Terms Relating to Fiberglass Products and Materials
The following are some terms relating to fiberglass products and materials.
Composite: A composite is multiple different materials that are bound together. The different materials in a composite maintain their original attributes, which means a composite can combine the best aspects of different materials. Many fiberglass products are composites.
Cure: To cure a substance is to alter its physical properties. Curing is usually accomplished via heat, though pressure may also be involved.
Epoxy Resin: Epoxy resin is a thermosetting resin that becomes very hard after curing. Polyester resins are similar but are of lower quality.
Gel Coat: A gel coat is a layer of polymer resin, colored or uncolored, that is applied to a material’s surface. Gel coatings are added to many fiberglass products to add some protection and aesthetic appeal.
Mat: A mat is a material that is used for reinforcement. Mats come in numerous lengths and widths, and they can be composed of chopped or swirled fibers.
Parting Agent: A parting agent is used to separate a finished product from a mold. Parting agents may also be used to prevent resin from sticking to the product or equipment. Wax, glass, and cellophane are all common parting agents.
Resin: Resins are common binding agents. They are substances that have high molecular weights, and they soften or reshape easily when heated or pressurized. Resins are usually polymers.
Spray-up: To spray-up is to cast resin and fiberglass into a mold at the same time.
Thermoset: A thermoset material, or thermoplastic, cannot be remade into an uncured substance once it has been cured. The curing process has chemically, and permanently, altered the state of the material.