Many industries now use parts made from nontraditional materials such as custom made fiberglass. This option is both lightweight and durable, making it the substance of choice for many enterprises. Expected to reach $21.4 billion by the year 2027, the global fiberglass market is continually growing.
How Is Fiberglass Manufactured?
This material's production involves heating glass until it is molten and creating thin filaments used in various ways. Manufacturing companies use a variety of methods to produce fiberglass parts.
Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Molding
This closed mold process creates a composite material by incorporating a low viscosity resin with the fiberglass strands. The resin to fiber ratio produces sturdy, high-performing aerospace-grade parts. This process is vital in manufacturing parts for infrastructure applications, wind energy components and transportation industries.
Hand Lay-Up Technique
In this procedure, manufacturers place the fiber reinforcements by hand. The hand lay-up method is the oldest and most uncomplicated open molding process for forming composites. This approach typically involves the following steps:
- Placing dry fibers into the mold
- Brushing or spraying an application of pigmented gel coating to the surface
- Rolling the wet glass fiber layer until achieving the required thickness
- Curing to set the composite without outside heat
Spray Lay-Up Process
In this method, manufacturers use chopper guns to chop and place strands into a mold automatically. Chopper guns are an economical choice for making swimming pool parts, storage tanks and boat hulls. This technique includes the following actions:
- Applying and curing gel and barrier layers
- Adding the fiber resin composite to the mold
- Chopping the filaments and spraying the material
- Rolling or brushing to smooth the surface and remove trapped air bubbles
- Curing, cooling and trimming
What Are the Advantages of Custom Made Fiberglass?
The unique qualities of fiber-reinforced plastic are beneficial for various industrial applications.
- Low maintenance: This material requires little upkeep. It stands up to harsh environments, high temperatures and corrosive conditions, unlike wood or metal.
- Non-conductive: This substance's low thermal conductivity prevents product surfaces from becoming too hot, minimizing possible injury when physical contact occurs. FRP does not interfere with radio transmissions, and features increased safety as it is electrically non-conductive, removing potential shock hazards.
- Durable: Lightweight yet extremely strong, FRP has a better strength-to-weight ratio than traditional materials like wood, concrete or metal. It is equally tough as steel in most applications.
- Long-lasting: This material is resistant to corrosives such as saltwater, rust and even acid, increasing its life span.
- Ease of installation: Installing FRP requires fewer tools, equipment and machinery than other materials. It also calls for less workforce, as its low weight makes it easier to handle. Installing elements like steel are often equipment intensive, expensive and time-consuming.
- Low cost: Shipping or moving FRP is considerably less expensive than other options due to its lightweight nature. Decreased worker and tool requirements also reduce the expenses related to the project installation. The longevity of these custom made fiberglass products provides significant cost savings, and the maintenance requirements are low, reducing costs associated with upkeep.
- Options: Available in many colors, there is no need to paint.
At Painted Rhino, we specialize in custom fiberglass, composite materials, FRP and more. Contact our family-owned company for quality service regarding your design and manufacturing needs.