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Basalt Mesh Fabrics

Mesh Fabric, made from Basalt fiber

As its preferred use is in outdoor applications, it is also considered to be a Geotextile.

Technically, not all meshes are woven; the first picture is a leno woven, but picture two, three & five are not woven;

Following advantages make this product superior over an E-Glass Mesh: 

  • Ecologically safe
  • Withstands very high temperature of molten asphalt
  • Very high strength and durability
  • Alkali-resistant and chemically inert
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Will not damage tires if exposed to road surface
  • 2.7 times lighter than metallic mesh, for easier handling and reduced transport costs
  • Up to 47% increase in asphalt surface life on roads and highways.

Basalt Geo-Mesh is also ideal for soil and embankment stabilization and land-fill coverings, due to its high strength and environmental and ecological safety.

Meshes can be offered with and without resin coatings.

Standard constructions:

5mm x 5mm (1/4″ x 1/4″) squares

10mm x 10 mm (3/8″ x 3/8″) squares

25mm x 25 mm (1″ x 1″) squares

50mm x 50 mm (2″ x 2″) squares

Additional Technical information:

Technical Data Sheet

Basalt Meshes

Window Sizes 5mm, 10mm, 25mm, 50mm

 

Window Size 5mm 10mm 25mm 50mm
Total Weight/ Area 220 grams/sq. meter 110 grams/sq. meter 350 grams/sq. meter 370 grams/sq. meter
6.5oz./sq. yard 3.85oz./sq. yard 10.26oz./ sq. yard 10.85oz./ sq. yard
Weight Resin Coating 20 grams/sq. meter 10 grams/sq. meter 36 grams/sq. meter 38 grams/sq. meter
0.7oz./sq. yard 0.35oz./sq. yard 1.3oz./sq. yard 1.35oz./sq. yard
Thickness 0.6-0.7 mm 0.6-0.7 mm .08-.09 mm .08-.09 mm
0.021-0.025 in. 0.021-0.025 in. 0.032-0.035 in. 0.032-0.035 in.
Maximum Load-Warp 48,000N/meter 24,000N/meter 80,780N/meter 114,000N/meter
3,290lb. force/ foot 1,645lb. force/ foot 8,483lb. force/ foot 7,813lb. force/ foot
Maximum Load-Weft 45,000N/meter 20,000N/meter 78,900N/meter 86,000N/meter
3,084lb. force/ foot 1,371lb. force/ foot 5,415lb. force/ foot 5,894lb. force/ foot
Elongation at break-Warp 6.67 % 6.67 % 6.67 % 6.67 %
Elongation at break-Weft 3.53 % 3.53 % 3.53 % 3.53 %
Breaking Elongation-Warp 13.54 mm 13.34 mm 13.34 mm 13.34 mm
0.53 inch 0.53 inch 0.53 inch 0.53 inch
Breaking Elongation-Weft 7.07 mm 7.07 mm 7.07 mm 7.07 mm
0.28 inch 0.28 inch 0.28 inch 0.28 inch
Standard Roll Dimensions 1 meter x50 meters 1 meter x50 meters 1 meter x50 meters 1 meter x50 meters
3.28 ft. x 164 ft. 3.28 ft. x 164 ft. 3.28 ft. x 164 ft. 3.28 ft. x 164 ft.

Different widths and roll lengths available on special order

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Carbon Fiber – Applications

AEROSPACE

Rising fuel costs, environmental regulations and an increase in airline traffic have helped drive the increasing use of composite materials in the aerospace industry. Composites are used in military, business and commercial aircraft of all sizes, including spacecraft.

ARCHITECTURE

The architecture community is experiencing substantial growth in the understanding and use of composites. Composites offer architects and designers performance and value in large-scale projects and their use is increasing in commercial and residential buildings.

AUTOMOTIVE

The automotive industry is no stranger to composites. In addition to enabling groundbreaking vehicle designs, composites are also being used to reduce vehicle weight and cut CO2 emissions.

