Materials, Used, Processing, Elements, Dimensions, Composition, Product, Trade

Maddox rodFiberglass refers to a group of merchandise made from particular person glass fibers combined into a variety of kinds. Glass fibers will be divided into two main teams in keeping with their geometry: continuous fibers used in yarns and textiles, and the discontinuous (brief) fibers used as batts, blankets, or boards for insulation and filtration. Fiberglass can be formed into yarn very like wool or cotton, and woven into fabric which is sometimes used for draperies. Fiberglass textiles are generally used as a reinforcement material for molded and laminated plastics. Fiberglass wool, a thick, fluffy materials made from discontinuous fibers, is used for thermal insulation and sound absorption. It is commonly found in ship and submarine bulkheads and hulls; automobile engine compartments and body panel liners; in furnaces and air conditioning models; acoustical wall and ceiling panels; and architectural partitions. Fiberglass will be tailored for specific applications akin to Sort E (electrical), used as electrical insulation tape, textiles and reinforcement; Sort C (chemical), which has superior acid resistance, and type T, for thermal insulation.

Though industrial use of glass fiber is comparatively current, artisans created glass strands for decorating goblets and vases in the course of the Renaissance. A French physicist, Rene-Antoine Ferchault de Reaumur, produced textiles decorated with fantastic glass strands in 1713, and British inventors duplicated the feat in 1822. A British silk weaver made a glass fabric in 1842, and one other inventor, Edward Libbey, exhibited a costume woven of glass on the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

Glass wool, a fluffy mass of discontinuous fiber in random lengths, was first produced in Europe on the flip of the century, utilizing a process that involved drawing fibers from rods horizontally to a revolving drum. A number of a long time later, a spinning course of was developed and patented. Glass fiber insulating material was manufactured in Germany throughout World Battle I. Analysis and development aimed on the industrial manufacturing of glass fibers progressed within the United States within the nineteen thirties, under the course of two main corporations, the Owens-Illinois Glass Firm and Corning Glass Works. These corporations developed a high-quality, pliable, low-value glass fiber by drawing molten glass by very fantastic orifices. In 1938, these two firms merged to type Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp. Now simply known as Owens-Corning, it has turn into a $3-billion-a-year firm, and is a frontrunner in the fiberglass market.

Raw Materials

The fundamental uncooked materials for fiberglass products are a wide range of pure minerals and manufactured chemicals. The key ingredients are silica sand, limestone, and soda ash. Other elements could embrace calcined alumina, borax, feldspar, nepheline syenite, magnesite, and kaolin clay, amongst others. Silica sand is used because the glass former, and soda ash and limestone assist primarily to decrease the melting temperature. Different substances are used to improve certain properties, such as borax for chemical resistance. Waste glass, also known as cullet, is also used as a uncooked material. The raw materials must be rigorously weighed in exact quantities and completely mixed together (known as batching) earlier than being melted into glass.

The Manufacturing
Course of


Forming into fibers

Steady-filament process

Staple-fiber process

Chopped fiber

Glass wool

Protective coatings

Sizing is any coating applied to textile fibers within the forming operation, and may comprise a number of elements (lubricants, binders, or coupling brokers). Coupling brokers are used on strands that will be used for reinforcing plastics, to strengthen the bond to the bolstered materials.

Generally a finishing operation is required to take away these coatings, or to add another coating. For plastic reinforcements, sizings could also be eliminated with heat or chemicals and a coupling agent applied. For decorative functions, fabrics have to be heat treated to take away sizings and to set the weave. Dye base coatings are then applied earlier than dying or printing.

Forming into shapes

High quality Management

During the manufacturing of fiberglass insulation, material is sampled at quite a lot of locations in the process to maintain high quality. These places include: the mixed batch being fed to the electric melter; molten glass from the bushing which feeds the fiberizer; glass fiber coming out of the fiberizer machine; and last cured product emerging from the end of the manufacturing line. The majority glass and fiber samples are analyzed for chemical composition and the presence of flaws using refined chemical analyzers and microscopes. Particle size distribution of the batch material is obtained by passing the fabric through a number of various sized sieves. The final product is measured for thickness after packaging in response to specifications. A change in thickness indicates that glass quality is beneath the usual.

Fiberglass insulation manufacturers additionally use a wide range of standardized check procedures to measure, adjust, and optimize product acoustical resistance, sound absorption, and sound barrier performance. The acoustical properties can be managed by adjusting such manufacturing variables as fiber diameter, bulk density, thickness, and binder content material. The same method is used to manage thermal properties.

The longer term

The fiberglass trade faces some main challenges over the rest of the nineties and beyond. The variety of producers of fiberglass insulation has increased resulting from American subsidiaries of overseas companies and improvements in productivity by U.S. manufacturers. This has resulted in excess capability, which the present and perhaps future market can’t accommodate.

In addition to excess capability, different insulation supplies will compete. Rock wool has turn into broadly used because of latest course of and product improvements. Foam insulation is another various to fiberglass in residential partitions and commercial roofs. Another competing materials is cellulose, which is utilized in attic insulation.

Due to the low demand for insulation as a consequence of a gentle housing market, customers are demanding lower costs. This demand can be a result of the continued development in consolidation of retailers and contractors. In response, the fiberglass insulation trade must continue to cut costs in two major areas: power and environment. More environment friendly furnaces can have to be used that don’t depend on only one supply of vitality.

With landfills reaching maximum capability, fiberglass manufacturers will have to attain almost zero output on solid waste without growing costs. This would require improving manufacturing processes to reduce waste (for liquid and gas waste as properly) and reusing waste wherever attainable.

Such waste could require reprocessing and remelting earlier than reusing as a raw material. Several manufacturers are already addressing these issues.

Where To Be taught Extra


Aubourg, P.F., C. Crall, J. Hadley, R.D. Kaverman, and D.M. Miller. “Glass Fibers, Ceramics and Glasses,” in Engineered Supplies Handbook, Vol. 4. ASM International, 1991, pp. 1027-31.

McLellan, G.W. and E.B. Shand. Glass Engineering Handbook. McGraw-Hill, 1984.

Pfaender, H.G. Schott Guide To Glass. Van Nostrand Reinhold Firm, 1983.

Tooley, F.V. “Fiberglass, Ceramics and Glasses,” in Engineered Materials Handbook, Vol. 4. ASM Worldwide, 1991, pp. 402-08.


Hnat, J.G. “Recycling of Insulation Fiberglass Waste.” Glass Production Expertise Worldwide, Sterling Publications Ltd., pp. Eighty one-eighty four.

Webb, R.O. “Main Forces Impacting the Fiberglass Insulation Industry within the nineties.” Ceramic Engineering and Science Proceedings, 1991, pp.

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