Fiberglass Mat is one of the most popular forms of reinforcement for non-structural applications. It's inexpensive, easy to use, and can quickly build thickness into parts, molds, or even a repair. It features randomly oriented strands throughout that effectively hide print-through of heavier fabrics and create an equal stiffness in all directions for molds and parts.
Note: All Fiberglass Mat is made to be used with resin to create hard, composite parts. However, it is NOT compatible with epoxy resin. Mat has a light binder that holds it together. During lay-up, it requires styrene to break down that binder and allow for complete resin saturation. Epoxy does not contain styrene and therefore cannot be effectively used with the mat. Use polyester or vinyl ester resin with these applications.
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In particular, chopped strand mat (or CSM) is highly absorbent and, during lay-up, will soak up more resin than woven fiberglass fabrics. This can result in parts that are stiffer, but not as strong. For this reason, chopped fiberglass mat is usually layered with other fiberglass fabrics.
Generally, all fiberglass mat--including the mat tape--is used in a schedule with other fiberglass fabrics. While Chopped and Continuous Strand Mat are often used as inner layers to build bulk, fiberglass Veil Mat is used at the surface to prevent show through of other fiberglass fabrics below. Woven Roving and Scrim are used specifically to build strength.
Want to learn more about Fiberglass Fabrics? Fibre Glast has a free Learning Center with helpful white papers, videos, charts, and photo galleries. Consider reading About Reinforcements or Molding Fiberglass.
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