ENERGY

New advancements in composites are redefining the energy industry. Composites help enable the use of wind and solar power and improve the efficiency of traditional energy suppliers.

INFRASTRUCTURE

Composites are used all over the world to help construct and repair a wide variety of infrastructure applications, from buildings and bridges to roads to and railways.

MARINE

The marine industry has experienced a steady rise in the use of composites. In addition to helping hulls be lighter and more damage-resistant, composites can be found in many more areas of a maritime vessel–from interior moldings to furniture on super yachts.

MILITARY

Military-grade composites are used in a number of applications for their low weight, long life and ability to help protect people and equipment from harm. Aerial drones, armored fighting vehicles, submarines and body armor can contain composites materials.

SPORTS & RECREATION

From football helmets to hockey sticks to kayaks to bobsleds, composite materials help athletes reach their highest performance capabilities and provide durable, lightweight equipment for weekend warriors.

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Application – Basalt Wovens

Basalt-Wovens

Basalt Standard Fabrics in general can be applied where E-Glass, sometimes S-Glass or Carbon Fabrics can be used, as well. As Basalt is more expensive than E-Glass, but cheaper than Carbon Fibers, typically it finds implementations, more suitable to its particular properties and fills an important gab when it comes to cost-performance ratios.

You can find a comparison to E-Glass, S-Glass or other materials by clicking here: Basic Comparison To Other Fibers.

Knowing how Basalt compares to other fibers allow to precisely engineer an optimal solution, which could also be in form of a hybrid (combining Basalt with other Fibers made from Glass, Carbon, Kevlar, etc.)

An Example of an Engineered FRP. 

In Fiber Reinforced Products (FRP) the engineer chooses the fiber, based on the desired outcome. E.g. if lighter weight requirements at identical strength to currently used fibers are required or if higher strengths are necessary while staying within the weight specifications.

There are other examples relevant to durability, corrosion resistances, break strength, chemical resistances, thermal applications, etc.

Our Team will be more than glad to assist or consult with design applications.

Standard Fabrics

Main application markets are

  • Geotextiles
  • Thermal applications
  • FRP (Fiber Reinforcement Products)

Standard offering: 

Weights: 3.2 oz/syd – 28 oz/syd

Widths: 19″ – 54″

Length: 26 yd – 500 yd

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   mesh1

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Basalt – Twisted

Reasons to twist Yarns: 

  • protection of the fiber
  • increase tensile strength
  • creating hybrid fibers with various properties
  • allow to process in various stringent conditions

.... more about twisting

Basalt fiber can be twisted. Regardless the tex count, be it 34 (150 h.y.p.p), 68 (75 h.y.p.p), 136 (34 h.y.p.p) , etc. can be twisted. When it comes to the higher dense materials, it can be come somewhat tricky but is still possible for the most part. You can also twist texturized fibers.

... more about texturizing

Typically the twist is to ease production in the following value added step.

Application Ideas: 

  • weaving
  • Braiding
  • Knit-Braiding
  • Knitting
  • Sewing Threads
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Basalt – Air texturized

Basalt fibers can be air-texturized

... more about the process of air-texturizing

Texturizing Basalt can be interesting from many points of views:

  • The texturizing process allows to blend basalt with other technical fibers, such as E-Glass, S-Glass, Carbon, Kevlar, etc. Those then can be woven, braided, knitted, chopped, etc.
  • The fiber becomes more bulky and can store more air between the filaments. This increases the insulation values
  • Texturized fabrics, braids, knitted goods etc, have increased abrasion resistances
  • In composite applications, it may alter the dry-time or wet-out time.

In many cases, the texturized basalt fiber will experience additional value added steps, therefore the

Aapplication ideas are: 

  • chopping
  • extrusion
  • braiding
  • knitting
  • knit braiding
  • twisting
  • weaving

 

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Basalt Roving

The Density:

Basalt Rovings typically start a around 270 tex (18 h.y.p.p) and can exceed 4,800 tex (1.04 h.y.p.p).

