MPa (ksi)||Compressive strength MPa (ksi)|
|Polyester resin (Not reinforced)||1.28||55 (7.98)||140 (20.3)|
|Polyester and Chopped Strand Mat Laminate 30% E-glass||1.4||100 (14.5)||150 (21.8)|
|Polyester and Woven Rovings Laminate 45% E-glass||1.6||250 (36.3)||150 (21.8)|
|Polyester and Satin Weave Cloth Laminate 55% E-glass||1.7||300 (43.5)||250 (36.3)|
|Polyester and Continuous Rovings Laminate 70% E-glass||1.9||800 (116)||350 (50.8)|
|E-Glass Epoxy composite||1.99||1,770 (257)|
|S-Glass Epoxy composite||1.95||2,358 (342)|
Fiberglass is an immensely versatile material due to its lightweight, inherent strength, weather-resistant finish and variety of surface textures.
The development of fiber-reinforced plastic for commercial use was extensively researched in the 1930s. It was of particular interest to the aviation industry. A means of mass production of glass strands was accidentally discovered in 1932 when a researcher at Owens-Illinois directed a jet of compressed air at a stream of molten glass and produced fibers. After Owens merged with the Corning company in 1935, Owens Corning adapted the method to produce its patented "Fiberglas" (one "s"). A suitable resin for combining the "Fiberglas" with a plastic was developed in 1936 by du Pont. The first ancestor of modern polyester resins is Cyanamid's of 1942. Peroxide curing systems were used by then.
During World War II, fiberglass was developed as a replacement for the molded plywood used in aircraft radomes (fiberglass being transparent to microwaves). Its first main civilian application was for the building of boats and sports car bodies, where it gained acceptance in the 1950s. Its use has broadened to the automotive and sport equipment sectors. In the production of some products, such as aircraft, carbon fiber is now used instead of fiberglass, which is stronger by volume and weight.
Advanced manufacturing techniques such as pre-pregs and fiber rovings extend fiberglass's applications and the tensile strength possible with fiber-reinforced plastics.
Fiberglass is also used in the telecommunications industry for shrouding antennas, due to its RF permeability and low signal attenuation properties. It may also be used to conceal other equipment where no signal permeability is required, such as equipment cabinets and steel support structures, due to the ease with which it can be molded and painted to blend with existing structures and surfaces. Other uses include sheet-form electrical insulators and structural components commonly found in power-industry products.
Because of fiberglass's lightweight and durability, it is often used in protective equipment such as helmets. Many sports use fiberglass protective gear, such as goaltenders' and catchers' masks.
Storage tanks can be made of fiberglass with capacities up to about 300 tonnes. Smaller tanks can be made with chopped strand mat cast over a thermoplastic inner tank which acts as a preform during construction. Much more reliable tanks are made using woven mat or filament wound fiber, with the fiber orientation at right angles to the hoop stress imposed in the sidewall by the contents. Such tanks tend to be used for chemical storage because the plastic liner (often polypropylene) is resistant to a wide range of corrosive chemicals. Fiberglass is also used for septic tanks.
Glass-reinforced plastics are also used to produce house building components such as roofing laminate, door surrounds, over-door canopies, window canopies and dormers, chimneys, coping systems, and heads with keystones and sills. The material's reduced weight and easier handling, compared to wood or metal, allows faster installation. Mass-produced fiberglass brick-effect panels can be used in the construction of composite housing, and can include insulation to reduce heat loss.
In rod pumping applications, fiberglass rods are often used for their high tensile strength to weight ratio. Fiberglass rods provide an advantage over steel rods because they stretch more elastically (lower Young's modulus) than steel for a given weight, meaning more oil can be lifted from the hydrocarbon reservoir to the surface with each stroke, all while reducing the load on the pumping unit.
Fiberglass rods must be kept in tension, however, as they frequently part if placed in even a small amount of compression. The buoyancy of the rods within a fluid amplifies this tendency.
GRP and GRE pipe can be used in a variety of above- and below-ground systems, including those for:
Filament winding is a fabrication technique mainly used for manufacturing open (cylinders) or closed-end structures (pressure vessels or tanks). The process involves winding filaments under tension over a male mandrel. The mandrel rotates while a wind eye on a carriage moves horizontally, laying down fibers in the desired pattern. The most common filaments are carbon or glass fiber and are coated with synthetic resin as they are wound. Once the mandrel is completely covered to the desired thickness, the resin is cured; often the mandrel is placed in an oven to achieve this, though sometimes radiant heaters are used with the mandrel still turning in the machine. Once the resin has cured, the mandrel is removed, leaving the hollow final product. For some products such as gas bottles, the 'mandrel' is a permanent part of the finished product forming a liner to prevent gas leakage or as a barrier to protect the composite from the fluid to be stored.
