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1/6/20

Fiberglass cloth tape

TYPES, PROPERTIES, USES OF FIBERGLASS

Civilizations dating back to the Egyptians and Phoenicians discovered the valuable properties in using glass fibers for decorative purposes. It was not until a happy scientific accident in 1932 that modern fiberglass was created. A Corning Glass researcher’s glass welding project accidentally revealed an easy way to create fiberglass.

While Dale Kleist welding two blocks of glass together in an attempt to create an airtight seal, a jet of compressed resulted in a shower of glass fibers, he could use to form fiberglass.

Since Kleist's remarkable discovery, fiberglass production has been refined and expanding. Today, ResTex offers a vast inventory of fiberglass products and accessories for use in a wide range of industries and applications.

TYPES OF FIBERGLASS

Fiberglass can be constructed in custom proportions, sizes, and strengths for specific job requirements. Fiberglass classifications indicate the product's resistance to various conditions that make it suitable for specific applications. For example, alkali glass, or A-glass is resistant to chemicals, as is chemical glass or C-glass.

E-glass is a good insulator of electricity and AE glass an alkali resistant glass. S-glass, also called structural glass, is used in construction for its mechanical properties.

FIBERGLASS FORMS

As technology advances and the demand for lightweight, durable fiberglass grew and forms of fiberglass products increased. Among the range of fiberglass-reinforced products offered at ResTex include:

Chopped strand mat
Fiberglass cloth
Fiberglass rope
Fiberglass tape
Gelcoats
Woven roving


UNIQUE PROPERTIES OF FIBERGLASS PRODUCTS

Fiberglass is a unique material with a large variety of useful properties that are beneficial to many different applications in various businesses and industries.

Strong: Fiberglass is just as strong as steel, but much more durable, flexible, and impact resistant.

Electrical: Even at its thinnest, fiberglass acts as an effective electrical insulator.

Fireproof: Made from a mineral material, fiberglass products are naturally incombustible.  Fiberglass-reinforced plastics materials do not support flame, and do not emit toxic chemicals when exposed to heat.

Stable: Unlike steel, where structural variations are caused by temperature changes and hygrometry, fiberglass retains its linear integrity through all conditions.

Does Not Rot: Fiberglass products are not affected by insect infestations or the presence of rodents, and there is no danger of sustaining water or moisture damage over time.

Low Thermal Conductivity: The low thermal conductivity of fiberglass and fiberglass products makes it an ideal material for construction applications.

Electromagnetic: The dielectric permeability of fiberglass is useful in the design and production of electromagnetic windows.

Insulation: Fiberglass industrial gaskets provide a thermal barrier that serves to protect machinery and conserve energy during production.

PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS FOR FIBERGLASS IN A WIDE RANGE OF INDUSTRIES

Fiberglass has become one of the most frequently used materials for everyday life. You cannot go far without seeing some form of fiberglass application.

Many different industries use fiberglass materials and products for various uses and applications. Among the popular uses for the vast inventory or fiberglass selection at ResTex is for the building and repairing of fiberglass boat hulls.

The high-quality fiberglass products and accessories in our online catalog can also be used in applications for many other industries, including:

Aerospace
Both military and civilian aerospace industries take advantage of durable, strong fiberglass materials for test equipment, ducting, enclosure, and other applications.

Aquariums, Fountains
Fiberglass is highly resistant to water and moisture and is commonly used to support rock formations in fountains and aquariums of all sizes. Grates made of durable fiberglass protect lights and water spray header fixtures from damage.

Automobiles
The automobile industry relies heavily on fiberglass for the production of the body, part, and other components. Just about every car on the market today contains at least some sort of fiberglass material.

Beverage Production
Bottling line production and brew houses now commonly use fiberglass grating throughout the beverage industry.

Boatbuilding
ResTex offers a wide range of fiberglass-reinforced products and accessories used in the process of building fiberglass boats and the repair of fiberglass boat hulls and other components.

Car Washes
Car washes are now using fiberglass grating systems to prevent component rust with the ability to present a more dynamic experience in the washing tube. Brighter colors that are unaffected by the water and soap over time even make cars look better and cleaner during and after the process is complete.

Chemicals
Fiberglass grating in areas where chemicals are used takes advantage of the anti-slipping properties of fiberglass, providing a chemically resistant surface.

Cooling Towers
Fiberglass screening for cooling towers provides a safe, water-resistant barrier to protect the towers, as well as any people or animals in the danger zones. Cooling towers are also protected from corrosion, rust, and other damage from water and the elements.

Food Processing Plants
The anti-slip properties of fiberglass grating are also used in chicken and beef processing plants, where many areas use the water-resistant material.

Manufacturing
Fiberglass grating systems are used in the manufacturing industry in high slip risk areas, and where other fluids and oils are used.

Marinas, Docks
Fiberglass is not affected by the constant exposure to salty seawater, the sun, or weather extremes. Docks and marinas use fiberglass materials for protection that will last for years to come.

Mining and Metals
When working with the mining industry and electric refining areas that can suffer chemical corrosion, only fiberglass provides the amount of protection and damage resistance needed.

Paper Industry
Pulp and bleach mills utilize fiberglass in areas that are prone to corrosion and slippery areas.

