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The Top Industries That Use Fiberglass Products

 

Fiberglass has been around since the 1930s, but it really took the world by storm when it was mixed with polyester resin. The resulting glass-reinforced plastic or fiberglass laminates were used during World War II, and today fiberglass products are everywhere. Many industries wouldn’t be where they are now without fiberglass.

The ubiquity of fiberglass is easy enough to explain – it’s relatively inexpensive and yet it is resistant to impact and corrosion, it offers great strength in proportion to its weight, it can flex easily, and it is extremely durable.

Here are some industries that use of fiberglass:

Boating and Marine Industry

The first “amateur” use of fiberglass was for the manufacture of a small dinghy in Ohio, way back in 1942. During the early years this kind of use wasn’t exactly optimal, as the fiberglass resins at the time had water absorption issues.

But these issues were fixed with the development of mode resilient resins, and today fiberglass reigns atop the marine industry. Simply put, the number of people who own boats today have fiberglass to thank. That’s because the production of boats with other materials are simply much more expensive, and they’re not as well-suited for automation. Thanks to fiberglass, private boats are much more affordable, and outboard fiberglass boats are bestsellers.

Home Furnishings

Plenty of people are surprised when it’s pointed out to them that a typical house these days contains numerous fiberglass products. Examples include:

  • Fiberglass doors. These don’t twist or warp due to moisture and they never corrode or rot like wooden doors.
  • Window frames. Fiberglass window frames are not thermally conductive so they’re can insulate more effectively than aluminum frames. In addition, the fiberglass frame expands and contracts at virtually the same rate with the glass window.
  • Shower stalls and bathtubs. If these aren’t made of porcelain, then chances are they’re made with a composite material with fiberglass reinforcement.
  • Spas and hot tubs. Today, most hot tubs above the ground are made with fiberglass-reinforced materials.

Electronics

When we say that fiberglass is everywhere, it’s literally true because fiberglass is used for the manufacture of printed circuit boards. This is a crucial component that you find in TVs and radios, and now in computers and smartphones. Since these electronic devices are everywhere, so is the fiberglass that is used for its vital component.

Fun Rides

Does your local kiddie park have a water slide? That’s likely made of fiberglass-reinforced composite. This material is used in a wide range of similar devices, so much so that Disneyland won’t exist without it. Fiberglass can be found in their castles, communication towers, and also the rides.

Basketball Courts

Plenty of basketball backboards are made of fiberglass. It’s more durable and resistant to impact, it can weather the environment, and it’s transparent so viewers can see through the board. With the popularity of basketball growing all over the world, so is the use of fiberglass for the backboard.

Automotive Industry

Back in 1953, Chevrolet actually came out with a car model with a fiberglass body. However, metal still proved to be the more efficient material for large volume production.

Still, fiberglass has a significant presence in the auto replacement and upgrade industry. It is used in custom parts, body replacement parts, and auto kits. The tooling expenses are comparatively lower than with metal press assemblies, and this suits the smaller market of these parts.

These are just a sample of the various industries that use fiberglass. In fact, its presence in PCs and smartphones pretty much signifies that fiberglass is literally everywhere!

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