1 2001 ASM International . All Rights Reserved. ASM Handbook, Vol. 21: Composites (#06781G). Glass Fibers Frederick T. Wallenberger, James C. Watson, and Hong Li, PPG Industries, Inc. Glass Fibers are among the most versatile highlighted wherever appropriate but not dis- sion of compositions, melt properties, fiber prop- industrial materials known today. They are read- cussed in full. Additional details about fiber erties (Ref 12), methods of manufacture, and sig- ily produced from raw materials, which are forming are provided in the section Glass Melt- nificant product types. An in-depth discussion of available in virtually unlimited supply (Ref 1). ing and Fiber Forming in this article. composite applications can be found in other ar- All Glass Fibers described in this article are de- Sizes and Binders.
2 Glass filaments are highly ticles in this Volume. rived from compositions containing silica. They abrasive to each other (Ref 4). Size coatings Glass Fibers and fabrics are used in ever in- exhibit useful bulk properties such as hardness, or binders are therefore applied before the strand creasing varieties for a wide range of applica- transparency, resistance to chemical attack, sta- is gathered to minimize degradation of filament tions (Ref 13). A data book is available (Ref 14). bility, and inertness, as well as desirable fiber strength that would otherwise be caused by fil- that covers all commercially available E- Glass fi- properties such as strength, flexibility, and stiff- ament-to-filament abrasion. Binders provide lu- bers, whether employed for reinforcement, filtra- ness (Ref 2).
3 Glass Fibers are used in the manu- brication, protection, and/or coupling. The size tion, insulation, or other applications. It lists all facture of structural composites, printed circuit may be temporary, as in the form of a starch-oil manufacturers, their sales offices, agents, subsid- boards and a wide range of special-purpose prod- emulsion that is subsequently removed by heat- iaries, and affiliates, complete with addresses, ucts (Ref 3). ing and replaced with a Glass -to-resin coupling and telephone and fax numbers. And it tabulates Fiber Forming Processes. Glass melts are agent known as a finish. On the other hand, the key properties and relevant supply details of all made by fusing (co-melting) silica with miner- size may be a compatible treatment that performs E- Glass fiber grades, that are available in the als, which contain the oxides needed to form a several necessary functions during the subse- market today.
4 Given composition. The molten mass is rapidly quent forming operation and which, during im- Special-Purpose Glass Fibers . S- Glass , D- cooled to prevent crystallization and formed into pregnation, acts as a coupling agent to the resin Glass , A- Glass , ECR- Glass , ultrapure silica Fibers , Glass Fibers by a process also known as fiberi- being reinforced. hollow Fibers , and trilobal Fibers are special-pur- zation. pose Glass Fibers . Selected special-purpose Glass Nearly all continuous Glass Fibers are made by Fibers are discussed in the subsequent section of a direct draw process and formed by extruding Glass Fiber Types this article. That section reviews compositions, molten Glass through a platinum alloy bushing manufacture, properties, and applications to an that may contain up to several thousand individ- extent commensurate with their commercial use Glass Fibers fall into two categories, low-cost ual orifices, each being to mm (Ref 15).
5 General-purpose Fibers and premium special-pur- ( to in.) in diameter (Ref 1). While A companion data book (Ref 16) is available pose Fibers . Over 90% of all Glass Fibers are gen- still highly viscous, the resulting Fibers are rap- that covers all commercially available high- eral-purpose products. These Fibers are known idly drawn to a fine diameter and solidify. Typ- strength Glass Fibers including S- Glass and, all by the designation E- Glass and are subject to ical fiber diameters range from 3 to 20 lm (118 silica or quartz Glass Fibers , including Astro- ASTM specifications (Ref 5). The remaining to 787 lin.). Individual filaments are combined quartz and Quartzel. It also lists a wide range of Glass Fibers are premium special-purpose prod- into multifilament strands, which are pulled by woven fabrics, that are commercially available ucts.
