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S-Glass Fibre

Topics Covered

Background

Fibre Manufacture

Composition

Key Properties

Applications

Composite Materials

Background

E-Glass has been used extensively in polymer matrix composites, commonly termed “fibreglass”. These materials exhibit good mechanical properties, however, these have not been sufficient in some instances. Consequently, the E-glass composition has been modified to produce more desirable properties. A higher stiffness material resulting from this is S-Glass.

Fibre Manufacture

Glass fibres are generally produced using melt spinning techniques. These involve melting the glass composition into a platinum crown which has small holes for the molten glass to flow. Continuous fibres can be drawn out through the holes and wound onto spindles, while short fibres may be produced by spinning the crown, which forces molten glass out through the holes centrifugally. Fibres are cut to length using mechanical means or air jets.

Fibre dimension and to some extent properties can be controlled by the process variables such as melt temperature (hence viscosity) and drawing/spinning rate. It should be noted that S-glass is more difficult to process compared to E-glass.

As fibres are being produced, they are normally treated with sizing and coupling agents. These reduce the effects of fibre-fibre abrasion which can significantly degrade the mechanical strength of the individual fibres. Other treatments may also be used to promote wetting and adherence of the matrix material to the fibre.

Composition

S-Glass has a typical nominal composition of SiO2 65wt%, Al2O3 25wt%, MgO 10wt%. Some other materials may also be present at impurity levels.

Key Properties

Properties that have made E-glass so popular in fibreglass and other glass fibre reinforced composite include:

         High production rates

         Improved mechanical properties compared to E-glass

         High strength, (see table 1)

         High stiffness

         Relatively low density

         Non-flammable

         Resistant to heat

         Good chemical resistance

         Relatively insensitive to moisture

         Able to maintain strength properties over a wide range of conditions

Table 1. Comparison of typical properties for some common fibres.

Materials

Density (g/cm3)

Tensile Strength (MPa)

Young modulus (GPa)

E-Glass

2.55

2000

80

S-Glass

2.49

4750

89

Alumina (Saffil)

3.28

1950

297

Carbon

2.00

2900

525

Kevlar 29

1.44

2860

64

Kevlar 49

1.44

3750

136

The advantageous properties of S-glass generally outweigh the disadvantages which include:

         Significantly higher cost compared to E-glass

         Self abrasiveness if not treated appropriately leading to reduced strength

         Relatively low fatigue resistance

         Higher density compared to carbon fibres and organic fibres.

Applications

Composite Materials

S-Glass is generally used for polymer matrix composites that require improved mechanical properties compared to E-glass based composites. This is often the case when the material is operated under more extreme conditions.

 

Primary author: AZoM.com

 

Date Added: Aug 30, 2001 | Updated: Jun 11, 2013
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