Breakdown of Different Fiberglass Cloths

Fiberglass cloth, also known as fiberglass fabric, is an excellent choice when you are looking for a strong, light weight part.

All of our fabrics must be used with a resin system (polyester, vinyl ester or epoxy) to create a composite part. The fiberglass is what gives any part it’s strength. It is used in a great variety of applications.  Boats, bathtubs, wind turbines, RC, surfboards, kayaks, canoes, aerospace . The list could go on and on.

The fabrics we have can be separated into 4 popular categories-

  1. RC
  2. Boat/marine
  3. Aerospace
  4. Surfboard

Keep in mind that these different fabrics are not limited in their category.  They can be used in a variety of projects.

The RC cloth is style #106 and #108,

075oz

Style #106 is a .75 oz. cloth. It is very lightweight and most often used on model airplanes. Because it is so lightweight, it can be tricky to use. You will want to use protective latex gloves or some other kind of smooth gloves. Any kind of skin tag will catch on the fabric. Style #106 is stronger than mylar. You don’t want to use it on anything requiring strength though.

1.5oz

Style #108 is another RC cloth. It is 1.5 oz. You will still need to be careful when working with this fabric but it is stronger than the .75 oz.

Style #1522 and #3733 are our most common surfboard cloths.  They can also be used on canoes, kayaks and boats

4oz

Style #1522 is a nice, smooth 4oz. cloth. Surfboard hobbyists use it to coat foam core.  It can also be used as a surfacing layer. It creates a clear, transparent laminate when saturated with resin.  This cloth wets out easily.

10oz

Style #3733 is a 5.6oz., aka sailboat cloth. This cloth is typically used on surfboards and general purpose projects.

Style #120 and #7781 are mainly used in the aerospace industry.

120

Style #120 is 3.2 oz. It is a 1:6 scale cloth for RC airplanes. You want to use this fabric when strength is needed. It is used on RC racing planes that go up to 140mph. This style is aerospace grade.

7781

Style #7781 is an 8.9oz., four harness satin weave. Four harness means there is a three by one interfacing where a filling yarn floats over three warp yarns and under one. This weave conforms to curved surfaces. It is aerospace grade and is the second most popular aerospace cloth behind style #120.

Styles 7532 and 7500 fall in the boat/marine category.

7532

Style #7532 is a 7.5oz. cloth. It is more commonly known as an 8oz. cloth. It is a  popular boat cloth. It is a plain weave and is stronger and sturdier than the 6oz. It is often used for waterproofing boat decks.

6oz

Style #7500 is the most popular general purpose fabric and also a great boat making cloth.  It is widely used in the fiberglass industry. It is good for making molds. It is typically used after the mat layer in a mold.  It gives it strength. It is also used in boat construction and repair.

fiberglass-tape

We also carry fiberglass tape in widths from 1” to 12”.  They are 50 yard rolls.  They have selvage edges that keep it from un-ravelling. They do not have an adhesive backing.  Just like our regular fabrics, they are meant to be used with resin. Our tapes work great on smaller applications and if you will be winding. They are also often used on glass seams and in repair work.

All of our fabrics are pretty easy to handle. Remember you will want to pick the best weight of fabric for your project but you will also want it to be strong enough.

To see all of the products we have available, go to www.fiberglasswarehouse.com .

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2 thoughts on “Breakdown of Different Fiberglass Cloths

  1. Gayle says:

    I have a 1996 Allegro Bay 34′ Class A Motorhome that I just bought. The person that had it before me ran the front end up on to a rock – then backed off quickly and ripped the whole fiberglass front off the coach. He brought back as many pieces as he could find – there is one very large piece that is pretty intact ( a few tears) but he lost one pretty good sized section that goes over the wheelwell. I am going to attempt to fiberglass the whole thing back together. Obviously strength is a major issue. What mat/cloth would you recommend? What kind of resin? Can I use aluminum tape on the inside to help hold pieces together – then can the aluminum tape be left in place and fiberglassed over? This is a huge project for me – I’ve never done any fiberglass work. I am trying to find products that will work long term and are relatively easy to work with. There are gentle curves that the product will need to bend around. Any help would be appreciated.

    • fgwarehouse says:

      This is tough to really know what to do without seeing a picture. But from what you have written, it is possible. First of all, never laminate of any type of adhesive tape if you want structure, it will create a barrier and act as a release agent. So don’t laminate over the aluminum tape.

      You will need to figure out how to create a form to laminate over to make your missing piece. I know some people use clear packing tape over the back of a hole to have something to laminate against. So to me, that will be the trickiest thing. You might consider chicken wire and spray insulation foam on it to create your form. The foam can be sanded to shape, then laminated over.

      As far as materials, I would use Orca 200 P-16 laminating resin and chopped strand mat as the first layer. 1.5 oz CSM would work well. The 6 oz style 3733 cloth, then another layer of 1.5 chopped strand mat.

      You will probably need to sanding primer to smooth it out in the end. You can either gel coat it or paint afterwards.

      Let me know if you have any questions.

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