Few industries have changed more with the invention of reinforced glass fiber than construction. Glass fiber’s strength, insulative properties, and cost-effectiveness make it an ideal material for a myriad of construction applications.
B&W Fiberglass works often with project managers to determine how fiberglass technology can improve their projects. Today, we’re spotlighting the impact glass fiber has made on construction.
Glass Fiber is Ideal for Construction-Related Projects
Fiberglass and other glass thread solutions possess a variety of traits that make them uniquely suited to handle many of the most challenging aspects of construction. In general, fiberglass is lightweight, strong, and weather-resistant, as well as a relatively inexpensive material. Since the mid-twentieth century, glass fiber has been prolifically used in the fields of homebuilding, commercial structures, and infrastructure construction.
Where does fiberglass fit into these construction projects? It’s often utilized as part of a whole-structure insulation system thanks to its inherent insulative properties. Fiberglass can be found as a roofing laminate, composite material, and even structural support in structures around the world. Fiberglass piping is extremely common in both commercial and residential plumbing applications.
Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete
Over the last four decades, advancements in concrete reinforcement have led to stronger, longer-lasting concrete products. Glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) is today one of the most sought-after construction materials on the market, offering high tensile strength, elasticity, and non-corrosion.
Currently, most GFRC is comprised of alkali-resistant fiber embedded directly into a concrete matrix. The fibers act as load-bearers while the concrete acts as a load transfer. Although GFRC panels appear on the surface like any other cast concrete panel, they are much lighter and far more economical when considered on a building-wide scale.
A Growing Demand for GFRP
The counterpart to glass fiber reinforced concrete is glass fiber reinforced plastic. Nearly 90% of the reinforcements used in the plastics industry are glass fibers, and studies suggest demand is on the rise. Why? In North America, construction projects ranging from municipal buildings to infrastructure projects to energy structures are driving the surge.
Thermoplastic resin is slowly taking over thermoset resin as the most-used raw material for GFRPs. The combination of fiberglass support and thermoplastic resin offers high impact strength and a more aesthetically pleasing finish compared to other composites. High demand for GFRP products is driving both innovation and quality improvement in the industry as a whole.
How is B&W Fiberglass involved in the construction industry? It’s just one of the applications our versatile array of fiberglass solutions is ideally suited for. Could glass threads the be answer your construction project is looking for?