What Is Fiberglass?

In the industrial sector, the term “fiberglass” is generally used in reference to materials that are reinforced with glass fibers—also known as glass-reinforced plastic (GRPs) or fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRPs). They are most often produced in mat or sheet form for use in the manufacture of a wide range of products, including automobile and boat parts, circuit boards, doors, and recreational equipment.

Below we provide an overview of fiberglass, including how it’s made, what manufacturing benefits it offers, and the fiberglass fabrication capabilities at Selco.

How Is Fiberglass Made?

Fiberglass is made in a process known as pultrusion. First, the glass fibers used to reinforce the plastic material are heated to their melting point in large furnaces. In their molten form, they are extruded into thin filaments, coated, and bundled together. These bundles are then impregnated with resin, cut and bonded, woven, knit, or otherwise processed to form the final fabric-like material.

Benefits of Fiberglass

Compared to other manufacturing materials, fiberglass offer a variety of benefits, including:

  • Greater strength and durability: It exhibits a better strength-to-weight ratio than sheet metal. Additionally, it resists corrosion and retards the spread of flames.
  • Broader design freedom: The material accommodates simple and complex part designs.
  • Better appearance: Parts and products made from fiberglass have a more appealing and high-tech look.
  • Higher cost-effectiveness: The cost of fiberglass is relatively consistent. Additionally, as the material is lighter, stronger, and more durable than other materials, it is cheaper to store, ship, and maintain.
  • Special characteristics: Fiberglass exhibits several unique properties that make it suitable for use in specific applications. For example, its non-conductivity and radio frequency (RF) transparency make it ideal for housing electronics, its sound absorption capabilities make it appropriate for reducing noise during machine operations, and its low expansion/contraction characteristics suit it for use in environments exposed to fluctuating temperatures and/or stress.

Fiberglass Fabrication Services at Selco Manufacturing Corporation

At Selco Manufacturing Corporation, we offer a broad range of manufacturing services to customers in the construction, electrical, highway, industrial, transit, and utility industries. Our highly experienced and knowledgeable team of designers, engineers, craftsmen, technicians, and quality controllers is committed to ensuring every product we deliver fully meets the requirements and restrictions of the given application.

While we regularly work with aluminum, copper, iron, and steel, we also use fiberglass to produce custom enclosures for various infrastructure devices, equipment, and systems. These enclosures often find application in the following:

  • Blue light panels
  • Control panels
  • DC switchboards
  • Fuse boxes
  • Pencil boxes
  • Snowmelters

By choosing us as their source for fiberglass fabrication services, our customers benefit from our extensive list of fabrication and finishing services, close relationships with top industry professionals, competitive prices, and fast delivery times.

To learn more about our fiberglass fabrication and other manufacturing capabilities or partner with us on your next project, contact us today. One of our representatives will answer and address any questions or concerns you may have.