Types, Properties, and Uses of Fiberglass

While the use of glass fibers traces back centuries to Egyptian and Phoenician decoratives, it was not until the early 20th century that a scientific accident led to the creation of modern fiberglass that we know and use today. In 1932, Scientist Dale Kleist attempted to create an airtight seal by welding together two blocks of glass. While bombarding the molten glass with a jet of compressed air, a shower of glass fibers were created that could be used to form fiberglass, resulting in an easy method of production. Through the years, this method of creating fiberglass has steadily improved, and such materials have demonstrated their benefits for a number of industries and applications.

Fiberglass can be very versatile, and it may be constructed into various shapes, sizes, and strengths depending on the application’s needs. Typically, fiberglass is classified on its resistance to varying conditions. For example, alkali glass (A-glass) is fairly resistant to chemicals, while structural glass (S-glass) is manufactured with optimal mechanical properties. As fiberglass technology continues to develop, and more industries strive for more lightweight, durable options, an increase of fiberglass products have entered the market. Among the many fiberglass types, some commonly used products include cloth fiberglass, duct fiberglass, milled fiberglass, gelcoats, fiberglass tape, woven roving, and fiberglass rope. 

To prove its usefulness for a plethora of applications, fiberglass has certain properties that makes it very beneficial. For one, fiberglass can be manufactured to be as strong as steel while remaining very lightweight, flexible, and impact resistant. It is also very resistant to electricity, serving as an effective insulator even while very thin. As fiberglass materials are created from minerals, they are incombustible, and fiberglass-reinforced plastics do not emit toxic chemicals when heated. Added with stability for structures across many conditions and its inability to rot, fiberglass can be much more useful than similar alternatives.

Within the realm of aerospace, fiberglass proves to be very beneficial for structures, equipment, ducting, enclosures, and other areas of the industry. Over the past century, many aircraft manufacturers have also experimented with more lightweight, fiberglass body aircraft to create better strength to weight ratios that are highly desired for aircraft safety and fuel efficiency. Automobiles and boats have followed a similar path of innovation, switching many parts for fiberglass materials. From consumer applications to industrial production, fiberglass has revolutionized our manufacturing abilities and continues to prove its use as technology develops.

When it comes time to begin sourcing the fiberglass components that you need for your operations, NSN Axis has you covered with everything you are searching for. NSN Axis is owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, and we can help you find the aviation, NSN, and electronic parts that you are searching for, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries, we're always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365. ASAP Semiconductor is an FAA AC 00-56B accredited and ISO 9001:2015 certified enterprise. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@nsnaxis.com or call us at +1-269-264-4495.

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