Paper number 660


Mr. Martyn J.Hucker and Dr. Ian P. Bond

Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Bristol,
Queen's Building, University Walk, Bristol. BS8 1TR.. U.K.

Summary Hollow glass fibre reinforced plastics have a structural performance niche in a class of their own. They offer increased flexural rigidity compared to solid glass fibre reinforced plastics, they offset the need for thin sandwich construction which is both difficult and expensive, and they provide an opportunity to develop laminates with improved or tailored characteristics. An experimental hollow glass fibre manufacturing facility is in operation at the University of Bristol. The facility is capable of drawing precision hollow glass fibres of various diameters with varying degrees of hollowness under precise parameter control. Hollow borosilicate glass fibres have been manufactured from tubular preforms with a variety of internal and external diameters which correspond to a range of hollowness values. In all cases, the resulting hollowness was reduced from that present in the preform state, regardless of drawing rate or furnace temperature. In fact, temperature has been demonstrated to be of paramount importance in controlling fibre hollowness due to the interaction between glass viscosity and surface tension effects. These results suggest that for a given temperature and draw rate there is a single condition where fibre hollowness is maximised and external diameter minimised.
Keywords hollow glass fibres, manufacture.

Theme : Fibres ; Glass and Carbon Fibres

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