Note: tex means (grams/1,000 meter), h.y.p.p means (hundred yard per pound)

The Twist:

Rovings have a very low or mostly zero twist. For the most part, they are woven in from a creel, but they certainly can be warped, as well. In general, do not require to be slashed. .... read more about slashing here

The Filament Size:

For the most part, roving filament diameters start at 9 microns and go up to around 24 microns.

Rovings are multi-filaments and a strand consist of hundreds of single filaments.

If a manufacturer elects to make a roving based on 9 mcm, they need to have more single filaments to build up the desired density as if they were to use e.g. 18 micron. In fact, they would need half as many filaments.

The filament size largely determines the flexibility of the strand. Therefore, the choice of filament size depends on the application.

The scale of economics: 

Due to a larger micron size/ filament, the output is larger than with smaller filament sizes. For that reason, rovings can be produced cheaper than the yarns.

Assembled Rovings:

Sometimes, manufacturers assemble rovings. In this case, they first manufacturer e.g. two bobbins of 1,200 tex and then later put them together on a new bobbin and create a 2,400 tex roving.

Sizings:

Sizings are also called binders. When extruding the fiber, the manufacturer sprays a chemical on the strand of filaments which has the purpose to

  • keep the fiber flexible,
  • mechanically protect it for upcoming textile or other processes,
  • allow, enhance the adhering process with resins or coatings,
  • create other additional properties.

For that reason, it is important to make sure to verify the resin compatibility for the intended application or textile process.

TIP: When testing samples, make sure you buy from the same source, as the outcome may differ, based on the chosen source!

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Textile Process: Knitting

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Demonstration of knitting and basic stitches

Knitting is a method by which yarn is manipulated to create a textile or fabric.

Knitting creates multiple loops of yarn, called stitches, in a line or tube. Knitting has multiple active stitches on the needle at one time. Knitted fabric consists of a number of consecutive rows of interlocking loops. As each row progresses, a newly created loop is pulled through one or more loops from the prior row, placed on the gaining needle, and the loops from the prior row are then pulled off the other needle.

Knitting may be done by hand or by using a machine.

Different types of yarns (fibre type, texture, and twist), needle sizes, and stitch types may be used to achieve knitted fabrics with diverse properties (colour, texture, weight, heat retention, water resistance, and/or integrity).


 

Like glass-fibers, basalt-fibers, Kevlar, Carbon etc can be knitted, as well. Knitted fabrics are typically more flexible to the touch. This means they can be draped easier. That can  be an advantage in composite applications, when the knitted good needs to be draped around corners or curves. Knitted materials can be very tight and thick, as well. This could be interesting for conveyor belt applications, especially those which are dealing with elevated temperatures. The longevity of basalt knitted belts can be higher than glass-knitted belts.

Application Ideas:

  • Gaskets
  • Conveyor belts
  • Composites
  • Filtration
  • Pipe wrapping
  • Boats building
  • Leisure in general
  • Tanks
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Basalt Application – Insulation System

PyroProtecto Insuljack-1600 is built in multiple layers.

Insuljack-1600 pushes higher temperature applications and presents in its constructions a very safe, clean and cost effective solution.

PyroProtecto-1600 is a 3-layer Insulation system:

a) Silicone coated fiberglass

  • Silicone temperature rating: 500 degrees F
  • Glass fabric substrate rating: 900 degrees F

b) E-Glass Needle Punched Mat

  • temperature rating: 1,200 degrees F
  • Thickness : 1/4″, 1/2″, 1″
  • Width: 60″

c) Basalt Needle Punched Mat 

  • temperature rating: 1600 degrees F
  • Thickness : 1/4″, 1/2″, 1″
  • Width: 60″

Below  pictures represent a typical example of building up the three layers;

The fabric will be on the outside, encapsulating the insulation and protecting it from outside temperatures or moisture or other impact.

