Carbon fibre is five times stronger than steel, while being about a third lighter. This material is used in aviation, automotive, engineering and other sectors. It is often seen as a kind of wonder solution to manufacturing, and its use is on the increase.
However, the cost of carbon components is still high, and when it comes to manufacturing bespoke fibreglass products, fibreglass retains its competitive cost-effectiveness and innovative adaptability.
The Importance of Fibreglass
The global market for fibreglass composites is around 5 million metric tonnes per annum, whereas carbon fibre is a fraction of this, about 2%.
Fibreglass is a significant commodity material, contributing to a wide range of products, from wind turbine blades to boats, tanks to pipes. It also has architectural and automotive applications, and plays a key role in manufacturing for aerospace.
Benefits and Advantages of Fibreglass Design
While possessing an essential cost-effectiveness, fibreglass also has considerable tensile strength – stronger than steel and nearly as strong as industrial carbon fibre.
Bespoke fibreglass products can, when required, absorb greater impacts or abrasive forces. We can tailor fibreglass composites to perform more closely to aluminium or steel; This means fibreglass will work with metal or composite structures where temperature fluctuations are a factor. The molecular structure of fibreglass makes it adaptable for combination with various polymers. It’s also very versatile in terms of scale.
Future Innovations in Fibreglass
The versatility and adaptability of fibreglass makes it ideal for innovative product development and new applications. One such area is in injection overmoulding with glass-filled thermoplastic. This broadens the opportunities for manufacturing items such as panels for vehicles with added strengthening properties.
There is also the potential for more hybrid structures, combining fibreglass composites with carbon fibre, creating for low density but high resistance structures and bespoke fibreglass products, such as longer rotation blades.
Far from being an established material under threat, fibreglass has the capacity to evolve and fit in with an increasing range of applications.
If you’re interested in product development and harnessing the manufacturing versatility of fibreglass, contact Fibreglass Solutions to find out how we can help you bring your project to life.