Usage of Glass Fiber/Fiberglass

Fiberglass is one of the main material of GRP. It is widely in many fields. GRP is used extensively in aviation and aerospace though it is not widely used for primary airframe construction, as there are alternative materials which better suit the applications. Typical GRP applications are: engine cowlings, luggage racks, instrument enclosures, bulkheads, ducting, storage bins and antenna enclosures. It is also widely used in ground-handling equipment.
For those who love automobiles, the 1953 model Chevrolet Corvette was the first production car to have a fibreglass body. As a body material, GRP has never succeeded against metal for large production volumes.

However, fiberglass has a big presence in the replacement body parts, custom and kit auto markets. Tooling costs are relatively low as compared with metal press assemblies, and ideally suit smaller markets.

Since that first dinghy in 1942, this is an area where fibreglass is supreme. Its properties are ideally suited to boat building. Although there were problems with water absorption, modern resins are more resilient, and the composites continues to dominate the marine industry. In fact, without GRP, boat ownership would never have reached the levels it has today, as other construction methods are simply too expensive for volume production and not amenable to automation.

GRP is widely used for circuit board manufacture (PCB's) – there is probably one within six feet of you now. TVs, radios, computers, cellphones – GRP holds our electronic world together.

Almost every home has GRP somewhere – whether in a bathtub or a shower tray. Other applications include furniture, and spa tubs.

How much GRP do you think there is in Disneyland? The cars on the rides, the towers, the castles – so much of it is based on fiberglass. Even your local fun park probably has water slides made from the composite. And then the health club – do you ever sit in a Jacuzzi? That’s probably GRP as well.

Because of its low porosity, non-staining and hard wearing finish, GRP is ideally suited to medical applications, from instrument enclosures to X-ray beds (where X-ray transparency is important).

Most people who tackle DIY projects have used fibreglass at one time or another. It is readily available in hardware stores, easy to use (with a few health precautions to be taken), and can provide a really practical and professional looking finish.

Building 100’ wind turbine blades is a major growth area for this versatile composite, and with wind energy a massive factor in the energy supply equation, its use is certain to continue to grow.

GRP is all around us, and its unique characteristics will ensure that it remains one of the most versatile and easy to use composites for many years to come.
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Composite Materials Application In Boatbuilding

Composites offer the advantages of a higher strength to weight ratio than traditional wood or steel methods, and requires lower skill levels to produce an acceptable hull finish on a semi-industrial scale.
Since the 1950’s, resins (‘polyester’ and ‘vinylester’) have improved steadily and GRP has become without doubt the most prevalent composite used in boatbuilding. It is used in shipbuilding too, typically for minesweepers which need non-magnetic hulls. In the 21st century, volume GRP boat production follows a full Henry Ford-like industrial production process.
Wood/epoxy molding techniques are still in use today, typically for rowing skiffs. Other wood/adhesive composites have evolved since the introduction of high performance epoxy resins. ‘Strip planking’ is one such popular technique for home boat construction. Strips of wood (typically cedar) are laid longitudinally over frames and coated with epoxy. This simple construction offer a cheap and strong build with a fair finish easily achievable by an amateur.
At the leading edge of boatbuilding, we are now seeing aramid fiber reinforcing being used to strengthen key areas of sailboats, such as the bows and keel sections. Aramid fiber also provides improved shock absorption. Carbon fiber masts are increasingly common, as they offer major performance and vessel stability benefits.
Sailboats also use composites in their sail construction, with carbon fiber or glass fiber tape being used as a flexible but dimensionally stable matrix to which synthetic sailcloth is laminated.
Materials science and composite technology are advancing rapidly, and new composites include carbon nanotube and epoxy mixtures. Recently, a small naval vessel with a hull built using carbon nanotubes was delivered as a concept project.
Lightness, strength, durability and ease of production mean that composites will play an increasing part in boat construction. Despite all the new composites, FRP Composites is here to stay for very many years though it will surely be in partnership with other exotic composites.

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FRP Composites Used In Household Fields

FRP Composites are widely used in many fields including around the house. Below are a few examples of composite materials that we come in contact with on a daily basis in our homes:

Fiberglass doors are an excellent example of composites. Composite doors have done such an amazing job imitating wood, that many people cannot tell the difference. In fact, many glass fiber doors are made from molds that were originally taken from wood doors. Fiberglass doors are long lasting, as they will never warp or twist with moisture. They will never rot, corrode, and have excellent insulative properties.

Hot tub and spas are another great example of fiber reinforced composites which might be used around the house. Most all above ground hot tubs today are reinforced with fiberglass. First, a sheet of acrylic plastic is vacuumed-formed to the shape of the hot tub. Then, the back side of the sheet is sprayed with chopped fiberglass known as gun roving. The ports for jets and drains are drilled out and the pluming is installed.

If your shower stall or bathtub is not porcelain, chances are good that it is a fiberglass reinforced composite tub. Many fiberglass bathtubs and showers are first gel coated, and then reinforced with glass fiber and polyester resin. Most often, these tubs are manufactured through an open molding process, usually either chopped gun roving, or layers of chopped strand mat. More recently, FRP tubs have been manufactured using the RTM process (Resin Transfer Molding), where positive pressure pushes thermoset resin through a two sided hard mold.

Window frames are another excellent use of FRP composites, most commonly fiberglass. Most all fiberglass window profiles are manufactured from the pultrusion process. The profile cross section of a window lineal is exactly the same. Most all major window companies have an in house pultrusion operation, where they pultrude thousands of feet of window lineals a day.
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Essential Knowledge of Fiberglass

Fiberglass Background

Fiberglass really is made of glass, similar to window or the drinking glasses in the kitchen. The glass is heated until it is molten, then it is forced through superfine holes, creating glass filaments that are very thin – so thin they are better measured in microns. These threads can then be woven into larger swatches of material, or left in the somewhat less structured although more familiar puffy substance used for insulation or soundproofing. This will depend on whether the extruded strands were made longer or shorter, and the quality of the fiberglass. For some applications, it is important for the glass fibers to have fewer impurities, which involves additional steps in the manufacturing process.

