Question: Short Note on Glass fibres and Naturally occurring fibres.

Advance Concrete Technology

Topic: Fibre Reinforced Concrete

Difficulty: Medium

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modified 5 months ago  • written 5 months ago by gravatar for Abhishek Tiwari Abhishek Tiwari ♦♦ 50

Glass fiber (or glass fibre) is a material consisting of numerous extremely fine fibers of glass.

Glass fiber has roughly comparable mechanical properties to other fibers such as polymers and carbon fiber. Although not as rigid as carbon fiber, it is much cheaper and significantly less brittle when used in composites.

Glass fibers are therefore used as a reinforcing agent for many polymer products; to form a very strong and relatively lightweight fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite material called glass-reinforced plastic (GRP), also popularly known as "fiberglass". This material contains little or no air or gas, is more dense, and is a much poorer thermal insulator than is glass wool.


Thermal Fabrics of woven glass fibers are useful thermal insulators because of their high ratio of surface area to weight. However, the increased surface area makes them much more susceptible to chemical attack.

Manufacturing processes

1) Melting

There are two main types of glass fiber manufacture and two main types of glass fiber product.

A) First, fiber is made either from a direct melt process or a marble remelt process. Both start with the raw materials in solid form.

B) The materials are mixed together and melted in a furnace. Then, for the marble process, the molten material is sheared and rolled into marbles which are cooled and packaged.

C) The marbles are taken to the fiber manufacturing facility where they are inserted into a can and remelted. The molten glass is extruded to the bushing to be formed into fiber.

D) In the direct melt process, the molten glass in the furnace goes directly to the bushing for formation.

2) Formation

A) The bushing plate is the most important part of the machinery for making the fiber.

B) This is a small metal furnace containing nozzles for the fiber to be formed through. It is almost always made of platinum alloyed with rhodium for durability.

C) Platinum is used because the glass melt has a natural affinity for wetting it. When bushings were first used they were 100% platinum, and the glass wetted the bushing so easily that it ran under the plate after exiting the nozzle and accumulated on the underside. Also, due to its cost and the tendency to wear, the platinum was alloyed with rhodium. In the direct melt process, the bushing serves as a collector for the molten glass. It is heated slightly to keep the glass at the correct temperature for fiber formation. In the marble melt process, the bushing acts more like a furnace as it melts more of the material.

D) Bushings are the major expense in fiber glass production. The nozzle design is also critical. The number of nozzles ranges from 200 to 4000 in multiples of 200. The important part of the nozzle in continuous filament manufacture is the thickness of its walls in the exit region.

It was found that inserting a counter bore here reduced wetting. Today, the nozzles are designed to have a minimum thickness at the exit. As glass flows through the nozzle, it forms a drop which is suspended from the end. As it falls, it leaves a thread attached by the meniscus to the nozzle as long as the viscosity is in the correct range for fiber formation.

The smaller the annular ring of the nozzle and the thinner the wall at exit, the faster the drop will form and fall away, and the lower its tendency to wet the vertical part of the nozzle. The surface tension of the glass is what influences the formation of the meniscus.

The attenuation (drawing) speed is important in the nozzle design. Although slowing this speed down can make coarser fiber, it is uneconomic to run at speeds for which the nozzles were not designed.

modified 5 months ago  • written 5 months ago by gravatar for Abhishek Tiwari Abhishek Tiwari ♦♦ 50
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