The second Layer is the Glass needle punched mat, breaking the heat down from max 1,200 degrees, to the desired temperature rating.

The third layer is the Basalt needle punched mat. Its purpose is to break down the heat from max. 1,600 degrees F to approx. 1,200 degrees F, where the more affordable Glass mat takes over, to further lower temperature levels.

Note: For flat applications, we can also offer a Basalt Board, which sometimes is easier to handle; e.g. it can be pinned to the Heat source’s outer surface area.

Depending on the actual application, the engineer calculates the required insulation values (K-values at high temperatures or R-Values for low & cryogenic applications). Based on those values, the optimal configuration or insulation system can be put together.

This procedure not only results in best insulation values, but also prevents from insulating at higher cost than necessary.

The E-Glass needled mat and the Basalt needled mat can be delivered in various densities and thicknesses.

Please contact us with your particular applications. We will be glad to assist. 

 

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Basalt Application – Geotextiles

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Geotextiles are permeable fabrics which, when used in association with soil, have the ability to separate, filter, reinforce, protect, or drain. Typically made from polypropylene or polyester, geotextile fabrics come in three basic forms: woven (resembling mail bag sacking), needle punched (resembling felt), or heat bonded (resembling ironed felt).

Geotextile composites have been introduced and products such as geogrids and meshes have been developed. Overall, these materials are referred to as geosynthetics and each configuration—-geonets, geogrids, geotubes (such as TITANTubes) and others—-can yield benefits in geotechnical and environmental engineering design.[1]


Basalt does not rot and therefore presents a highly stable solution for outdoor applications or when exposed to harsh weather conditions.

Depending on the application and desired functionalities, the design needs to vary.

Required functionalities:

  • Moisture barrier (for contamination prevention e.g. recycling places, junk yards, landfill, etc)
  • Erosion prevention (e.g. in the mountains or specialty farming)
  • Constructional support (e.g. light weight roof in stadiums)
  • Fire or Flame barrier

 

There are many applications for Basalt in form of strand, chopped, woven, nonwoven, composites etc.

 

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Basalt Application – FRP Reinforced Polymer

FRP- (Fiber Reinforced Polymer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP) (also fibre-reinforced polymer) 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 or wood or asbestos have been used. The polymer is usually an epoxy, vinylester or polyesterthermosetting plastic, andphenol formaldehyde resins are still in use.

FRPs are commonly used in the aerospace, automotive, marine, construction industries and ballistic armor.


In the case of Basalt, sometimes BFRP or BRP is also used as an acronym.

Applications: 

Simple: In essence, anywhere glass, carbon or other fibers are used.

In some instances Basalt may exceed performances of existing products, in others, it may be an acceptable alternative at lower cost; the application engineer is challenged with a balance between performance, weight and cost of the final product.

In the USA, basalt is tried or already in use in almost all applications where glass or carbon or aramid is used, but in much smaller quantities and variations.

Few Examples: 

  • Boat
  • Automotive
  • Leisure (snowbords, kiteboards, ski, race boats...)
  • Concrete
  • Ballistic
  • much more

It also appears that European and Asian countries are further along in their development utilizing basalt for niche applications or as a new and "green" alternative.

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Basalt Application – Construction

Highlights: 

  • Higher specific strength
  • Approx. 10% of Basalt Rebar needed to achieve the same results as with Steel Rebars
  • Resistant to corrosion or deterioration caused by natural elements
  • Alkaline and acide resistant
  • Same thermal expansion as concrete, reducing the formation of cracks

Basalt Rebar

  • Concrete
  • Highway
  • Construction

Basalt Mesh

  • Highways
  • Roofing
  • Stucco

Basalt Fabric

  • Bridges
  • Composite Poles

Basalt Chopped Fiber

  • Concrete
  • Highway
  • Composite Poles/ constructions in general
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About Glass Fibers