Manufacturing With Fiberglass

Different resins may then be added to fiberglass once it is woven together to give it added strength, as well as allow it to be molded into various shapes. Common items made of fiberglass include swimming pools and spas, doors, surfboards, sporting equipment, boat hulls and a wide array of exterior automobile parts.

The light yet durable nature of fiberglass also makes it ideal for more delicate applications, such as in circuit boards.

Fiberglass may be mass-produced in mats or sheets or custom-made for a specific purpose. A new bumper or fender on an automobile, for example, may need to be custom-made to replace a damaged area, or for the production of a new model. For this, one would create a form in the desired shape out of foam or some other material, then layer a fiberglass coated in resin over it. The fiberglass will harden, then can be reinforced with more layers, or reinforced from within. But, for items like shingles, a massive sheet of a fiberglass and resin compound may be manufactured and cut by machine.
It should be noted that fiberglass is not carbon fiber, nor is it glass-reinforced plastic, although it is similar to both. Carbon fiber, which is made of strands of carbon, cannot be extruded into strands as long as fiberglass, as it will break. This, among other reasons, makes fiberglass cheaper to manufacture, although it is not as strong. Glass-reinforced plastic is what it sounds like – plastic with fiberglass embedded into it to increase strength. The similarities to fiberglass are apparent, but a defining characteristic of fiberglass is that the glass strands are the main component.
Recycling Fiberglass

Although there has not been much advancement in the recycling of fiberglass items once they have already been produced, fiberglass itself may be manufactured from recycled glass, and is often done so. Owens Corning has reported the production of fiberglass insulation with as much as 70% recycled glass.
Sichuan Weibo New Material Group Co,. Ltd is one of the leading companies in fiberglass field of the world. Its main markets are North America, Middle East, and Southeast Asia. 

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Some Commonly Used Composite Fabrics

The composite fabrics being used can be easily decided depending on the composite product being manufactured. After the fiber is determined, the construction of the fiber must also be selected. The construction of the reinforcing fiber will be dictated by the manufacturing process and the end requirements. Below are some of the commonly used fabrics in composite material manufacturing.

Fiberglass Chopped Strand Mat is a fabric reinforcement and is most commonly manufactured with fiberglass. Short discontinuous fibers are randomly spread, and held together with a binder.

Fiberglass Chopped Strand Mat is an inexpensive way to add bulk and thickness to a composite product. Although chopped strand mat is not structural, it is very easy to work with and economical.Manufacturers of chopped strand mat include:

Owens Corning
Jushi Fiberglass
Sincere & Long-term Complex Material

Continuous Strand Mat

Continuous strand mat is a fiberglass fabric that is more structural then chopped strand, but more expensive.Continuous strand mat is manufactured by laying filaments of glass in a circular pattern, and holding the fibers together with a binder.Continuous strand mat is commonly used in pultrusion to add cross-directional strength to pultruded profiles.

Woven Fabrics

Woven fabrics can be manufactured from most any reinforcement, and the technology comes directly from the traditional textile industry. Here, the composite reinforcement is woven together in a wide variety weave patterns and weights.

Woven fabrics provide excellent structure to composite products and absorb resins extremely well. Reinforcements that are woven are used in a wide variety of manufacturing processes including hand layup, vacuum infusion, compression molding, and pultrusion.

One highly desirable feature of woven composite fabrics is their ability to be highly drapable and conformable. This is important when laminating composite products such as surfboards or after-market automotive parts.Manufacturers of woven fabrics (weavers) include:

Lincoln Fabrics
Owens Corning
Jushi Fiberglass
Sincere & Long-term Complex Material
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One Foldable FRP Boat

The 132-pound, 12-foot boat is sold in 11 pieces, which are stored in two canvas bags, one for the hull and the other for the seats, transom, nose and other components. The boat assembles with a series of “quick-click” connects. Its design is made possible with advanced composite materials. The boat has a 5-foot, 6-inch beam – about the same as a bigger 14-foot boat – and can hold four adults. Affordability for the outdoor adventurer goes with the territory, so the boat is priced at $4,000.

Most of the hull is fabricated using hand lay up of fiberglass reinforced with high-end epoxy resin. This is reinforced with a high-density PVC foam core used in the aerospace industry, which is followed by another layer of the fiberglass/epoxy system to form sandwich panels that become the hull of the boat. Top sheet coating on the wear areas, such as the gunnel rail and keel, are made from a combination of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). The flat panels are pre-stressed to give the structure the needed rigidity without having to increase the weight of the panel by increasing the thickness of the core or the skin.

The patented hinge design – what makes it a foldable boat – is accomplished with the use of FRP flanges which are bonded to Kevlar® fiber strips embedded with epoxy resin at the edges of each panel. This enables the hull of the boat to fold in on itself for storage in its canvas bag, which can be hung on a garage wall.  The geometry of each of the flat panels is narrower at the bow and wider at the stern to form the hull. The foredeck “nose,” a passenger bench, a captain’s bench and the transom pop in place to provide the horizontal and box structures that hold the boat open and keep it rigid. A motor of up to 10-horsepower is mounted on the transom.

Also patented is the design of the transom and associated triangular torsional bracing that addresses the need to absorb engine thrust. The thrust created by the motor has to have an opposing force, but the transom alone will not do it. By including composite-based poles to reinforce the transom, the thrust dissipates through the poles onto the captain’s seat and then onto the hull side panels, creating a triangular structure. The boat’s transom and hinge are just two of several mature patents and patents pending in Australia, New Zealand, North America and Europe.

