The glass yarns represent the rinforzo most used in the manufacture of materials composition. The latter consist of a matrix, that is, from an organic polymer that needs an 'ally' to remedy its fragility. The characteristics of stiffness and resistance, typical of composite materials, are in fact attributable to the use of glass yarns as reinforcement.
The transformation processes of composite materials imply the impregnation of the glass yarn with the polymeric matrix followed by the molding and hardening of the matrix to obtain the final product in the desired shape.
These processes differ according to the type of polymeric matrix used and the type of product to be made.
Matrixes reinforced with glass yarns can be of type thermosetting or thermoplastic.
In the first case, the transformation processes can be open mold (spray or hand contact forming, winding, centrifugation) or closed mold (resin injection, compression, pultrusion and continuous lamination).
In the field of thermoplastic materials the most common method is that of injection: the plastic granules are inserted into a heated screw which pushes the compound into a mold.
The composite materials made in this way are distinguished by their characteristics of lightness, stiffness, thermal insulation and resistance to corrosion and shocks.
Precisely these characteristics make their use strategic in various sectors. Let's find out which ones.
Different automobile components are manufactured from composite materials reinforced with glass yarns, such as body parts, engine covers, structural parts, body protectors, passenger compartment linings and headlights.
In trucks, composites are the only material used for cabins and refrigerated bodies, while in trains they are used to make seats and interior linings.
The development of composite materials has largely favored the spread ofwind power. It has in fact allowed the construction of ever larger and more efficient blades.
In addition, composites reinforced with glass yarns facilitate the production of electrical components (industrial switches, insulators, Etc.).
Industrial platforms are also created through grids of composite materials, in order to avoid sparks and lighten the structure. A typical example of this consideration is represented by the off-shore platforms, where the risks of fire, connected to the use of metal, would be very high.
In recent years, composite materials have found use in the renovation and maintenance of old buildings, especially to preserve important historical monuments from decay. As is known, composites have been used for some time for translucent sheets in industrial canopies and for panels in the external roofing of buildings.
Thermoplastic matrix composites are used in kitchen appliances as well as in monitors and computers. Those with a thermosetting matrix, thanks to their greater resistance to heat, are used instead in irons.
Nautical and sport
Modern pleasure boats are made from composite materials reinforced with glass yarns. Compared to wood, they are much more resistant to aging and require little maintenance. All this has made it possible to create boats with improved performance, albeit at low costs.
In addition to the nautical sector, composites are finally used for the manufacture of sports equipment: skis, snowboards, snowshoes tennis, bicycles, helmets, surfboards and windsurfers ...