Fiberglass is the original fiber reinforcement of modern composites. Though the ancient Phoenicians, Egyptians and Greeks knew how to melt glass and stretch it into thin fibers, it wasn’t until the 1930s that the process evolved into commercial-scale manufacturing of continuous fibers, which would later be used as structural reinforcements. Patent applications filed between 1933 and 1937 by Games Slayter, John Thomas and Dale Kleist, employees of Owens-Illinois Glass Co. (Toledo, Ohio), record the key developments that step-changed the industry from producing discontinuous-fiber glass wool to making continuous glass filaments with diameters as small as 4 microns (4 millionths of a meter) and thousands of feet long. Ensuing breakthroughs made the process commercially viable and cost-competitive.

 

The last two patents in the series, entitled “Textile Material” and “Glass Fabric,” foreshadowed the future of glass fiber as a textile reinforcement. The patents were awarded in 1938, the same year that Owens-Illinois and Corning Glass Works (Corning, N.Y.) joined to form Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp. (OCF).

 

The new company marketed its glass fiber under the trade name Fiberglas, which was the genesis of the common generic reference to fiberglass. It was not long before a number of other manufacturers entered the market and, through numerous process and product innovations, contributed to a worldwide structural composite reinforcements market of roughly 4 to 5 million tons per year.

 

Source: Composite World: http://www.compositesworld.com/articles/the-making-of-glass-fiber

Following are some Glass Fibers available in the market: 

AR-Glass * C-Glass * E-Glass * ECR-Glass * L-Glass * Quartz Glass * R-Glass * S1-Glass * S2-Glass * S3-Glass * Silica Glass * Other

Manufacturing Of Glass Fibers

The glass fiber process

Textile-grade glass fibers are made from silica (SiO2) sand, which melts at 1720°C/3128°F. SiO2 is also the basic element in quartz, a naturally occurring rock. Quartz, however, is crystalline (rigid, highly ordered atomic structure) and is 99 percent or more SiO2. If SiO2 is heated above 1200°C/2192°F then cooled ambiently, it crystallizes and becomes quartz.

Glass is produced by altering the temperature and cooldown rates. If pure SiO2 is heated to 1720°C/3128°F then cooled quickly, crystallization can be prevented and the process yields the amorphous or randomly ordered atomic structure we know as glass.

Although continuously refined and improved, today’s glass fiber manufacturers combine this high heat/quick cool strategy with other steps in a process that is basically the same as that developed in the 1930s, albeit on a much larger scale. This process can be broken down into five basic steps: batching, melting, fiberization, coating and drying/packaging.

Step 1: Batching

Although a viable commercial glass fiber can be made from silica alone, other ingredients are added to reduce the working temperature and impart other properties that are useful in specific applications.

For example, E-glass, originally aimed at electrical applications, with a composition including SiO2, AI2O3(aluminum oxide or alumina), CaO (calcium oxide or lime) and MgO (magnesium oxide or magnesia), was developed as a more alkali-resistant alternative to the original soda lime glass. Later, boron was added via B2O3 (boron oxide) to increase the difference between the temperatures at which the E-glass batch melted and at which it formed a crystalline structure to prevent clogging of the nozzles used in fiberization (Step 3, below).

S-glass fibers, developed for higher strength, are based on a SiO2-AI2O3-MgO formulation but contain higher percentages of SiO2 for applications in which tensile strength is the most important property.

In the initial stage of glass manufacture, therefore, these materials must be carefully weighed in exact quantities and thoroughly mixed (batched). Batching has become automated, using computerized weighing units and enclosed material transport systems. For example, in Owens Corning’s plant in Taloja, India, each ingredient is transported via pneumatic conveyors to its designated multistory storage bin (silo), which is capable of holding 70 to 260 ft³ (1.98 to 7.36m³) of material. Directly beneath each bin is an automated weighing and feeding system, which transfers the precise amount of each ingredient to a pneumatic blender in the batch house basement.

Step 2: Melting

From the batch house, another pneumatic conveyor sends the mixture to a high temperature (≈1400ºC/2552ºF) natural gas-fired furnace for melting.

