The carbon fiber industry is expected to grow to over $8.9 billion by 2031, indicating its widespread use and popularity. However, many people are still unsure whether they should use carbon fiber or fiberglass for manufacturing.
A lot of this stems from many not fully understanding the differences between the two materials. So what are the differences?
That’s what we’re here to look at today. Read on to find out more about the differences between fiberglass vs carbon fiber.
What is Fiberglass?
Many have considered fiberglass to be the go-to cheap material for building things like boats or other structural components. Therefore, made up of inorganic silica sand and created by using high heat.
The heated glass is placed through microscopic holes to produce extremely thin glass filaments. They’re often woven into swatches of material or are left clumped together to produce the puffy materials often seen in insulation.
What is Carbon Fiber?
Carbon fiber, on the other hand, is a polymer that’s often referred to as graphite fiber. Also known for being tough and incredibly durable.
Crystalline filaments of carbon strengthen the material. It gets its strength when woven together since carbon fiber is incredibly thin. It’s also lightweight and has higher chemical resistance.
Differences Between Fiberglass vs Carbon Fiber
Now that we know what fiberglass and carbon fiber are made of, let’s look at a few of the key differences. Broken down by overall materials, uses, and health concerns:
As mentioned earlier, carbon fiber consist of small strands of carbon atoms combined by being woven into strands. Fiberglass uses glass to connect with one another and form a strong material.
Both fiberglass and carbon fiber make up the bodies and hulls of ships due to strength and lighter weight. Carbon fiber can also make golf club shafts due to their greater strength.
Fiberglass, often used in its unwoven form as insulation for homes. It can also soundproof walls in a similar context.
Carbon fiber does not associate with any specific health concerns due to the solid material. Fiberglass has tiny glass particles and can irritate the skin if not covered with epoxy.
As such, fiberglass insulation and similar products present a health hazard if you don’t use them with the right protection. Carbon fiber, on the other hand, has zero risks.
So Which One Should You Use?
When it comes to fiberglass vs carbon fiber, it’s hard to understate the strength of the latter. It also has fewer health risks depending on the use and product you purchase.
If you’re looking for material that has a greater strength to weight ratio, that is more strength for lighter weight, you should look at carbon fiber. Fiberglass is cheaper in many instances if you’re looking to save money.
Choosing Between Fiberglass and Carbon Fiber
Choosing between fiberglass vs carbon fiber is easier once you know the benefits and drawbacks of each. Use this guide to help you understand which one is right for your operations.
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