Filament winding is well suited to automation, and there are many applications, such as pipe and small pressure vessels that are wound and cured without any human intervention. The controlled variables for winding are fiber type, resin content, wind angle, tow or bandwidth and thickness of the fiber bundle. The angle at which the fiber has an effect on the properties of the final product. A high angle "hoop" will provide circumferential or "burst" strength, while lower angle patterns (polar or helical) will provide greater longitudinal tensile strength.
Products currently being produced using this technique range from pipes, golf clubs, Reverse Osmosis Membrane Housings, oars, bicycle forks, bicycle rims, power and transmission poles, pressure vessels to missile casings, aircraft fuselages and lamp posts and yacht masts.
A release agent, usually in either wax or liquid form, is applied to the chosen mold to allow the finished product to be cleanly removed from the mold. Resin—typically a 2-part thermoset polyester, vinyl, or epoxy—is mixed with its hardener and applied to the surface. Sheets of fiberglass matting are laid into the mold, then more resin mixture is added using a brush or roller. The material must conform to the mold, and air must not be trapped between the fiberglass and the mold. Additional resin is applied and possibly additional sheets of fiberglass. Hand pressure, vacuum or rollers are used to be sure the resin saturates and fully wets all layers, and that any air pockets are removed. The work must be done quickly before the resin starts to cure unless high-temperature resins are used which will not cure until the part is warmed in an oven.In some cases, the work is covered with plastic sheets and vacuum is drawn on the work to remove air bubbles and press the fiberglass to the shape of the mold.
The fiberglass spray lay-up process is similar to the hand lay-up process but differs in the application of the fiber and resin to the mold. Spray-up is an open-molding composites fabrication process where resin and reinforcements are sprayed onto a mold. The resin and glass may be applied separately or simultaneously "chopped" in a combined stream from a chopper gun.Workers roll out the spray-up to compact the laminate. Wood, foam or other core material may then be added, and a secondary spray-up layer imbeds the core between the laminates. The part is then cured, cooled, and removed from the reusable mold.
Pultrusion is a manufacturing method used to make strong, lightweight composite materials. In pultrusion, material is pulled through forming machinery using either a hand-over-hand method or a continuous-roller method (as opposed to extrusion, where the material is pushed through dies). In fiberglass pultrusion, fibers (the glass material) are pulled from spools through a device that coats them with a resin. They are then typically heat-treated and cut to length. Fiberglass produced this way can be made in a variety of shapes and cross-sections, such as W or S cross-sections.
One notable feature of fiberglass is that the resins used are subject to contraction during the curing process. For polyester this contraction is often 5–6%; for epoxy, about 2%. Because the fibers do not contract, this differential can create changes in the shape of the part during curing. Distortions can appear hours, days, or weeks after the resin has set.
While this distortion can be minimised by symmetric use of the fibers in the design, a certain amount of internal stress is created; and if it becomes too great, cracks form.
In June 2011, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) removed from its Report on Carcinogens all biosoluble glass wool used in home and building insulation and for non-insulation products.However, NTP considers fibrous glass dust to be "reasonably anticipated [as] a human carcinogen (Certain Glass Wool Fibers (Inhalable))". Similarly, California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment ("OEHHA") published a November, 2011 modification to its Proposition 65 listing to include only "Glass wool fibers (inhalable and biopersistent)." The actions of U.S. NTP and California's OEHHA mean that a cancer warning label for biosoluble fiber glass home and building insulation is no longer required under federal or California law. All fiberglass wools commonly used for thermal and acoustical insulation were reclassified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in October 2001 as Not Classifiable as to carcinogenicity to humans (Group 3).
People can be exposed to fiberglass in the workplace by breathing it in, skin contact, or eye contact. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set the legal limit (permissible exposure limit) for fiberglass exposure in the workplace as 15 mg/m3 total and 5 mg/m3 in respiratory exposure over an 8-hour workday. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has set a recommended exposure limit (REL) of 3 fibers/cm3 (less than 3.5 micrometers in diameter and greater than 10 micrometers in length) as a time-weighted average over an 8-hour workday, and a 5 mg/m3 total limit.
The European Union and Germany classify synthetic vitreous fibers as possibly or probably carcinogenic, but fibers can be exempt from this classification if they pass specific tests. Evidence for these classifications is primarily from studies on experimental animals and mechanisms of carcinogenesis. The glass wool epidemiology studies have been reviewed by a panel of international experts convened by the IARC. These experts concluded: "Epidemiologic studies published during the 15 years since the previous IARC monographs review of these fibers in 1988 provide no evidence of increased risks of lung cancer or mesothelioma (cancer of the lining of the body cavities) from occupational exposures during the manufacture of these materials, and inadequate evidence overall of any cancer risk."A 2012 health hazard review for the European Commission stated that inhalation of fiberglass at concentrations of 3, 16 and 30 mg/m3 "did not induce fibrosis nor tumours except transient lung inflammation that disappeared after a post-exposure recovery period." Similar reviews of the epidemiology studies have been conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry ("ATSDR"), the National Toxicology Program, the National Academy of Sciences and Harvard's Medical and Public Health Schools which reached the same conclusion as IARC that there is no evidence of increased risk from occupational exposure to glass wool fibers.
