Fiberglass Mats for Boat Repairs
Differences between fibreglass mats, glass fabric mats, reinforcing fabric and carbon fibre fabric
The difference between glass fibre mats and glass fabric mats is that the individual glass fibres of fibreglass mats are irregularly arranged on top of each other. In glass fabric mats as well as in reinforcing mats and carbon fibre mats the individual fibres are neatly interwoven. Reinforcing fabric is very coarse and made of strong glass fibres, which is used exclusively in the construction of large boats. Single strands of reinforcing fabric can be used to smooth out rough edges in the shape of the boat, especially at the bow and stern, and to repair damage to the tip of the boat. Carbon fibre fabric is extremely tear-resistant, but not particularly good at withstanding heavy impacts. Carbon fibre has a high stiffness level and is easy to regrind. It does not need covering with glass fabric.
Weight per unit area of glass fibre mats and glass fabric mats
Fibreglass mats and glass fabric mats differ not only in the way their individual glass fibres are arranged, they also have differences in their weight per unit area. The most common mats have a weight of 300 g/m² or 450 g/m². Glass fibre mats are often used for smaller repairs. They have a weight per unit area of 300 g/m² and are highly stable. 450 g/m² fibreglass mats are used for larger areas where multiple layers may be required. In the case of multi-layer laminate structures, a glass fibre mat with a low weight per unit area should be used first, as this is easier to shape. Glass fibre mats with a higher weight per unit area can then be used to reinforce other layers. The quality of the laminate will be much better the higher the proportion of fibres is compared to the resin.