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What is Corrugated Fiberglass?

Erin J. Hill
Erin J. Hill

Corrugated fiberglass generally refers to fiberglass sheets that are not perfectly smooth, but instead are wrinkled, waved, or feature some kind of curve in the structure. This type of fiberglass can be used for a variety of functions, including roofing and building. Corrugated fiberglass can be found online or in home improvement stores, and is made much in the same way as any other type of fiberglass.

To make corrugated fiberglass, the manufacturer must gather the raw materials used in the heating and constructing process. These materials can include limestone, silica sand, feldspar, or borax. Some of these materials are used in the actual structure of the fiberglass, while others are added to lower the melting point of the mixture. Many of the materials needed are ordered from quarries.

After the materials have been gathered, they are then heated. Heating takes place in a carefully regulated furnace. All materials are heated until they are thoroughly melted and can be easily molded.

Man with a drill
Man with a drill

Once all materials have been melted, the fiberglass mixture is put through channels to help shape it. After this is complete, the molten materials are pushed through marbling machines with many tiny holes. The number of holes present will vary depending on the size each fiberglass fiber is going to be. These marbling machines are made from materials that can withstand the extreme temperature of the materials.

In many cases, the fibers are carefully inspected for imperfections. This can be time consuming, but helps to ensure that the fiberglass which results is of the highest possible quality. Sometimes this step is not needed, depending on the marbling machine being used.

Fibers are then added into a winding machine which spins them at a very fast speed. This stretches each fiber so that it can be more easily molded and used for fiberglass yarn. Once the fibers are stretched, they are treated with a chemical solution to prevent breakage. Now the fibers are ready to be spun into yarn.

The fibers are then used to create corrugated fiberglass. Once the fibers are rolled into yarn, the fiberglass can then be molded into the shape it is meant to be, depending on the intended use of the finished product. Corrugated fiberglass is placed on special conveyors to be cured into the proper shape. Fiberglass can be rigid or semi-rigid depending on what it will be used for.

Corrugated fiberglass is used in a variety of ways and is quite versatile due to its bumpy or ridged shape. Roofs for greenhouses are often made from fiberglass panels. Fiberglass's transparent design means that it is often the optimum choice for absorbing and trapping the sun's rays. Other types of roofs can also be made using corrugated fiberglass as a less expensive alternative to more traditional materials.

Fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) is also made from both corrugated and non-corrugated fiberglass. This material is often chosen for its lightweight design, easy installation, and mold and mildew resistance. Primarily, FRP is used for walls and ceiling panels, often in commercial settings.

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      Man with a drill