Power Generation Plants
Fiberglass carries non-conducive properties and is commonly used in tank farms, scrubbers and other applications in power generation plants.

RESTEX OFFERS FIBERGLASS MATERIALS, PRODUCTS FOR VARIETY OF APPLICATIONS

Fiberglass is a lightweight, durable, and strong material that is resistant to many conditions that damage other materials. At ResTex, we have a vast inventory of fiberglass-reinforced plastic products at affordable prices that can be used in different industries and applications.

Browse our extensive online catalog or contact ResTex today for complete information on our wide range of top-quality fiberglass products and accessories.


2/26/20

How to DIY Fiberglass Repair

Even the most well-taken care of fiberglass boats will experience minor stress cracks, dings, and scrapes over time. These nicks and dents are signs you are enjoying the use of your boat and take it out on the water frequently.

With a little knowledge and the right materials and equipment, most boat owners can handle minor DIY repairs without having to send it to a boatyard, which would cost you time and money. The trick is to know which repairs you can handle yourself without the risk of doing further damage to your boat. So when it is time to seek the assistance of an experienced professional to repair more severe damage, such as a large hole or any substantial injury to the actual laminate layer.

Tips for DIY Fiberglass Repair

Fiberglass boat owners will often leave alone minor cracks and other damage that does not appear to be causing structural damage, feeling they would rather deal with an unsightly blemish than take the time and expense to make the repair. Some may even feel it adds character to the boat, showing off how long they have had it and how often they take it out on the water.

Initial cracks and scrapes may not appear to be serious, as they are not showing signs of significant damage, such as broken strands of fabric or cracks in the laminating resin. The problem is that even if it does not appear to be having any real effect on the structural integrity of the boat if left unattended, the problem will get worse. Water will begin to find its way into the layers of the laminate. Over time, this can do some serious damage to your boat.

Identifying Underlying Issues on Fiberglass Boat Damage


Like a surgeon going in for exploratory surgery, sometimes it requires a look inside a fiberglass boat's inner structure to determine the extent and underlying issues regarding what looks to be minor and inconsequential damage. Gelcoat and lamination failure are two possibilities for cracks in the outer surface of a fiberglass boat, and both are approached and treated differently. If there is damage to the gelcoat, it typically shows single, shallow cracks, while lamination failure will have cracks that radiate outward from the point of impact.

The challenge of opening up a fiberglass boat to inspect for underlying laminate damage is to remove just as much of the fiberglass as needed to determine and fix the damaged area. Using an angle grinder to remove damaged gelcoat and fiberglass, an ample bonding area will need to be created to fit the replacement fabric. Any materials that are removed in the repair process will have to be replaced, so it is important to trim off just what is needed for the repair and inspection.

If the repair job does require the use of an angle grinder, it may be best to consult with a professional, unless you have extensive experience and knowledge of the machinery. One of the main goals of DIY fiberglass boat repair is to avoid doing anything that will lead to more damage and extensive, costly repairs to fix the original repair attempt.

Using Laminating Resin for DIY Fiberglass Boat Repair


You can fill gelcoat cracks that are shallow enough to have left the laminate underneath undamaged using only gelcoat itself. Depending on the size and location of the crack, you can dribble on some gelcoat or simply brush it on over the damaged area.

However, any damage that is more than a shallow surface crack will likely require the use of isophthalic polyester or vinyl ester resin to repair the damage properly. At one time, the only affordable and viable option for resin was polyester, which was and remains an effective sealant for fiberglass repair. Modern technological advances and an increase in demand made all kinds of resin types available at reasonable prices.

The key to selecting the type of resin to use for your DIY fiberglass boat repair project had always been to match the repair resin with the original type and style of resin used to build the boat. While many boats built today are laid up with ortho- or isophthalic polyester, there is also often a layer of vinyl ester, which is made from a combination of polyester and epoxy. Some of the more expensive fiberglass boats are now made exclusively of vinyl ester, which applies well to polyester repairs.

A more expensive, yet seemingly more effective and universal resin option is using epoxy, which will stick to just about any surface or material. Epoxy is a superior resin that is easier to operate, making it more conducive to DIY repair projects. Epoxy fillers and activators act to extend the working time and make it easier to sand.

A common misconception about epoxy is that it will not stick well to polyester gelcoat used in fiberglass boat construction. The trick is to completely remove any of the waxy compounds known as "amine blush" that build up on the surface of the epoxy during the curing process. The compound scrubs off reasonably easily using an abrasive pad and water. Polyester resin will also need to be cleaned of surface wax for a full cure.

Both gelcoat and epoxy are available with and without wax. For repairs, it is important to use wax resin so that you will not have to seal it during the curing process.

Color Considerations


Perhaps the biggest challenge for DIY fiberglass boat repair projects is matching the gelcoat color to the original. You may be able to find the exact color from the boatbuilder. If not, you may be tasked with trying to matching it on your own. It can be a time-consuming and meticulous process of trial and error to get it as close you can to the current color of the boat.

ResTex Composites Has All You Need For DIY Fiberglass Boat Repair


The fiberglass specialists at ResTex Composites have an impressive online inventory of all the materials, equipment, accessories, and safety gear you need to repair your fiberglass boat damage. Contact an experienced representative for complete information on our fiberglass-reinforced products and to have all of your questions answered.