There are a variety of applications for industrial fabrics when weight, strength, and durability are important, and one common solution to these needs is fiberglass cloth. Fiberglass cloth is a strong and durable woven textile used mainly for industrial, non-apparel applications. Its unique set of valuable properties makes it ideal for many industrial uses, such as for the interiors of circuit boards and conveyor belts.
Fiberglass cloth is woven in various configurations from four basic weave patterns, called plain, leno, satin, and basket. It is sold in rolls that range in length from 150 feet (45 meters) to 9,000 feet (2740 meters), and in many different widths. It also offers a wide choice of controlled properties depending on the industry it will be used in.
Fiberglass cloth has numerous applications as thermal insulation, electrical insulation in the electronics industry, and even as a component in armor plating on U.S. Military vehicles, helmets, and aircraft carrier decks. Light-weight fiberglass cloths also provide a smooth finish and are ideal for producing a waterproof layer over wood or other surfaces, such as is needed in boat repair and other marine applications.
Perhaps the most notable quality of fiberglass cloth itself is its high tolerance of extreme heat. It not only dissipates radiant heat with remarkable efficiency, but some types of fiberglass cloth can withstand temperatures of up to 3000 degrees Fahrenheit (1648 degrees C) for as long as a minute. Another notable attribute of fiberglass fabric is its high tensile strength. At a much lower weight and cost, it has a greater tensile strength than steel wire of similar diameter. Also, fiberglass cloth is composed of inorganic materials, making it impervious to damage from sunlight, bacteria, or fungus of any kind.
Glass fibers are known to produce fabrics with excellent dimensional stability as well, meaning that fiberglass fabric stretches only very minimally under stress- usually about three percent or less. Like glass itself, fiberglass is highly resistant to most harsh industrial chemicals. Oddly enough, despite its resilience and resistance to almost every possible type of industrial hazard, it is important that fiberglass cloth be rolled onto a tube for shipment, and not folded, regardless of how large or small the order may be. Folding it for shipment can damage the cloth where it is creased. If this one precaution is followed, the structural integrity of the fabric will be preserved to provide strength or protection in whatever context it is needed for.