An all-season material, fiberglass is used for boat hulls and surfboards as well as for thermal and electrical insulation.
As the summer winds down, it would be lovely to take one more opportunity to be out on the water. If that is to involve anything more than swimming, fiberglass is likely to be part of the experience.
If surfing is our choice, then our surfboards are most likely made from a core of polyurethane or polystyrene foam covered with layers of fiberglass cloth to produce the hard finish. If boating is preferred, then the hull of the boat may be made from fiberglass, whether the boat is a sailboat or a canoe. Indeed, fiberglass canoes are so lightweight and easy to maneuver compared to their aluminum counterparts that in canoe races, the boats are assigned to different divisions to ensure fair competition.
The combination of strength and light weight that characterizes fiberglass also makes it a choice material for sports equipment. Hockey sticks made with fiberglass are lighter than their wooden predecessors, but still durable enough to withstand the strong impacts of a player taking a powerful shot for the goal. Fiberglass is also used to make strong, but light, flexible poles for pole vaulting.
Homeowners who are planning ahead to reduce this winter’s energy costs know the benefits of fiberglass insulation. The fibers’ excellent thermal insulation ability results from the combination of their high surface area to weight ratio, as well as the pockets of air that are trapped in the fiberglass batting. When health concerns were raised about asbestos, fiberglass offered an important substitute.
Fiberglass may also be used to strengthen a polymer, creating glass reinforced plastic. Like “graphite,” this “fiberglass” takes its name from the reinforcing fiber and the resulting composite material, which exhibits both tensile and compressive strength.
More information about fiberglass may be found at http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/fiberglass.aspx