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How is fiberglass made?

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June 09, 2010 10:20AM

It is material made from extremely fine fibers of glass. It is used as a reinforcing agent for many polymer products; the resulting composite material, properly known as fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) or glass-reinforced plastic (GRP), is called "fiberglass" in popular usage. Glassmakers throughout history have experimented with glass fibers, but mass manufacture of fiberglass was only made possible with the invention of finer machine tooling. What is commonly known as "fiberglass" today, however, was invented in 1938 by Russell Games Slayter of Owens-Corning as a material to be used as insulation. It is marketed under the trade name Fiberglas, which has become a genericized trademark. A somewhat similar, but more expensive technology used for applications requiring very high strength and low weight is the use ofcarbon fiber.