Fibers and filaments consist of bulk, chopped fibers or strands and continuous monofilaments of materials and are used in reinforcing composites as well as other specialized electrical and thermal applications. Fibers and filaments include materials made of carbon, polymers, glass, cellulose, and other specialty compounds.
Fibers and filaments most commonly used in industrial applications include carbon fiber, glass fiber, and synthetic fibers for making textiles and composites. Glass fiber is used to make fiberglass cloth for use in reinforcing composite materials, such as those used to waterproof boats. Fiberglass cloth comes in a variety of weaves that vary in cost and strength. Low cost, lightweight cloth is known as e glass or e-glass fiberglass cloth. Heavier, stronger s glass or s-glass grade fiberglass cloth is used when a higher tensile strength is required. Fiberglass cloth is used with epoxies and resins to make stiff, high strength composites.
Fibers and filaments include carbon fiber used to make graphite-reinforced plastics, cellulose-based fibers from tree or plant materials to make fabrics such as rayon and lyocell, and synthetic fibers from natural gas or petroleum, to make polyester, nylon, and olefins. Fibers and filaments also include ceramic fibers which are used to line industrial furnaces. Ceramic fibers and ceramic fiber modules typically come in different grades depending on the furnace application and temperature.
Fibers and filaments include aluminum oxide fibers that are used in discs for heavy-duty sanding applications. Silicon carbide fibers are used in metal, ceramic, and polymer composites for use in high heat applications. Silicon carbide monofilament is used to reinforce titanium, aluminum and other ceramic composites, making them strong and stiff while remaining lightweight. These composites are also corrosion resistant and have low electrical conductivity.