Fiberglass Aerospace Fabrics
Fiberglass Aerospace Fabrics are, for the most
part, confined to the 4, 8 and 12 Harness Satin Weaves. A Satin
weave is, in simple terms, where one fill yarn crosses over 3 others, as
in a 4 harness satin, before under a warp yarn. An 8 harness satin
has a fill yarn crossing over 7 then under a warp yarn and so on.
The adjacent yarns follow suit being offset one warp yarn. This
is a gist of satin weaves. Some satin weaves are balanced like the
3 oz/sq yd 4HS crowfoot weaves 120,
220, 2220, the 5.5 oz/sq yd 8
harness satin weaves 1671, 880 and 6580 and 9 oz/sq 8 harness satin
weaves 181, 1581, 7581, 7781, 6581 and 6781.
Heavier satin weaves include the 14 oz 8 harness satin fabrics
1582, 7645 the 14 oz S-2
Glass 17645, S-2 glass version of 7645.
Then there's the 16 oz 8 harness satin 3783, 26 oz 8 harness satins 1584,
and 3784. The heaviest we have are the 12 harness satin 50.2 oz/sq
yd style 13788 and 52 oz 3788. The 13788
is used by Aircraft Manufacturers in tooling as wells as aircraft parts. Some Satin Weaves are
unidirectional, meaning that they have more strength in one direction -
generally in the warp. Unidirectional 4 harness satin weaves
include the 5.3 oz 1557 and 8.6 oz/sq yd
1543, 3743 and 6543. Heavier 4HS uni weaves
include 12 oz 2515. 8
Harness Satin Unidirectionals include the 10 oz/sq yd Fabric styles
and the S-2 glass version 6576.
In the aerospace industry most of the fabrics are
vacuum bagged using a peel ply, absorbent layer and seal layer with a
vacuum fitting in place and vacuum applied to remove pre cure excess
resin that is retained in the absorbent layer with the final result of a
superior composite part that has a higher fiber to resin ratio.
For the guy working at his own shop that doesn't
want to bother with the vacuum bag set up these weaves can be used with
some additional effort to remove entrapped air and excess resin
maintaining care to keep correct fiber orientation. Using peel ply
which is generally a tight weave polyester or nylon material aids in
removing the excess resin and trapped air. The peel ply is removed
after cure leaving a part that can have secondary bonding or final
finishing with less work than a part made without using peel ply.
Some satin weaves that have been used in markets
other than aerospace include style the 3 oz crowfoot weaves. Style
120 has been used in mold making as the first layer next to the tooling
gel coat instead of chopped strand mat. 120 finished in Volan is
soft and takes curves very well but has fibers very close together.
120 have been used in making Remote Control Aircraft fuselages as well as
many other RC parts. 120, 220
and 2220 with clear silane finishes
have been used in covering wood strip canoes and kayaks. The 3 oz
crowfoot weaves have been used in hovercraft, motorcycle parts and many,
many other non aerospace applications.
The 9 oz Satin weaves like 1581 and
7781 have been
used in lots of non aerospace applications as well.
One thing we need to make clear is that Thayercraft
does not target the Aerospace market and Thayercraft does not normally
supply certificates of conformance or test data. We do buy and sell
some certificated materials but mostly we have looked for alternative
markets for fiberglass materials other than their original intended use.
One example is the circuit board market. Millions of yards of the light
fabrics like styles 104, 106,
3070, 1165 had been
woven for the circuit board market. For many different reasons such
as companies going out of business, loosing their UL rating, order
cancellations etc. we had available to us many thousands of yards at
bargain prices that we passed on to others for use in making other
products like model planes and many other things. Many products and
markets have been born from surplus fiberglass being used in areas not
originally intended. Though we have sold millions of yards of
fiberglass cloth since 1980 we have never been a recognized distributor of
fiberglass cloth by any manufacturer. If you need certification
please contact one of them.