Fiberglass will irritate the eyes, skin, and the respiratory system. Potential symptoms include irritation of eyes, skin, nose, throat, dyspnea (breathing difficulty); sore throat, hoarseness and cough.Scientific evidence demonstrates that fiberglass is safe to manufacture, install and use when recommended work practices are followed to reduce temporary mechanical irritation. Unfortunately these work practices are not always followed, and fiberglass is often left exposed in basements that later become occupied. Fiberglass insulation should never be left exposed in an occupied area, according to the American Lung Association.
While the resins are cured, styrene vapors are released. These are irritating to mucous membranes and respiratory tract. Therefore, the Hazardous Substances Ordinance in Germany dictates a maximum occupational exposure limit of 86 mg/m3. In certain concentrations, a potentially explosive mixture may occur. Further manufacture of GRP components (grinding, cutting, sawing) creates fine dust and chips containing glass filaments, as well as tacky dust, in quantities high enough to affect health and the functionality of machines and equipment. The installation of effective extraction and filtration equipment is required to ensure safety and efficiency.
Glass fiber is a material consisting of numerous extremely fine fibers of glass.
Mineral wool is any fibrous material formed by spinning or drawing molten mineral or rock materials such as slag and ceramics.
A thermosetting polymer, often called a thermoset, is a polymer that is obtained by irreversibly hardening ("curing") a soft solid or viscous liquid prepolymer (resin). Curing is induced by heat or suitable radiation and may be promoted by high pressure, or mixing with a catalyst. Heat is not necessarily applied externally, but is often generated by the reaction of the resin with a curing agent. Curing results in chemical reactions that create extensive cross-linking between polymer chains to produce an infusible and insoluble polymer network.
Fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP) is a composite material made of a polymer matrix reinforced with fibres. The fibres are usually glass, carbon, aramid, or basalt. Rarely, other fibres such as paper, wood, or asbestos have been used. The polymer is usually an epoxy, vinyl ester, or polyester thermosetting plastic, though phenol formaldehyde resins are still in use.
Glass wool is an insulating material made from fibres of glass arranged using a binder into a texture similar to wool. The process traps many small pockets of air between the glass, and these small air pockets result in high thermal insulation properties. Glass wool is produced in rolls or in slabs, with different thermal and mechanical properties. It may also be produced as a material that can be sprayed or applied in place, on the surface to be insulated. The modern method for producing glass wool was invented by Games Slayter while he was working at the Owens-Illinois Glass Co.. He first applied for a patent for a new process to make glass wool in 1933.
Basalt fiber is a material made from extremely fine fibers of basalt, which is composed of the minerals plagioclase, pyroxene, and olivine. It is similar to fiberglass, having better physicomechanical properties than fiberglass, but being significantly cheaper than carbon fiber. It is used as a fireproof textile in the aerospace and automotive industries and can also be used as a composite to produce products such as camera tripods.
Compression molding is a method of molding in which the molding material, generally preheated, is first placed in an open, heated mold cavity. The mold is closed with a top force or plug member, pressure is applied to force the material into contact with all mold areas, while heat and pressure are maintained until the molding material has cured; this process is also known as 'Vulcanisation'. The process employs thermosetting resins in a partially cured stage, either in the form of granules, putty-like masses, or preforms.
Micarta is a brand name for composites of linen, canvas, paper, fiberglass, carbon fiber or other fabric in a thermosetting plastic. It was originally used in electrical and decorative applications. Micarta was developed by George Westinghouse at least as early as 1910 using phenolic resins invented by Leo Baekeland. These resins were used to impregnate paper and cotton fabric which were cured under pressure and high temperature to produce laminates. In later years this manufacturing method included the use of fiberglass fabric and other resin types were also used. Today Micarta high-pressure industrial laminates are produced with a wide variety of resins and fibers. The term has been used generically for most resin impregnated fiber compounds. Common uses of modern high-pressure laminates are as electrical insulators, printed circuit board substrates, and knife handles.
Fiberglass molding is a process in which fiberglass reinforced resin plastics are formed into useful shapes.
