Making glass filaments

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  • Thread starter Antonij
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I want to make my own glass fiber ceramic matrix composite. I could just buy glass filament, but i want it to be a form of primitive technology, that is something you could make by yourself with materials found in nature. I already learned how to purify sand into very pure silica with KOH from wood ashes and I have a furnace that can melt it. How do I form the filaments? In industry they use bushings with hundreds of nozzles, but im sure that I could use a single larger diameter nozzle (1mm?) and adjust the spin rate of the spindle to get a decent output of fine fiber. However I need to keep viscosity of the glass in the right range by controlling temperature. Are there any resources on the internet on amateur glass fiber production that could help? Google only gives me car fender making videos
 

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  • #2
CWatters
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There are one or two videos on YouTube on how to diy fibre optic cable. It seems easy/quick to make it in lengths of a few feet from glass rods. Depends how much fibre you want to make.
 
  • #3
Tom.G
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Well, you could make it they way volcanos do. Google Peles Hair.

Essentially small globules of molten glass blowing in the wind.

On second thought, tame volcanos are hard to find. :nb)
 
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Well, you could make it they way volcanos do. Google Peles Hair.
Not a bad idea. Should google up 'rock wool' or 'glass wool' production.
 
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Well, you could make it they way volcanos do. Google Peles Hair.

Essentially small globules of molten glass blowing in the wind.
Back in the mid '60s I worked at Johns-Manville, a company that made fiberglass insulation, similar to the way you described. They started with glass marbles about 1" in diameter, and melted them so that strings of molten glass dripped from the bottom of the heated container. Other burners and fans blew fine strands of glass fibers and some sort of glue onto a slow-moving roll of kraft paper. The speed that the paper moved determined the thickness of the insulation. After getting to the required thickness, the paper passed onto a furnace to bake everything. The finished product came out the other end and was sliced into about a 2' width by about an length of 8' or so. The batts were rolled up and stuffed into a heavy paper bag, which was glued shut.

Working in the "wool room" as it was called in southern Calif. during the summer certainly exceed my idea of what Hell would be like. Since we were surrounded by tiny glass fibers at all times, we had to be completely covered, plus wearing a paper filter so that we weren't breathing the glass fibers into our lungs. The outside temperatures often exceeded 95 deg. F., and it was quite a bit hotter in the wool room with those furnaces going all the time.

It was the worst job I've ever had. I still had little bits of glass in my hands for months after I left that job.
 

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