Fiberglass is a type of product that is made of glass fibers. There are two categories of glass fibers. One has short fibers that are used in products such as blankets or boards for filtration or insulation. The other type is used in textiles and yarns. To make draperies, fiberglass can be made into yarn and added to fabric just as wool or cotton can be.
Fiberglass textiles help laminated and molded plastics by serving as reinforcement. Fiberglass is also great for sound absorption and thermal insulation. Fiberglass wool, which is thick and fluffy works well for this purpose. Car engine compartments, furnaces, air conditioning units, and ceiling panels are some of the places you can often find fiberglass textiles.
Fiberglass can be made for specific uses such as electrical insulation tape, reinforcement and textiles, chemical, and thermal insulation. The use of glass fiber is relatively recent in history. The raw materials used to produce fiberglass products include manufactured chemicals and natural minerals. Most of the ingredients used include limestone, soda ash, and silica sand. Other ingredients used may include borax, feldspar, calcined alumina, magnesite, kaolin clay, and nepheline syenite.
To form the glass, silica sand is used and limestone and soda ash mostly aid in reducing the melting temperature. Some of the other ingredients are used to enhance the quality. Borax is used for chemical resistance. Cullet (waste glass) is a raw material in the process. Raw materials need to be precisely weighed and combined in the batching process before they can be melted into glass.
After the raw materials are prepared, they are put into a furnace which may be heated by fossil fuel, electricity, or both. To have a steady, smooth glass flow, the temperature needs to be controlled with precision. To be formed into fiber, the molten glass needs to be at a higher temperature than other glass types.
The molten glass is taken to the forming equipment. There are a couple of different processes used to form fibers. The type used depends on the fiber type. Textile fibers can be formed from molten glass from the furnace or the glass can be fed into a machine first. Coatings such as binders are needed for products made of fiberglass.