Fiberglass resin is a semi-solid material made with a combination of fiberglass strings and resin. Fiberglass is comprised of very fine glass fibers and is widely used as a reinforcing agent. Resin is a semi-solid substance that contains the properties necessary for it to be used as a base for other materials.
The most common use for fiberglass resin is in the repair and restoration of fiberglass boats, cars and motorcycles. Automotive body repair technicians are trained in special techniques required to safely and effectively use this product. Fiberglass resin is also known as fiber-reinforced polymer or glass-reinforced plastic.
Fiberglass resin is often applied to the fiberglass frames in need of repair. The addition of the resin creates a product that has a high level of rigidity. This is essential when building anything that must be able to withstand physical pressure. The process used to form boat hulls or automobile body kits makes use of fiberglass resin.
When using fiberglass resin, a chemical called a catalyst is added to the resin. This chemical reacts to the fiberglass and produces heat. This heat makes the resin pliable. The technician must manipulate the material quickly into place since the material hardens as it cools. Once hardened, the material has all the same physical properties of fiberglass.
To form fiberglass, thin strands of glass are separated into minute fibers. These fibers retain the properties of glass, but can be pliable and mixed with other products. Fiberglass can be combined with a wide range of materials, depending on the desired end product. When mixed with resin, fiberglass becomes very thick and is temporarily quite malleable.
When working with fiberglass, it is important to take appropriate safety precautions. Fiberglass particles become loose and work their way under any exposed skin. The skin instantly irritated by the microscopic glass fibers. Always wear thick gloves, overalls and use a respirator when working with fiberglass. The inconvenience of the additional clothes is preferable to the irritation of fiberglass resin particles.
If you work with fiberglass on a regular basis, consider investing in a breathing apparatus. Fiberglass particles are very small and can easily be inhaled. Repeat, long-term exposure to fiberglass can cause permanent damage.