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Bright Market Trend for GFRP

In recent years, energy use availability and efficiency, climate change, population growth and consumption, construction and renewables are producing strong macro trends that will grow glass fiber markets

The $7 billion global market for glass fiber is being created by construction, transportation, industrial, consumer and wind energy applications. The result looks to be tighter capacity for GFRP production based on high facility utilization rates expected in the near term to top 90 percent.
Future growth derived from global trends such as the production of clean energy; water infrastructure; urban infrastructure and housing for developing countries; and industrial lightweighting for modes of transportation.

There is growth of traditional applications for continuous fiber, chopped strand, non-wovens, chopped strand mat and continuous filament mat. In addition, the development of hybrid materials and hybrid technology integration for commercial wind turbine, commercial aircraft, structural automotive parts and consumer electronics has contributed to market growth. Hybrid technologies with multi-functionality have resulted in solutions that bring value.

The use of hybrid materials, through interactions between glass and carbon fiber, is influencing form and function.  Glass and carbon fiber complement each other. The selective placement of hybrid forms and multi-functional integration creates interesting values. Glass fiber enables carbon fiber dispersion, flow and wetting for improved injection, resin transfer molding, compression or extrusion. The result is better consistency and higher productivity. Other advantages provided by hybrid FRP are further reduction of weight, increases in strain to failure for impact flexural fatigue, the isolation of galvanic corrosion and lower costs in carbon fiber structures.

In the building and construction, transportation, wind energy and industrial applications, GFRP is proving very critical for cost reduction. As a result, partnerships with automotive suppliers, resin suppliers, governmental entities and institutional partners are creating valuable solutions faster.
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The Lightest Car Roof On The Market

Automotive supplier Fehrer Composite Components has developed a new lightweight roof in a sandwich-type design. The component is currently the lightest roof construction for passenger cars on the market.

The newly developed component is made from a material mix consisting of polyurethane, glass fiber and paper honeycomb and covered with a thermoplastic outer skin. The standard version of the Smart Fortwo (about 40 percent of all models) is equipped with this roof. The new roof is about 30 percent lighter than the standard roof in the Smart Fortwo’s predecessor model and equally strong.

The roof is a combination of decorative foil, structural PUR fiber-composite layers and a core honeycomb structure in a sandwich-type design. In contrast to standard composite components, this construction does not involve the individual layers being bonded in a complex, multi-stage process, but is produced instead in a single workstep. This allows the component to be produced considerably more efficiently.
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Today’s society can’t be without FRP

FRP is almost in everywhere in this society, from basic organic materials such as adobe mud bricks to complex composite materials such as fiberglass reinforced panels, in the last centuries, composite materials evolved rapidly, and nowadays, a life without composite materials would be unimaginable.

One such evolution is the development of advanced reinforcements and fabrics used in Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composites. In the last ten or twenty years, great advancements have been developed in fiber type and properties.

Additionally, novel developments have been developed in fiber architecture and proprietary weaving techniques.

These advancements allow for traditional materials such as steel and aluminum to be replaced with fiber reinforced composites. One industry which is beginning to adopt this transition of materials is the automotive industry.

For example, the U.S. Army uses 3D Glass Fabrics for its MATV defense vehicles, specially designed for moving around in the rugged terrains of Afghanistan. By using 3D Glass Fabrics, designers have achieved a significant weight reduction of 75% of critical exposed parts of the MATV.

Eco-friendliness, safety and fuel-saving are key to modern day vehicle production. Traditional heavy materials like steel do not contribute to this goal. Therefore, the incorporation of light weight composite materials in vehicles, such as fiberglass fabrics, is becoming a common design practice for reducing vehicle weight and achieving fuel saving.
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Brazilian composites sales fell in begining of 2015

Even though the global composites industry keeps rising, sales in the Brazilian composites industry were US$240 million in the first quarter of 2015, a 15% drop compared to the same period of the previous year, according to a new survey from ALMACO.

Compared to the last three months of 2014, the drop corresponded to 14.4%, while in terms of volume of composites processed, the declines were even more pronounced: 18.2% and 16.2%, respectively, totaling 44,000 tons.

In addition to the current economic scenario faced in Brazil, the main factors responsible for such scenario are the cuts and delays in government funding transfers to social programs. The uncertainties and lack of confidence further aggravates the crisis. On the other hand, there is a conformity in the composites industry, illustrated by the lack of reaction and creativity

For the second quarter, however, the survey indicates a 8.1% sales increase, totaling US$ 260 million – in volume of processed material, jumping 7.4%, reaching 47,000 tons.

Some segments remain stable, such as the water tank and wind segments. It is a moment of calm, but also a period to seek new niches and opportunities that will emerge in this period of instability. Knowledge, staff training, differentiated business models, innovation and speed in the development of solutions, including products with the use of waste, will be crucial to overcome this crisis.

Also according to ALMACO’s survey, the Brazilian composite materials industry should close 2015 accounting for a turnover of US$ 1,021 billion, or 5.6% lower than last year. In terms of volume, it will correspond to a 7.1% decline (totaling 191,000 tons).  

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One New Camper Van with Custom Fiberglass Cabin

One new camper van with custom fiberglass cabin developed because Ford discontinued the E-Series commercial van last year. California-based Sportsmobile found itself without one of the primary van platforms it relied on for its rugged 4x4 camper vans. Rather than discontinue the model to focus on other designs, Sportsmobile decided to transform the still-available E-Series Cutaway into a custom-built camper, designing its own fiberglass shell to fill the void left by Ford. Sportsmobile's E-Series camper van is now more spacious and focused than ever.