6 Many, like E- Glass , have letter designations mechanical winders at velocities of up to 61 m/ in the market of today, ranging from S- Glass /ar- implying special properties (Ref 6). Some have s (200 ft/s) and wound onto tubes or forming amid, S- Glass /carbon, silica/aramid, and silica/. tradenames, but not all are subject to ASTM. packages. This is the only process that is de- carbon yarns to silica/boron yarns. In addition, specifications. Specifically: scribed in detail subsequently in the present ar- it covers all commercially available carbon, ce- ticle. ramic, boron, and high-temperature polymer fi- The marble melt process can be used to form Letter designation Property or characteristic bers and yarns. This data book also lists all yarn special-purpose, for example, high-strength fi- E, electrical Low electrical conductivity counts, fabric constructions, fabric weights, and bers.
7 In this process, the raw materials are S, strength High strength commercial sources. C, chemical High chemical durability melted, and solid Glass marbles, usually 2 to 3 M, modulus High stiffness ASTM Test Methods. ASTM has published cm ( to in.) in diameter, are formed from A, alkali High alkali or soda lime Glass standard test methods for Glass density (Ref 17), the melt. The marbles are remelted (at the same D, dielectric Low dielectric constant alternating current loss characteristics and di- or at a different location) and formed into Glass electric constant (Ref 18), direct current conduc- Fibers . Glass Fibers can also be down drawn from tance of insulating materials (Ref 19), dielectric the surface of solid preforms. Although this is Table 1 gives compositions and Table 2 gives breakdown voltage and dielectric strength (Ref the only process used for manufacturing optical physical and mechanical properties of commer- 20), softening point of Glass (Ref 21), annealing Fibers , which are not discussed in this Volume, it cial Glass Fibers .
8 Point and strain point of Glass by fiber elongation is a specialty process for manufacturing struc- General-purpose Glass Fibers (E- Glass vari- (Ref 22), annealing point and strain point of tural Glass Fibers such as silica or quartz Glass ants) are discussed in the following section of Glass by beam bending (Ref 23), viscosity (Ref Fibers . These and other specialty processes are this article, which provides an in-depth discus- 24), liquidus temperature (Ref 25), and coeffi- 2001 ASM International . All Rights Reserved. ASM Handbook, Vol. 21: Composites (#06781G). 28 / Constituent Materials Table 1 Compositions of commercial Glass Fibers Composition, wt%. Fiber Ref SiO2 B2O3 Al2O3 CaO MgO ZnO TiO2 Zr2O3 Na2O K2O Li2O Fe2O3 F2. General-purpose Fibers Boron-containing E- Glass 1, 2 52 56 4 6 12 15 21 23 4.
9 0 1 Trace .. Boron-free E- Glass 7 .. 8 .. Special-purpose Fibers ECR- Glass 1, 2 .. Trace D- Glass 1, 2 .. 2 .. S-, R-, and Te- Glass 1, 2 60 .. 23 25 0 9 6 11 .. 0 1 0 .. 0 .. Silica/quartz 1, 2 .. cient of linear thermal expansion of plastics (Ref to eliminate boron from the off-gases of boron- ASTM standards for E- Glass (Ref 5) cover all 26). containing melts. Alternatively, the use of envi- three commercial E- Glass variants, distinguish- Some fiber properties (Ref 4), such as tensile ronmentally friendly boron-free E- Glass is re- ing E-glasses by end use. Compositions contain- strength, modulus, and chemical durability, are quired. These melts do not contain, and therefore ing 5 to 10 wt% by weight of boron oxide are measured on the Fibers directly. Other proper- do not emit, boron into the environment during certified for printed circuit board and aerospace ties, such as relative permittivity, dissipation processing.
10 As a result, a boron-free E- Glass applications. Compositions containing 0 to 10. factor, dielectric strength, volume/surface resis- product was recently introduced into the market wt% by weight of boron oxide are certified for tivities, and thermal expansion, are measured on by Fiberglas (Owens Corning Corp., Toledo, general applications. According to these stan- Glass that has been formed into a bulk patty or OH) under the trademark Advantex. dards, E- Glass compositions for either type of ap- block sample and annealed (heat treated) to re- Commercial boron-containing E- Glass comes plication may also contain 0 to 2 wt% alkali ox- lieve forming stresses. Properties such as den- in two variants. One commercial variant is de- ide and 0 to 1 wt% fluoride. The more recent sity and refractive index are measured on both rived from the quaternary SiO2-Al2O3-CaO- boron-free E- Glass variants may also be fluorine- Fibers and bulk samples, in annealed or unan- MgO (Ref 2, 4, 6, 27), and the other is derived free.