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The history of glass wool since its invention.

Isover new glass wool

Manufacture of glass wool in the Isover plant of Soissons in 1938.

The use of glass in its spun form is ancient: we find traces of it since the Egyptian period. Until the XIXe century, it is mainly decorative uses, but the idea of ​​weaving glass threads interested many scholars like the French Rene-Antoine Ferchault Reaumur: "If the glass is not malleable, it is not not to say that [...] it is not textile, "he says in 1713.

Fiberglass was invented in 1836 by Lillois Ignace Dubus Bonnet, without however finding any industrial use. In 1893, Edward Drummond Libbey produced in Chicago a fabric whose frame is made of glass threads.
At the beginning of the XXe century, new perspectives are opening up. New building materials (plasterboard for example) must be combined with new thermal insulation and the development of electricity requires the development of new insulating materials.

The first experiments in the industrial manufacture of glass wool were carried out in the 1920s by the American firm Corning Glass Works.
As we know it today, glass wool was born in 1938: "Russel" Games Slayter, an engineer from the firm Owens-Illinois, filed a series of patents concerning both glass wool and machinery for produce it. He became vice-president of the firm, renamed Owens-Corning Fiberglass Corp., and improved and disseminated his invention.

After the war and under the Marshall Plan, patents were sold to large European firms to facilitate reconstruction; but since the pre-war period, Saint-Gobain in France had developed a similar production.

The glass wool is very quickly declined in rolls, loose, in plates and under formulas that increase the different qualities. The multiplicity of its uses ensures a worldwide success: in the building, the automobile, the aeronautics, the technical clothing, the sport...


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