In case it's unclear, the E-Series Cutaway is the van without the van, a driver cab with exposed rear chassis meant to accommodate a variety of commercial vehicle platforms, like ambulances and shuttle vans. Sportsmobile welcomed the challenge of replacing the traditional E-Series van camper with a Cutaway-based version, and actually turned it into an opportunity to improve upon its camper design. It worked with a local fiberglass shop in custom-building the camper van shell, and the all-new Sportsmobile Classic was born.

While maintaining the rugged capabilities of the Sportsmobile 4x4 system, the design of the Sportsmobile Classic allows us to expand the interior space without compromising the trail readiness and performance。
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The First Production Fiberglass Sports Car

Want your own sports car? Can't afford a Jaguar, a Corvette, or an MG? Well then, build your own! The boundless optimism that prevailed in the U.S. after World War II could be summed up in the popular phrase, "Do it yourself." 

When Chevrolet's Corvette bowed in 1953, its GM Motorama-inspired roadster body was made of a relatively new "miracle" material called glass-reinforced plastic (GRP), better known as fiberglass. While it was one of the first production fiberglass cars, the Corvette was not the first use of plastic composite for an automobile body. Henry Ford had long been enamored with the industrial potential for soybean plastics. Ford Motor Company built a small fiberglass car prototype just before the war, and there's a classic photo of Henry fiercely wielding an axe to a prototype soybean plastic '41 Ford decklid to prove its strength and resilience.

The urgent need for war material forced a virtual shutdown of the Detroit assembly lines in 1942 and put the kibosh on any ideas Ford had for plastic cars. When hostilities ended, there was an enormous pent-up demand. With new cars in short supply, people began customizing old ones. Fiberglass was easy to work with, making it a natural material for handy guys who wanted to build their own cars.

Fred Roth of Thousand Oaks, California has his elegant Maverick roadster. Roth has a mini-museumful of early '50s sports customs, including a Nash-Healey, a Muntz Jet, a Kaiser-Darrin, a Hudson Italia, and this sleek little two-seater, the Woodill Wildfire. Its curvaceous red body is made of fiberglass, while the driveline is a hopped-up Willys six with headers and triple carbs. Roth's Woodill is the first prototype Series 1 Wildfire.

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The Form and Application of Fiberglass

Fiberglass has the same basic substance used in window and glassware. Molten glass is extruded through ultra fine openings measured in microns, resulting in thread-like formations which can be woven together to form a rough cloth or patch. Different resins can then be added to this material, allowing it to be formed and pressed into molds. The result is a heat-resistant, lightweight panel ideal for electronic circuit boards or support structures for complex machinery.

Fiberglass mixed with resins can also be used to form the shell of racing cars or other custom designs. Repairs can be made with a commercial product called Bondo, which is essentially a fiberglass tape mixed with a quick-curing resin. When this material is used for car body work, it can be sanded smooth and painted to match the rest of the vehicle. It may not have the inherent tensile strength of steel, but a skilled auto body repairman can often match the section repaired with fiberglass and resin seamlessly with the rest of the car.

Because the main ingredient is real glass, microscopic bits of glass powder or shards are often formed. Those installing it insulation should always wear gloves, safety glasses and masks. The glass shards and powder can remain on the skin even after several washings. These particles can be very irritating to the lungs and hands and extremely damaging to the eyes. A protective hand cream barrier may help prevent some fiberglass powder buildup.

If you work around the compressed form of fiberglass (i.e. electronic boards), compressed air may be the best way to remove tenacious residue. Avoid touching eyes or other sensitive areas while working with this material in any form. If the powder does enter the eyes, use plenty of clean water or approved eye wash and visit an eye doctor for emergency examination.
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Composite Material in Pressure Vessels

Pressure Vessels

Pressure vessels are used to contain pressurized fluids or gases. Most fluid-containing vessels are maintained at fairly low internal pressure, which means that tank walls can be relatively thin. Steel is the material of choice for most low-pressure applications unless the vessel will be in contact with corrosive media, either contained within it or in its external service environment. For such corrosion applications, composite materials are preferred.
For high-pressure storage of compressed gases, composite materials offer the most competitive strength-to-weight ratios. Applications include compressed natural gas (CNG), hydrogen fuel, paintball, and breathing air for personal use and emergency rescue. Within CNG, which this discussion will focus on, is a wide range of sub-segments and pressure vessel sizes. At the low end, passenger vehicles will have tanks in the 50 L range, whereas bulk hauling modules will have pressure vessels the size of shipping containers. Although metal is dominant with more than 90% share, with the current number of CNG pressure vessels on the market close to 30 million and an annual growth rate of greater than 25% in select regions, the 10% share belonging to composites represents an attractive opportunity.

Vessel Types

There are four general pressure vessel types, described in Table II, that are recognized by domestic and international design and qualification standards.

Type 1 vessels, which are all steel (typical) or aluminum, are generally the least expensive to manufacture, but are the heaviest. Types 2–4 are composite vessels. Type 2 vessels have a heavy liner and utilize composite reinforcement only in the hoop or circumferential orientation. Types 3 and 4 have a full composite overwrap, providing both circumferential and axial reinforcement. The difference between Type 3 and 4 is in the liner. Type 3 cylinders have a metal (typically aluminum) liner that may share a small fraction of the internal pressure load. Type 4 cylinders have a plastic ([HDPE]) liner that serves only as a substrate for the load-bearing composite. In general, in order from Type 1 to Type 4, as Type number increases, price increases, and weight decreases. The indicative cost data in the Table II will change with raw material prices, but the relative cost ratios between the four vessel types should remain fairly constant.

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Fiberglass Hull On The Largest Classic Mahogany Motorboats

Fiberglass hull on the largest classic mahogany motorboats

Recently, Hacker Boat Company has introduced its first ever fiberglass-hulled standard model boat at the Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach. Until this point, Hacker said all of its standard Hacker-Craft models have had mahogany hulls, although it has built custom boats with fiberglass hulls for individual customers. The company said it will continue to build boats will mahogany hulls as well.

