Fiberglass is the future!

What is fiberglass?

With fiberglass you can use more services of the telecommunication (digital-TV, telephone and internet) than with the coax-cable (Kupferkabel). Fiberglass also doesn’t conduct (leitet) electricity which are electromagnetic. Another advantage is that it’s less interference-free (störungsfreier) than coax. On the other Hand, it’s more sensitive in the processing. A fiber is a very thin conductor (compared to a wisp of hair (Haarsträhne)) which provide several houses with the services from the network operators (Netzbetreiber).

The best about fiberglass is, that you can surf with light speed:

  • Light speed: about 300‘000’000 m/s
  • Signal transmission in fiberglass: about 200‘000 m/s
  • Signal transmission in coax-cable: about 225‘000 m/s

 

Where is it produced?

There are different places where it is produced. For example, like many other materials, also the material of fiberglass is produced in China and transported, for example, to Switzerland. There are a lot of companies in Switzerland, which process the material further and sell it to other companies, which are active in the telecommunication industry. Those companies have the order to link the city, for which they are working.

After the work is done, the customers are able to use the TV, internet and telephone from their network operators (e.g UPC, Swisscom, Sunrise …).

 

The material

They are resistant to age and weather-resistant (alterungs- und witterungsbeständig), chemical-resistant and incombustible. It’s high modulus of elasticity is used to improve the mechanical properties of plastics.

 

Use of mechanical properties

For mechanical applications, the fiberglass is mostly rovings, nonwovens (Vliesstoff) or woven fabrics (Gewebe). For profiles you only use fibers, which just flow in one way:

For example: produces arrows for sports, rods for isolations or in some umbrellas, which are made of fiberglass reinforced plastic. [1]

Life cycle

There has been many years of studying for the recycling of fiberglass. Fundamentally, three recycling technologies have been researched. There are three solutions:

  • material recycling
  • chemical recycling
  • co-processing (best option)

The recycling of fiberglass-based composite regrind through co-processing in cement is not very expensive, is generating valuable materials, and is helping to improve the ecological footprint of cement manufacturing. This recycling is more and more popular in Europe.

Co-processing is used at the same time as composite regrind as raw material and as a source of energy in cement manufacturing, to replace natural mineral resources (material recycling) and fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum and gas (energy recovery). In this process, the composites regrind used for co-processing is both an alternative fuel and raw material.

The European Composites Industry is a company with the goal for a lasting future.

With the support of the European Composites Industry Association (EuCIA), the composites industry is working towards the use of life cycle assessments to evaluate the environmental benefits of composite materials throughout their life cycle.

Using LCA as key tool Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an internationally standardized methodology to quantify the environmental pressures related to specific goods and services (products). The LCA results help to understand the environmental benefits, the trade-offs and areas for achieving improvements taking into account the full life-cycle of the product.

The Ecological Footprint is published in The European Composites Industry, which includes life cycle thinking (LCT) in its entire value chain, with the aim of creating a sustainable and competitive environment for the future. [2]

Life cycle of fiberglass

 

[1] Wikipedia Fiberglass

[2] 20130207_eucia_brochure_recycling

 

Albina & Merita

One thought on “Fiberglass is the future!

  1. I like the material fiberglass but I have never reflected about the aspect of recycling it, thanks for the hints. Note: The link to your pdf is broken – [2] “Life cycle of Fiberglass”

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