Filament winding is a fabrication technique mainly used for manufacturing open (cylinders) or closed end structures. This process involves winding filaments under tension over a rotating mandrel. The mandrel rotates around the spindle while a delivery eye on a carriage traverses horizontally in line with the axis of the rotating mandrel, laying down fibers in the desired pattern or angle to the rotational axis. The most common filaments are glass or carbon and are impregnated with resin by passing through a bath as they are wound onto the mandrel. Once the mandrel is completely covered to the desired thickness, the resin is cured. Depending on the resin system and its cure characteristics, often the mandrel is autoclaved or heated in an oven or rotated under radiant heaters until the part is cured. Once the resin has cured, the mandrel is removed or extracted, leaving the hollow final product. For some products such as gas bottles, the 'mandrel' is a permanent part of the finished product forming a liner to prevent gas leakage or as a barrier to protect the composite from the fluid to be stored.
Polyester resins are synthetic resins formed by the reaction of dibasic organic acids and polyhydric alcohols. Maleic Anhydride is a commonly used raw material with diacid functionality in unsaturated polyester resins. Unsaturated polyester resins are used in sheet moulding compound, bulk moulding compound and the toner of laser printers. Wall panels fabricated from polyester resins reinforced with fiberglass—so-called fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP)—are typically used in restaurants, kitchens, restrooms and other areas that require washable low-maintenance walls. They are also used extensively in cured-in-place pipe applications. Departments of Transportation in the USA also specify them for use as overlays on roads and bridges. In this application they are known as PCO Polyester Concrete Overlays. These are usually based on isophthalic acid and cut with styrene at high levels—usually up to 50%. Polyesters are also used in anchor bolt adhesives though epoxy based materials are also used. Many companies have and continue to introduce styrene free systems mainly due to odor issues, but also over concerns that styrene is a potential carcinogen. Most polyester resins are viscous, pale coloured liquids consisting of a solution of a polyester in a reactive diluent which is usually styrene, but can also include vinyl toluene and various acrylates.
Bulk moulding compound (BMC), bulk moulding composite, or dough moulding compound (DMC), is a ready-to-mold, glass-fiber reinforced thermoset polymer material primarily used in compression moulding, as well as in injection moulding and transfer moulding. Typical applications include demanding electrical applications, corrosion resistant needs, appliance, automotive, and transit.
Sheet moulding compound (SMC) or sheet moulding composite is a ready to mould glass-fibre reinforced polyester material primarily used in compression moulding. The sheet is provided in rolls weighing up to 1000 kg. Alternatively the resin and related materials may be mixed on site when a producer wants greater control over the chemistry and filler.
Building insulation materials are the building materials which form the thermal envelope of a building or otherwise reduce heat transfer.
Spray-Up also known as chop method of creating fiberglass objects by spraying short strands of glass out of a pneumatic gun. This method is used often when one side of the finished product is not seen, or when large quantities of a product must be made cheaply and quickly without regards to strength. Corvette fenders and boat dinghies are commonly manufactured this way.
FRP is a modern composite material of construction for chemical plant equipment like tanks and vessels. Chemical equipment that range in size from less than a metre to 20 metres are fabricated using FRP as material of construction.
Carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers, carbon-fibre-reinforced polymers, or carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics, or carbon-fiber reinforced-thermoplastic, are extremely strong and light fiber-reinforced plastics that contain carbon fibers. CFRPs can be expensive to produce, but are commonly used wherever high strength-to-weight ratio and stiffness (rigidity) are required, such as aerospace, superstructures of ships, automotive, civil engineering, sports equipment, and an increasing number of consumer and technical applications.
Fiberglass reinforced plastic grating is a composite material manufactured by combining a matrix of resin and fiberglass. Fiberglass grating does not corrode like steel grating and is therefore used in corrosive environments to reduce maintenance costs. It is used in a variety of applications including walkways and overhead platforms. FRP grating is a structural product that can be weight-bearing between spans.
Tailored fiber placement (TFP) is a textile manufacturing technique based on the principle of sewing for a continuous placement of fibrous material for composite components. The fibrous material is fixed with an upper and lower stitching thread on a base material. Compared to other textile manufacturing processes fiber material can be placed near net-shape in curvilinear patterns upon a base material in order to create stress adapted composite parts.
Transfer molding is a manufacturing process in which casting material is forced into a mold. Transfer molding is different from compression molding in that the mold is enclosed [Hayward] rather than open to the fill plunger resulting in higher dimensional tolerances and less environmental impact. Compared to injection molding, transfer molding uses higher pressures to uniformly fill the mold cavity. This allows thicker reinforcing fiber matrices to be more completely saturated by resin. Furthermore, unlike injection molding the transfer mold casting material may start the process as a solid. This can reduce equipment costs and time dependency. The transfer process may have a slower fill rate than an equivalent injection molding processes.