 “Over the years prospective customers have asked if we make a fiberglass hull, and we decided to introduce this model to meet that demand,” said George Badcock, the company’s president and CEO.

Hacker Boat Company says it is the largest American manufacturer of classic mahogany motorboats, and that each boat takes craftsmen more than 1,500 hours to construct.

The new 27-foot special sport fiberglass-hulled model will sell for $325,000. The new model will be slightly lighter than a similar mahogany-hulled craft, although it’s not expected to make a difference in fuel consumption. It’s expected to require slightly less maintenance than mahogany.
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FRP pollution control components

As composite materials have been developed, composites are used as the material of choice for pollution control systems and components, which typically operate in a highly corrosive environment. Fiber reinforced plastics (FRP) provide high corrosion resistance, a high strength-to-weight ratio and cost advantages versus stainless steel and high nickel alloys also used in these applications.

A range of industries use FRP materials in systems that remove toxic gases and particulates from exhaust smoke and treat contaminated water and chemicals. Limestone slurries and chemical solutions used to reduce air pollution are abrasive and cause corrosion in metal components, making composites a perfect solution. Pollution control technology requires corrosion-resistant “scrubber” tanks and vessels (some over 100 feet in diameter), stacks, chimney liners, packing support systems, ductwork and piping.

Producing FRP pollution control components for coal-burning power plants primarily are scrubber systems and associated pipes and ductwork for the power industry. The factory uses a variety of FRP processes including filament winding, vacuum infusion and open molding. 

Pollution control systems have gotten larger in recent years and require more advanced technology in the composite work. This industry is looking much more closely at the fiber architecture and orientation to produce components that provide the strength and wear resistance they need.
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The Future of FRP Pipe And Tank Looks Bright

Now days, many pipe and tank fabricators are witnessing a surge in business, particularly in the United States. Because FRP pipe and tank installations are on the rise – above and below ground, in commercial, municipal and residential applications. 

A look at the FRP pipe and tank market from 2013 – 2019 below confirms the positive outlook. In 2013, the North American FRP pipe and tank market was estimated at nearly $1.2 billion. The market promises considerable growth as a result of significant demands from industries such as oil and gas, wastewater, sewage, chemical, retail fuel and pulp/paper.

The expansive range of end markets for FRP pipe and tanks offers some strategic security to suppliers. On the business side, the number of markets we participate in helps us smooth out our business cycles. For example, some markets such as pulp and paper may be in a downturn, while oil and gas is growing here

The development of design software also has aided suppliers. FRP manufacturers are faster than ever at going from idea to finished product, responding more quickly to customer needs. In the past, we may have overdesigned and overbuilt products because value engineering was expensive. Not anymore.

The growth of composites engineering programs and research around the country are critical. The more engineers who are exposed to FRP and get excited about it, the better. Add in the development of standards and codes, such as the new pipe standard coming from American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2016, and the sense of reliability and stability for customers will continue to feed the environment for growth.
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Glass-fiber Reinforced Plastics (GRP) in the Marine Industry

Composite materials are relatively new to the marine industry, having only come into use within the last 50 years. Glass-fiber reinforced plastics (GRP), one form of fiber reinforced plastics (FRP), were first introduced in the 1940‘s for use in Navy personnel boats. Since that time, the use of FRP materials have found widespread acceptance in yachts, pleasurecraft, performance craft (i.e. racing boats), and small commercial vessels such as fishing trawlers. The advantages of GRP include improved strength-to-weight ratios, stiffness-to-weight ratios, and corrosion resistance. Interest in the use of composite materials for larger vessels has been increasing in recent years, primarily for high speed passenger craft. However, use of GRP in construction of large ships is limited partly due to problems with hull deflections that may cause problems in propeller shafting and piping arrangements.

The first major interest in commercial FRP vessels was in the fishing industry, Today, approximately 50% of commercial fishing vessels are of FRP construction. As with other initiatives in engineering and technology, the military has led research and development of composite materials sinceWorld War II. The Navy and Army have integrated several applications of composites into their vehicles, namely small boats, submarines, patrol craft, and minesweepers. Other components, ranging from small equipment brackets to propellers have also proven effective.

Composites hulls also offer a number of stealth benefits. Firstly, they are non-magnetic, making them less susceptible to mines and torpedoes. They can be made to absorb radar energy rather than reflect it, rendering the structure with lower radar cross-sections. They have significantly lower harmonic resonance, hence they are markedly quieter in the water. Their thermal properties allow for considerably lower thermal signatures. 

Small boat construction have been done by GRPs for 50 years. Today this industry is dominated by GRPs. The reason is that GRPs allow fast and inexpensive mass production. For large ship hulls, GRPs are not suitable due to flammability of plastics. However, small boats and fishing vessels are good application fields. In some countries, for passenger transport, sandwich construction is used. Composites for commercial ship building have been used by U.S when economically suitable and when they are needed for performance. Cargo ships and tankers are the examples of larger ships where composites are used. For the military applications, GRP usage is limited for larger ships and submarines due to performance requirements and cost. However, a lot of engineering studies are being conducted.
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Glass Fiber’s Markets and Applications

The markets that use glass fibers are very diverse. The following is a brief overview of a few of the primary markets and some selected applications where various glass fiber products can be found. 

Hard Armor. Hard armor is used to protect against dangerous threats such as large caliber projectiles and explosives. Hard armor further branches into light armor for vehicular protection and heavy armor found on tanks. Glass fiber-reinforced resin composites, especially those using S-glass fiber, are particularly important in the light armor arena. S-glass fiber offers a very favorable weight-cost-performance relationship. It is very light and its excellent compressive strength aids in load support, thus allowing armor that can be structural and not just dead weight. Low flammability and smoke-generating behavior is also important in combat situations.

