In many industries today, the use of fiberglass has become so pervasive. It’s common for household insulation, plenty of house windows use fiberglass, and it’s a common material for a typical below ground conduit system. You’ll find it in many marine applications, such as boats, fish tanks and even swimming pools.
So what is it about fiberglass that makes it so popular among various industries? There’s no single reason for this. Instead, there’s a long list of good reasons why manufacturers are opting for fiberglass, and why many households are choosing consumer items made from fiberglass.
- It’s easy to shape. Manufacturers can mold or tool the fiberglass into just about any design or shape. Fabricating a product with fiberglass comes with very few restrictions, so designers and architects are allowed to be a lot more creative. Modern fiberglass products can now be coated with gel right in their mold, so the makers can create the color and texture they feel the consumers will like. These fiberglass products can look flat or they may feature a very high gloss. The color options for fiberglass even eliminate the necessity of after-production painting.
- It’s extremely strong. Pound for pound, fiberglass is one of the strongest materials you can find in the consumer market. It’s certainly stronger than wood or metal, when you have similar items with the same weight. It doesn’t contract or expand as much when exposed to stress, compared to plastic, wood, and metal. This means it will hold its shape for a longer period of time.
The durability of fiberglass is almost mythic. It’s highly resistant to environmental extremes, so it will last longer and perform better than other materials when it’s exposed to lots of UV light, a humid or salty air, or even acidic chemicals. It’s chemically inert, so it doesn’t react chemically with other substances that can come into contact with it. It’s resistant to corrosion.
- It’s lightweight. This is another advantage when a material is strong on a pound-for-pound basis. This means that if you need a component to reach a certain strength level, the fiberglass options gives you a much lighter component compared to its metal counterpart. This makes it easier to install in some complex systems, as a single worker can haul a fiberglass piece much easier than a metal component with the same level of strength.
- It has superior acoustic qualities. It doesn’t vibrate as much as sheet metals, and so when used in various operations it’s much quieter. This lets you reduce the overall operating volume of your equipment.
You get all these advantages, and you still enjoy perhaps the greatest of all consumer advantages: affordability. Manufacturers can duplicate parts easily once the original molds and plugs have been made. Since fiberglass is easy and less costly to manufacture, the cost savings are passed on to the consumer.
Often a fiberglass product has a lower price tag than other products made from different materials. Shipping and storage costs are also typically lower as the fiberglass doesn’t weigh much at all.
What’s more, fiberglass products are cost-effective. Since its durable and non-corrosive, its life expectancy is often greater compared to products made from metal, wood, and plastics. You won’t need to repair it all that often, you won’t have to replace it soon, and its maintenance requirements are minimal. For fiberglass windows, for example, cleaning requires only warm water with standard strength soaps and detergents.