Fiberglass Products for Auto Engineering
Plastics strengthened with glass fibers have been used in the transportation sector since mass-produced pultrusion methods were first realized. Continuous strands of reinforced fabric were mixed with a liquid resin matrix to improve the structural integrity of the material, enabling glass wool to be fabricated into high-strength structural shapes. This unique substance provided suitable strength to weight ratios for the transit sector, with enhanced resistance to numerous corrosive media. Within decades of this discovery, fiberglass-composite boats and reinforced polymer aircraft fuselages were manufactured for commercial use.
Almost a century later, fiberglass products continue to find innovative use in the transportation sector. Automotive moldings, structural supports, and corrosion-resistant mechanics are routinely manufactured from fiberglass composites.
This article will explore the use of fiberglass products in the transportation sector in further detail:
While aluminum and steel remain the primary materials of choice for the automotive sector, fiberglass products are routinely used in the fabrication of vehicle superstructures. The mechanical components and chassis of a commercial car are commonly manufactured using high-strength metals, while the bodywork often comprises multiple materials for to reduce the weight profile of the vehicle without compromising its physical integrity. Automotive moldings have been fabricated from fiberglass products for decades, providing a lightweight and low-cost solution for increasing industry demands. Carbon-fiber and fiberglass polymers are regularly used for the front, end, and door panels of commercial vehicles, providing good impact resistance and high resistivity to weathering elements.
Crash protection systems and structural reinforcements are also increasingly manufactured using strengthened polymer materials. Chrysler, for example, have used fiberglass products to construct a supporting beam for a blow molded plastic fuel tank, benefiting from the material’s advanced thermal characteristics and corrosion resistance.
This innovative use of fiberglass products has increased the mechanical scope for composite materials in the automotive sector. Engineers have augmented conventional components with fiberglass to improve their mechanical capacities, while new material arrangements are providing an alternative to complex steel and aluminum parts. Carbon-fiber reinforced vinyl ester driveshafts have been manufactured using just a single rotating joist, improving the performance and efficiency of high-performance commercial vehicles. This novel structure was up to 60% lighter than conventional two-piece steel driveshafts, reducing a vehicle’s weight profile by approximately 20-pounds.
This new driveshaft reduced the noise, vibration, and harshness experienced within a vehicle cabin due to road noise and mechanical agitation. It also reduced the associated costs with component manufacture and maintenance by reducing the number critical parts required for assembly.
Fiberglass Products from Strongwell
Strongwell is a leading developer of reinforced polymer materials, with 62 years’ experience in the pultruding of outstanding fiberglass products for an array of applications. We have worked in conjunction with vehicular manufacturers and local authorities to provide unique material solutions for structural, aesthetic, and mechanical challenges in the transportation sector. Our products have been used to construct specialty infrastructure and augment existing infrastructural systems with improved strength and resistant capacities.