Aerospace. Glass fibers have numerous specific applications in aerospace such as sound and thermal insulation layers for interior aircraft surfaces, rotor blades for rotary winged and propellers for fixed wing aircraft. Glass fiber cotton has innumerable tiny air pockets and low thermal conductivity. When the sound wave enters the glass fiber cotton, its energy will be absorbed by the cotton due to the friction between fibers and different sizes of air pockets. Aircraft blades and propellers are extremely high-stress applications because of the rotational speeds at work and the applied loads. In uses such as these, Performance, strength and weight are the primary drivers for meeting the design specification.

Wind Energy. Glass fibers reinforced composites are commonly used for wind turbines. The fatigue resistance of these composites is crucial for the maintenance and reliability of turbine. That gives the opportunity for designer to create new, ultra-high strength, high-modulus glass compositions for these applications, including environmentally friendly and boron-free glasses. 
Building. Vacuum insulation panels are regarded as one of the most promising high performance thermal insulation materials for green building. They have extremely low thermal conductivity and can guarantee the building object be the energy-saving type. The common core materials of vacuum insulation panels are several types of glass fibers. Glass fibers enable vacuum insulation panels to own a lot of advantages, such as low thermal conductivity, low effective weight and non-combustible. Glass fibers can also be mixed with strengthen cement, gypsum or polymer products for building application.

Automobile. With the development of society, people put more and more strict demand on automobile safety and fuel efficiency, which leads to the improvement of automobile crashworthiness and light weighting level. Glass fiber-reinforced composites have the trait of corrosion resistance, noise attenuation, impact cushion, good mechanical property and short shaping cycling. Many injection-molded plastic parts used on the body and engine compartment are made from glass fiber-reinforced composites. Many rubber components such as belts and tires are also reinforced with glass fibers. Glass fiber-reinforced composites replace the structure and shell body of the metal and pure plastic materials. They effectively reduce the needed driving force and extend the life. 

Printed Circuit Board. Printed circuit board is the foundation upon which the architecture of today’s high-speed electrical circuitry is built. It provides a means for the fixed structural placement of the large variety of electrical components that make up modern electrical devices. Glass fibers play an important role in the electrical behavior of a printed circuit board. They have good dielectric properties, excellent thermal stability and they can provide sufficient mechanical reinforcement. They are uniquely suited to act as reinforcement in a printed circuit board.
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GFRP Bar Used in Light Weight Concrete (LWC) Bridge Deck

Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composite material has good corrosion resistance and high tensile strength, which is an ideal material to be used as main reinforcement in reinforced concrete for the purpose of steel corrosion prevention. Among the current commercially available FRP products, i.e. carbon-FRP, glass-FRP, aramid-FRP, glass-FRP (GFRP) gains more interests to the civil infrastructure industry since it has lower cost as compared to the other ones.

GFRP bar is non-metallic material. It doesn’t corrode as the way steel does in reinforced concrete. However, this doesn’t mean GFRP bar is durable in a long-term view. The existence of concrete pore water with high pH values gives rise to the long-term durability problem for GFRP bar. Chemical reactions between hydroxide ions and resin matrix, and glass fibers as well,result in the materials degradation and loss of bond strength between fibers and resin matrices. Certain sustained loads acted on GFRP bar tend to induce GFRP micro-cracking, which provide passages for the ingress of hydroxide ions into the GFRP bar. The width of micro-cracks depends on the sustained stress level. In this regard, GFRP bar is expected to gained more strength loss under concrete pore water attack in combination with sustained loading as compared to that without sustained loading. 

Recently, a long-term performance prediction of GFRP bar in moist concrete beam indicated a significant strength loss of GFRP bar at elevated temperature exposure. In recognition of this, parametric studies were performed on GFRP bar Reinforced Normal Weight Concrete bridge deck to study the structural behavior and the real sustained stress level in GFRP bar under service loads. The results indicated that the design of GFRP RC deck is always controlled by the serviceability and the sustained stress in GFRP bar is in between 3.44-7.52% of GFRP design strength on the basis of ACI 440 design guideline and AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specification.

Lightweight structural concrete has unit weight approx. 90-120 lb/ft 3. By using LWC in GFRP bar reinforced concrete bridge deck is expected to give less sustained load effects on bridge deck, which could be a benefit to the long-term durability of GFRP bar since the sustained stress in GFRP reinforcement is lower than that in NWC deck. Therefore, it becomes essential to investigate the sustained stress in GFRP bar reinforced LWC bridge decks.
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Structural Strength Analysis of FRP Yacht

FRP referred to fiber reinforced plastics is a sort of glass fiber reinforced composite plastic. It is based on the glass fiber and its products as the reinforcing material, a synthetic resin which is a kind of composite material as the basic material. Glass fiber reinforced plastic, by virtue of their high strength, seawater resistant, anti-microbial attachment performance, capable of absorbing large impact energy, easy to shape, good appearance, long life, and many traditional shipbuilding materials incomparable advantages, favors much by shipbuilding sector especially for the construction of medium and small yachts and high-speed vessels.

Compared with the same scale and cross-section of the steel ship, the stiffness of the fiberglass boat is much smaller than the steel one. Therefore, in order to meet the strength requirements, fiberglass boat is different in the structural form with steel boats. The selection and design of composite material also has its particularity, which are worth exploring a range of issues. Such as, the stiffened panel can greatly save structural materials to reduce the weight of the structure. So the structure of the ship and marine structures as well as many important force components are made from reinforced plate and shell structures ;  FRP material because of its low modulus of elasticity and easy to produce distortions and bending deformation, therefore FRP ship need to adopt a particular cross-section in the form. Usually, FRP ship's skeleton beam material will adopt trapezoidal top-hat cross-section;  The angle-ply laminates with a certain direction angle ensure the layers interweaved. Most structure need a layer of foam core material in the middle. Even though the mechanical properties of the core material is relatively low, but shear strength of whole structure is mainly borne by core material. The only takes some role in the shear. 

