Glass Fiber Textiles Market Introduction
Glass fiber textile refers to the textile made using glass fibers. Glass fiber also known as fiberglass is the material made using fine fibers of glass. It is a lightweight, robust, and strong material. Glass fibers are used as the reinforcing agent in many products to form the lightweight fiber reinforced polymers. The most common type of glass fiber used in fiberglass in E-glass. Other types of glass used are A-glass, D-glass, C-glass, R-glass.
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The technique of heating the glass and drawing it into fine fibers is well-known, however, the application of these fibers is more recent in textile. With specific tensile strength as compared to the steel wire of the same strength, glass has emerged as one of the strongest textile fibers. Owing to the heat, fire, and chemical resistance, and good thermal properties, glass fiber textile is used on a large scale in construction, defence, marine, and electronics.
Glass Fiber Textiles Market: Notable Highlights
- CIPC has developed fiberglass products with flat instead of round cross-section, providing high fiber loading levels and high impact strength. The flat glass also enhances thermoplastic processing by lowering resin shear and increasing spiral flow.
- 3B is focusing on developing damage tolerant and predictable, cost-effective composite materials for high load carrying construction including building, bridges, and wind turbines. 3B is working on new research as part of the research program funded by the European Union along with other players and research institutes.
- Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research are focusing on replacing fibers with natural and eco-friendly fibers. Textile-reinforced concrete (TRC) is durable material and suitable for lightweight construction. TRC is reinforced with glass and carbon fiber rather than steel. Researchers are planning to present a prototype at BAU 2019 in Germany.
Some of the key players in the glass fiber textiles market are CPIC Fiberglass, Owens Corning, Taishan Fiberglass, 3B-the fiberglass, China Fiberglass, Jushi Group, SAERTEX, and Nippon Electric Glass.
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Glass Fiber Textiles Market Dynamics
Glass Fiber Textile Gaining Traction in Wind Energy
Wind energy is fast emerging as an alternative energy source, which is driving the development of wind turbines to transform wind energy to electrical energy. With an aim to produce lightweight products and parts in wind turbine including wind blades, the demand for composite materials with a plastic matrix is increasing. The use of glass fiber has significantly increased in the production of wind turbine blades as compared to the carbon fiber. Despite the low weight, carbon fiber is expensive and require specific technical specs during manufacturing.
Glass fiber, specifically E-glass is widely adopted among wind turbine manufacturers owing to the durability, corrosion-free, and long lifespan. The demand for lightweight and durable wind turbines is expected to increase in coming years with various countries focusing on the expansion of the renewable energy sector.
Automotive Industry Presents High Potential Market for Glass Fiber Textile
Glass fiber textile application is on a rise in the automotive industry with increasing focus of automotive manufacturers to produce lightweight vehicles. Fiberglass yarns are being largely used in automotive applications for temperature resistance, and to meet tensile strength. Automotive manufacturers are widely using composite materials including reinforced plastic and polymers owing to the new emissions standards and fuel economy driving significant changes in the automotive industry. In recent years, acoustic textiles in vehicles have started using glass fibers to reinforce hard composite panels and offer sound isolation. OEMs in the automotive industry are focusing on using lightweight materials including glass fiber based non-woven prepreg.
Increasing Use of Carbon-Fiber Textile to Challenge Glass Fiber Textile Market Growth
Various industries are using carbon fiber textile over glass fiber textile materials on basis of various factors such as toughness, rigidity, and weight. For instance, in terms of weight, carbon fiber is much lighter than glass fiber, this makes it popular in weight-critical performance products and is widely used in mini-quad frames. Moreover, carbon fiber is more rigid than fiberglass, hence, carbon fiber is a top choice for industries with a need for a small amount of flexibility in products.
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Carbon fiber is being used on a large scale in the automotive and marine industry owing to the increasing need for strength and rigidity in various components. However, in terms of cost, glass fiber is more cost-effective than carbon fiber owing to the long strands of carbon fiber which are expensive and difficult to manufacture.
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