Glass Melting

The furnace is typically divided into three sections, with channels that aid glass flow.

The first section receives the batch, where melting occurs and uniformity is increased, including removal of bubbles. The molten glass then flows into the refiner, where its temperature is reduced to 1370ºC/2500ºF. The final section is the forehearth, beneath which is located a series of four to seven bushings that, in the next step, are used to extrude the molten glass into fibers. Large furnaces have several channels, each with its own forehearth.
According to Scott Northrup, global business development director for AGY (Aiken, S.C.), furnace operation is being improved on several fronts.

The use of larger furnaces has increased throughput to between 30,000 and 40,000 metric tonnes (66.2 million lb to 88.2 million lb) per year.

One of the most important advances has been digital control technology. “Digital controls … measure and manage the precise temperature of the glass as it moves through the furnace as well as the gas … and oxygen flow rates.” They also maintain a smoother, steadier flow to the fiberization equipment, avoiding air bubbles or other interruptions that could cause discontinuities in fiber formation.

Control of oxygen flow rates are crucial because furnaces that use the latest technology burn nearly pure oxygen instead of air because it helps the natural gas fuel to burn cleaner and hotter, melting glass more efficiently. It also lowers operating costs by using less energy and reduces nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 75 percent and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 40 percent.

Because the furnace is a consumable — the process of melting and moving the glass wears away the refractory bricks that line the furnace interior — efforts are being made to increase the brick’s service life.

Glass fiber production is a continuous process, says AGY sales and marketing VP Drew Walker, “Once production begins, you don’t shut it down.”

Manufacturers say that a typical furnace averages 12 to 15 years between rebuilds, with seven years as a worst-case scenario. Walker explains that at up to $150 million for construction of a new manufacturing site and $10 million to $15 million for a new furnace or rebuild, extending furnace life translates directly into dollars.

The industry takes three main approaches to glass melting:

(1) indirect melt (also called marble remelt);

(2) direct melt using larger-scale furnaces (8,000 to 100,000 metric tonnes per year); and

(3) direct melt using smaller-scale furnaces (150 to 200 metric tonnes per year), which are also called paramelters.

For indirect marble remelt, molten glass is sheared and rolled into marbles roughly 0.62 inch (15 to 16 mm) in diameter, which are cooled, packaged and then transported to a fiber manufacturing facility where they are remelted for fiberization (see “Step 3”). The marbles facilitate visual inspection of the glass for impurities, resulting in a more consistent product.

The direct melt process transfers molten glass in the furnace directly to fiber-forming equipment. Because direct melting eliminates the intermediate steps and the cost of forming marbles, it has become the most widely used method.

Step 3: Fiberization

Glass fiber formation, or fiberization, involves a combination of extrusion and attenuation.

In extrusion, the molten glass passes out of the forehearth through a bushing made of an erosion-resistant platinum/rhodium alloy with very fine orifices, from 200 to as many as 8,000. Bushing plates are heated electronically, and their temperature is precisely controlled to maintain a constant glass viscosity. Water jets cool the filaments as they exit the bushing at roughly 1204ºC/2200ºF.

Attenuation is the process of mechanically drawing the extruded streams of molten glass into fibrous elements called filaments, with a diameter ranging from 4 μm to 34 μm (one-tenth the diameter of a human hair).

A high-speed winder catches the molten streams and, because it revolves at a circumferential speed of ~2 miles/~3 km per minute (much faster than the molten glass exits the bushings), tension is applied, drawing them into thin filaments.
The bushings are expensive, and their nozzle design is critical to fiberization. Nozzle diameter determines filament diameter, and the nozzle quantity equals the number of ends.

A 4,000-nozzle bushing may be used to produce a single roving product or the process can be configured to make four rovings with 1,000 ends each. The bushing also controls the fiber yield or yards of fiber per pound of glass.