The problems mentioned above, were not given a relatively reliable solutions by the existing norms in many ways. Moreover, the rapid development of new yachts call for higher requirements of direct global ship structure calculation based on finite element analysis. 

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Pipeline repair and reinforcement technology Introduction

1. Welding Technique

This type of repair is to apply welding to pipeline defects in order to restoring the strength of the steel. Surface welding mainly applies to small single point defect, patch welding to multi-points corrosion in small area, and making sleeve for large area of corrosion. The common advantage of welding approach is low cost. And the drawbacks are listed as below:

2. Clamp Technique

Clamp Technique is to apply mechanical clamp devices to restore the pipeline service strength. This technique avoids direct welding on service pipeline, thus avoids above mentioned direct welding risks. However, the drawback is clamp construction and implementation is relatively complicated with high cost, clamp corrosion is also a big problem. 

3. Fiber Composite Repair Technique

Fiber Composite Repair Technique has been utilized for steel pipelines since 1990. It synergizes the high strength feature of fiber material with the adhesive resin coating outside the service pipeline, to restore its service strength. Its advantage is that it eliminates the need and risk of welding, shut down of the pipeline, environmental exposure. The cost is between welding and clamp technique while overall performance is the best among the three. Composite Repair technique is now a
widely accepted approach among global pipeline companies.
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Benefits of Fiberglass Boats

Fiberglass is a type of plastic reinforced by the fibers of glass. It’s known to be a lightweight, extremely strong and durable material.

Compared to wooden boats, fiberglass boats are lighter, easier, faster and cheaper to build and maintain – with repairs as simple as patching up cracks and holes with epoxy or fiberglass. Unlike wood, fiberglass is completely watertight and does not expand when wet.

It also takes less time to build a fiberglass boat since construction only involves the use of a mold. Up to 20 boats can be made from a single mold. The mold can also be modified by the fishermen based on designs that would suit them best.

Aside from helping fishermen pursue their livelihood, fiberglass boat-making technology is also environment-friendly.

The use of fiberglass will lessen the use of hardwood trees to make boats. It will also lessen the likelihood of over-fishing in the area because the boats are designed to be less than 20 feet in length and will be propelled mainly by sails or paddles thereby promoting small-scale fishing.
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Development of new energy equipment for glass fiber composites

In recent years, the wind power capacity in the world is growing at an annual rate of 20%.. China is also trying to catch up, in 2006 the new wind capacity of 1347MW, for the 2005 169%. The total capacity reached 2600MW (3.5% of the total wind power capacity).. In 2007 the total installed capacity of wind power further has reached 6000mw, the growth momentum has not been weakened, recently released "renewable energy development" Eleventh Five Year "plan" in 2010 wind power installed capacity will reach 10000 MW. An increase of 1MW of wind power, the blade and cover glass steel (abbreviation: FRP) is used for the glass near 8t. Foreign FRP wind motor development is still the backbone. China is also actively promoting FRP biogas tank. FRP is also used in the need for anti-corrosion and durability of petrochemical pipelines and containers. It is also used for discharging liquid pipelines and facilities. For example, the new laying of large and medium water delivery pipe, sewage pipe in Europe and Japan, the glass fiber reinforced plastic pipe in the pipe about 30%. Middle East FRP tube can also larger dosage. In recent years, the pressure FRP pipeline demand is increasing. The annual output of FRP tube can reach 400000 t in China.
    The E glass fiber is widely used in the electrical insulation because of the good stability of the insulation and heat resistance.. For example, in the electrical and electronic industry to make mica cloth, varnished, laminate, copper clad laminate and insulation casing, and electricity, cable materials. And our country to become the world's mechanical and electrical products manufacturing base has become the manufacture base of electrical insulation material. In China, the amount of glass fiber is over 200000 t, and the average rate of increase is also in the two digit in recent years.. With thermoplastic plastic development and its reusability advantage, glass fiber reinforced thermal plastic plastic GFRTP) as engineering plastics in the automotive, electrical field to expand the application. In recent years, growth rate is greater than that of glass fiber reinforced thermosetting resin GFRSP. FRTP of the developed countries accounted for more than 30% of total FRP.

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Technical parameters and working principle of glass fiber chopped strand mat

The fiberglass chopped strand mat is a main product of the glass fiber. Because of its high penetration and thickness, it decides its continuous and transparent tile, colored tile and large container in shipbuilding and making glass.. Bathtub, the shell of automobile and parts of glass steel industries are widely used but at present domestic several imported production line of the production of glass fiber chopped mat export, it is difficult to meet needs of the increasing development of high-grade glass steel products manufacturers, in particular, can not meet the equipment in the production of glass steel manufacturers has been introduced. So a short cut felt machine localization problem is to solve the glass steel enterprises demand is one of the key issues (the introduction of technology and equipment and production funds of $1.5 million), it not only in FRP enterprise benefits, of glass fiber production plant, the adjustment of product structure. The glass fiber products in China on quality, quality is good. 10 years ago, has been put into use by imported equipment first homemade whichincludesimportedwetthinfeltproductionline machine. After six months of trial production to prove. Its performance and product indicators basically reached the level of the introduction of equipment. The technical parameters and working principle of the short cut felt machine are as below..

