Imagine a private car completely built with fiber as its body, what could be it advantage and disadvantage? Discovery has shown that most heavy-duty trucks conveying petroleum products and other industrial products were made with fiber except for its carriage or tank area, the drivers are and engine components were completely sealed with fiber against the usual method of using iron and steel. A good example of such truck is the brands of MACK, DAF, MAN, ETC.
The fiber had been known for lots of advantage over metal sheets such that manufacturers of expensive products prefer fiber to metallic sheets, such manufacturers include; airplane manufacturers, domestic aircraft and speedboats manufacturers, and heavy-duty truck manufacturers, etc.
We shall be going into details on how such material has become so preferable to our famous metallic sheets. Here is what we simply believed that would have made such manufactures to prefer fiber to metal sheets:
FIBER IS INDEFORMABLE
Unlike metal sheets which deform their shape at any slightest impact, thereby creating an ugly look and may need the service of a panel beater to get it into shape assisting it with panel paints. Even with such services, in most cases, the panel can never look as smooth as it was earlier made by the manufacturers.
However, fiber has proven to be different, this is because; it does not deform in shape even at a high impact. It is known for its elastic strength which enables the shape to return back to normal after an impact has been made on it. However, when the impact exceeds the elastic limit of the fiber, it will crack. Such heavy impact could only occur when there is a fatal accident giving room to a very high impact force, but the good news is that; even such crack can be repaired within 24 hours by patching the fiber together again with its needed materials. For this reason, it is easier to fix a cracked fiber than to smoothen deformed metal sheets.
FIBER IS STRONGER FOR IMPACT FORCE
Considering why all the above-mentioned manufacturers use fiber? Yes, it is because fiber can withstand great impact force than metals. If a force of 50N can deform an alloyed sheet of 1mm thickness, it may take up to a force of 100N to crack a fiber sheet of 1mm thickness. For this reason, it is employed when any product would face impact force steadily while on service.
IT CAN BE COLD-WORKED
Unlike metal sheets which require professional companies to produce them in their various thickness and will do so only through the application of heat and be rolling of the heated metals to obtain the sheets in their various thickness, a process that can take days or several hours.
Fiber can be made with ease when all the materials needed are available, a simple process of dropping the fiber net and applying its calcium powder and bonding liquid will get the fiber ready for use within 24 hours.
IT CAN ADAPT TO WEATHER CONDITIONS
Fiber does not get hot during hot sunny hours, it does not allow water to pass through it, it is highly adaptive to any weather condition. While metal sheets may contribute to the internal rise in temperature of a product fiber does not.
FIBER CANNOT SINK IN WATER
When not attached with heavy metals in the products metal skeleton, fiber can make the entire product to float in water, a good reason it is used in the making of speedboats.
IT CANNOT CORRODE OR RUST
Fiber can neither corrode nor rust even when left uncovered in a severe weather condition for years. A quality that has made it preferable for ship making and heavy-duty products to enhance their durability.
Except for special alloyed metal sheets, metal sheets tends to corrode after years of abandoning in an open air in severe weather condition.
IT RETAINS ITS PAINTS LONGER
It has also been discovered that fiber has a greater bond with paint pigments than metals, for this reason, it tends to retain any paint on it for a very long time especially oil paints use in metals.
Nevertheless, let us look at the possible reasons while fiber is not used generally in-place of metal sheets;
FIBER MAY BE MORE EXPENSIVE
Considering its scarcity as the materials needed for the production are products of petrochemical industries which are few around the globe, the materials such as the fiber net and others are expensive and not readily available like metals which are readily available.
FIBER NEEDS ITS EXPERT FOR SHAPING
Unlike metal sheets that can be handled by anyone and made into a shape, fiber needs experts to make it into shape and such expert may not be common in the industry.
WEIGHT LIMIT OF FIBER
When at a small thickness within 1mm fiber may be lighter than steel sheets of the same thickness, but when a fiber is made to be thicker so as to gain some advantages in the intended conditions of use, they may become heavy. So if without being that thick it would not serve its purpose, then it may become a limit that may put metals into preferable conditions.