(The metric unit, tex, measures fiber linear density; 1 tex = 1 g/km, and yield is the inverse, yd/lb.) A fiber with a yield of 1,800 yd/lb (275 tex) would have a smaller diameter than a 56 yd/lb (8,890 tex) fiber, and an 800-nozzle bushing produces a smaller yield than a 4,000-nozzle bushing. This helps to explain why Wisdom Dzotsi, Americas glass business manager for OCV Reinforcements (Toledo, Ohio, a combination of the reinforcements and fabrics businesses of Owens Corning and Saint-Gobain Vetrotex), views a 4,000-nozzle bushing as the sweet spot that has evolved for optimizing production flexibility.

In contrast, AGY uses 800-orifice bushings because, as Walker explains, “We are a smaller company whose glass yarn and specialty fiber business is based on finer filaments and smaller-run niche products.”

Bushing design is advancing. Kevin Richardson, market development director for PPG Industries (Pittsburgh, Pa.) notes, “There are emerging developments in bushing design that further enhance performance via tailored filament diameters and also contribute to total furnace throughputs, lowering cost.” AGY agrees, stating that the range of fiber diameter, or micronage, has become more varied as composite reinforcements have become more specialized. Although OCV sees 17 μm and 24 μm as the most popular diameters, its reinforcement products vary from 4 μm to 32 μm, while AGY’s products typically fall in the 4 μm to 9 μm range.

Walker notes that all fiberglass manufacturers want to produce as much glass fiber per hour as possible. Advances in winding have enabled producers to triple efficiency. Walker explains, “We process more packages at once now; 20 years ago we may have used two packages where now it is common to use six.” (See “Step 5.”)

Step 4: Coating

In the final stage, a chemical coating, or size, is applied. (Although the terms binder, size and sizing often are used interchangeably in the industry, size is the correct term for the coating applied, and sizing is the process used to apply it. See “Learn More,” at right.)
Size is typically added at 0.5 to 2.0 percent by weight and may include lubricants, binders and/or coupling agents. The lubricants help to protect the filaments from abrading and breaking as they are collected and wound into forming packages and, later, when they are processed by weavers or other converters into fabrics or other reinforcement forms.

Coupling agents cause the fiber to have an affinity for a particular resin chemistry, improving resin wetout and strengthening the adhesive bond at the fiber-matrix interface.

Some size chemistries are compatible only with polyester resin and some only with epoxy while others may be used with a variety of resins.

AGY, OCV and PPG agree that size chemistry is crucial to glass fiber performance, and each company considers its size chemistry to be proprietary.

PPG believes that in many composite applications, performance can be achieved via size chemistry as effectively as, if not more than, glass batch chemistry. For example, its 2026 size chemistry used with HYBON products for wind blades reportedly achieves an order of magnitude improvement in blade fatigue life by  improving fiber wet out and fiber adhesion to all resin types.

Step 5: Drying/packaging

Finally, the drawn, sized filaments are collected together into a bundle, forming a glass strand composed of 51 to 1,624 filaments. The strand is wound onto a drum into a forming package that resembles a spool of thread. The forming packages, still wet from water cooling and sizing, are then dried in an oven, and afterward they are ready to be palletized and shipped or further processed into chopped fiber, roving or yarn.

Roving is a collection of strands with little or no twist. An assembled roving, for example, made from 10 to 15 strands wound together into a multi-end roving package, requires additional handling and processing steps.

Yarn is made from one or more strands, which may be twisted to protect the integrity of the yarn during subsequent processing operations, such as weaving.

One process, many products

Although the basic glass fiber process has changed little since its commercialization 80 years ago, it has undergone many refinements. Two continuous threads run through fiberglass manufacturing’s history: the drive to increase production throughput and bring cost down and the desire to improve the performance properties of the finished product.

Manufacturers continue to push forward on both fronts in their pursuit of ever-newer applications for fiberglass-reinforced composite.

Source: Composite World: http://www.compositesworld.com/articles/the-making-of-glass-fiber