Technical parameters

The blanket machine yield is emulsion felt an annual output of 2000 tons; felt powder 3000 tons (450g / square meters). The maximum width 2080mm, can production 225g / square meters, 300 g / square meters, 450 g / square meters, 600g / square meters. And different specifications of chopped strand mat, raw silk and the number is 200Tex, host production speed is adjustable. From 3.5 m / min to 14m / mln. power with 220V and 380V, 50Hz general industrial electricity, the heat source is calorific value is greater than the day the gas of nm / 9500kcal, water is tap water and more than 2kg / nm pressure water softening, felting rate 450g / square meters specifications, for example: powder felt 8.5m / min emulsion felt 5.5m / rain.

Working principle

Working principle of short cut machine

The formation of glass fiber chopped strand mat, is made of glass fiber cake (roving can be), by cutting knife. Cut into 50mm long original wire, scattered disorderly subsidence in the stainless steel mesh belt forming felt. After the spray binder + or spray, remove the powder binder to cut the short cut raw silk, and then after high temperature drying, Ling but forming. Forming latex short cut felt or powder chopped strand mat.


Maintenance and strengthening technology of FRP pipe

1 Welding Technology

This type of repair is intended for the application of weld to pipe defects to recover the strength of steel. Surface welding is mainly suitable for small single point defect patch welding to small areas of corrosion, for large area corrosion of the sleeve. The advantage of the welding method is the low cost..

2 clamp technology

The clamp technology is the application of mechanical clamping device to restore the strength of the pipeline. This technology avoids the direct welding of service pipeline, thus avoiding some risks of direct welding.. However, its disadvantage is that the construction and implementation of fixture is relatively complex, high cost, clamp corrosion is also a big problem.

3 fiber composite repair technology

The technology of fiber composite repair has been used in the steel tube since 1990.. It strengthens the high strength of fiber material and the adhesive resin coating outside the pipeline, so as to recover the strength of the pipeline.. Its advantage is that it eliminates the risk of welding, off the pipeline, the environment exposed and other issues. Between the welding and the clamp technology, the overall performance is the best in the three. Composite repair technology is widely accepted practice in the global pipeline company..

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The Eight Rules of Manufacturing for Composite Project

1) Choose the resin to meet your environmental concerns. What chemical reactions will the materials be required to withstand? Will the materials get wet? FRP projects typically are best for materials in a moderate environment, while advanced composites can withstand extremely hot or cold temperatures. Know how your final product will be used, and choose your resins accordingly.

2) Choose the best fiber to meet the physical requirements. The four primary types of fibers are fiberglass, carbon fiber/graphite, organic fibers and aramids. Select fibers for properties such as tensile, flexural and compressive strength. While there is a wide variety of fiberglass options, manufacturers often turn to electrical glass (or “e-glass”) because of its properties and low cost.

3) Control the resin/fiber content. The more fiber used, the stronger the part – until there’s not enough resin to fully coat every single fiber. Because the coating process, or “wet out,” can be difficult, many companies choose to buy pre-impregnated fibers. However, said FRP projects tend to not use prepregs; they are typically used for advanced composite projects.

4) Put the fibers where the loads will be. The manufacturing process must be capable of properly orienting the fibers in the thicknesses needed for load optimization. The fibers can be isotropic, with material properties the same in all directions. The properties of orthotropic materials are different in three mutually perpendicular directions, so their mechanical properties are related to orientation. Most composites, especially advanced composites, are orthotropic. Aerospace applications often use oriented laminar. Each fiber is carefully oriented in different directions to maximize the load-bearing capacity in any given part of the product.

5) Control the temperature, viscosity and cross-linking reactions. Keep control over how the resin behaves and how thick it is by controlling the temperature during the curing cycle.

6) Choose manufacturing processes to maximize properties appropriate for the application and to minimize cost. Some processes have less control over the orientation of fibers than others, which may mean sacrificing using a process that lays down material layers quickly.

7) Compact the composite during cure to ensure the layers are properly adhering and air bubbles are reduced. 90 percent of composite failures are because this step was not carried out properly.

8) Properly finish the structure. Composites may need to be shaved down, cut or bonded to another piece for finishing, and engineers must consider this when designing parts. Using bonding parts as an example, carbon fiber and aluminum do not bond well together and will lead to corrosion.
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Home Construction’s New Composite Sheathing

Recently, Composite Panel Building Systems has launched its new fully composite sheathing for new construction and retrofitted homes and apartments. The company says that the Composite Structural Insulated Sheathing (C-SIS) earns Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) points and National Association of Home Buildings (NAHB) green certification. C-SIS Sheathing is made with 100% composite materials and manufactured without adhesives.
C-SIS Sheathing is made with 100% composite materials and manufactured without adhesives; the fiberglass reinforced thermoset (FRT) skin is bonded by a chemical reaction to the polyurethane foam insulation during manufacturing so the risk of delamination is eliminated. The FRT skin yields a stronger, long-term sustainable skin that is impervious to moisture and mold damage. Working together, the FRT skin and joint sealing system block air infiltration; no house wrap is needed.
Many house wraps and water resistive barriers suffer damage during installation or fail to prevent water intrusion before finish materials are applied. House wrap's easy to tear, woven structure adds to project waste and cost by the rework required to patch damaged areas. Similar damage to laminated sheathing is much more complicated and expensive to repair or, more likely, replace and critically affects the structural reliability of the wall system. The C-SIS Sheathing's durable FRT polymer skin is impervious to water and engineered to withstand the rigors of the construction process without losing performance value.
The continuous polyurethane foam adds R-6 insulation in 1-1/8" sheathing, R-12 in 2-1/8" sheathing, and eliminates thermal bridging through wood or metal studs. Thermal bridging is the conduction of temperatures through materials such as wood or metal studs which leads to significant energy loss. The C-SIS attaches directly to the wall frame and isolates framing members from thermal bridging with polyurethane foam. Thermal loss through the C-SIS joints is removed with the use of the incorporated joint sealing system.

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