Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): General Fiberglass and Composites

 
Q.
What is fiberglass?
A.
Basically, fiberglass fibers are made from melted glass extruded at specific diameters. These fibers are then bundled together for different applications. Fiberglass is used in many applications including building insulation where it is layered to form blankets that are inserted into walls and ceilings. But most often when people speak of fiberglass they are referring to FRPís or Fiberglass Reinforced Plastics. You may also see these same products referred to as Fiberglass Reinforced Products, Fiberglass Reinforced Polyesters, or as a general category of manufacturing materials called composites.
 
Q.
What is an FRP?
A.
Fiberglass Reinforced Plastics. You may also see the terms Fiberglass Reinforced Products, Fiberglass Reinforced Polyesters, or as a general category of manufacturing materials called composites.
 
Q.
How is fiberglass used in FRP's?
A.
Fiberglass fibers are gathered into bundles and then the bundles are combined to create a roving. Rovings are a continuous rope, like a twine, made from fiberglass fibers. FRPís are made from rovings that are either chopped into short strands or woven into cloth. The fiberglass material is then impregnated with resins and then either sprayed into a mold, drawn through a die, hand laid into a mold or wrapped around a plug to give the product its desired shape. Through different processes or chemical reactions, the FRP is hardened into a solid piece.
 
Q.
What is a Plug?
A.
A plug is a part or a replica of a part that a mold is pulled from. A plug can be the part itself (in many instances) or made from urethane foam or wood in the shape of the required part. The plug is usually destroyed in the process of making the mold.
 
Q.
What is a Mold?
A.
All our parts are "pulled" from a mold. This is the form or shape that is in a sense the mirror image of the part itself. The fiberglass and resin are sprayed or laid into the mold to make the shape of the product or part. The number of molds made to produce a given purchase order depends on the number of parts scheduled to be made, and the urgency of the order. Since only one item can be in the mold at a time, the faster parts need to be turned out, the more molds are required for simultaneous production.