Owens Corning (NYSE: OC), a leading global producer of glass fiber reinforcements for composite systems and residential and commercial building materials, today announced that its Uniconform® glass fiber mat is now available globally.
Designed for advanced closed-mold processes and initially launched in Europe, Uniconform® continuous filament mat contains no chemical binder, synthetic core or stitching yarns, delivering the following performance benefits:
- Reduces mold dressing time by as much as 50 percent for complex parts
- Increases tensile strength by up to 25 percent and flexural strength by up to 10 percent compared to standard conformable continuous filament mat reinforcements
- Good finished-part surface appearance and resistance to water permeability
- Improved thermal stability and fire retardant properties. Laminates can withstand temperatures up to 200 degrees celsius with no permanent damage
- Unsurpassed clarity in translucent applications
"Since the product was introduced in Europe in 2006, the market has responded positively to its ability to conform to complex mold shapes and produce a good surface finish without compromising any mechanical properties," said Marco Capelli, global product manager, OCV™ Reinforcements. "We're now pleased to be able to offer those benefits globally."
Made with the company's proprietary boron-free Advantex® E-CR glass that combines the electrical and mechanical properties of traditional E-glass with the acid corrosion resistance of E-CR glass, Uniconform® mat is 100 percent glass reinforcement that is mechanically needled. It is compatible with unsaturated polyester, vinyl-ester and epoxy resins.
Eric Ball, vice president of product development at Orenco Systems, Inc., Sutherlin, Ore., said Orenco benefited from the product's transparency while developing an improved translucent panel for residential and commercial construction. The new panel is for higher-end projects where aesthetics are important.
"There is nothing else on the market that comes close to the translucency of Uniconform® mat," said Ball. "While doing market research for the new product, we collected lots of panels that claim they are translucent but none of them come close to what we are able to achieve with Uniconform® mat."
The use of closed-mold technology has steadily increased in recent years for a variety of reasons including reduced emissions and the ability to produce precision parts for applications requiring close tolerances. Closed molding processes make it possible to produce consistent parts in less time and with less waste. According to the China Composites Industry Association, the use of automated processes like the newer closed-mold technology has increased in China from 28 percent of the total process mix in 2000 to 64 percent of the total in 2008. The increase in automated processes from 2007 to 2008 was 10 percent.