Election of a glass fabric for industrial use is not as simple as selecting fabric for home or office decoration where style and color may be the principal considerations.
There are six basic design variables to be considered:
Glass fabrics are available in thicknesses ranging from .0010″ to .050″ (0.0254–1.27mm).
Weight range extends from less than one ounce per square yard to over 54 ounces per square yard (19-1856 g/m2).
This is the number of warp yarns (in the machine direction) and filling yarns (cross-machine direction) per inch of the fabric.
A wide variety of yarn sizes are available that determine the weight and thickness of the fabric. For specific purposes, one yarn may be selected over another to give certain performance characteristics to the fabric.
Most industrial applications require glass fabric to be used in conjunction with another material. For compatibility with the other materials, a finish or after treatment is frequently applied to the fabric. Descriptions of the various finishes appear in each of the corresponding product sections.
A plain weave is the simplest and most commonly used weave pattern. In this type of weave, the warp and filling threads cross alternately. Plain woven fabrics are generally the least pliable, but they are also the most stable.
The leno weave is a locking type weave in which two or more warp threads cross over each other and interlace with one or more filling threads. It is used primarily to prevent the shifting of fibers in open-weave fabrics.
In a satin weave, the face of the fabric consists almost completely of warp or filling floats produced in the repeat of the weave, which causes one side of the fabric to look different than the other side. There is one filling thread that floats over three or more warp threads, then under one. This is the most drapeable of weave patterns and conforms very easily around most contoured surfaces. Most satin weaves are either four, five, eight, or twelve harness satins and are typically utilized in the composites industry.
A twill weave is a basic weave characterized by a diagonal rib, or twill line. Each end floats over at least two or more consecutive picks enabling a greater number of yarns per unit area than a plain weave, while not losing a great deal of fabric stability. This type of fabric looks different on one side than on the other.
The basket weave is a variation of the plain weave in which two or more warp yarns cross alternately with two or more filling yarns, resembling a plaited basket. This weave is more pliable and stronger than a plain weave, but is looser and therefore, not as stable. The basket weave is typically used in the composites industry.