Jushi and Gibson report that compared with typical E-glass fibre, its E6™ product offers a tensile strength up to 15% higher and a softening temperature up to around 60°C higher.

The physical properties of E6 are expected to benefit applications with higher strength demands such as wind energy, high pressure pipes and sucker rods – used in oilfield pumping systems.

Jushi/Gibson also cites the enhanced chemical corrosion resistance of the glass fibre as offering potential improvements to the performance of composites used in oil and chemical process equipment.

The glass formulation is said to provide significant improvements in chemical corrosion resistance in neutral, acidic or alkaline solutions. The improvement in corrosion resistance is particularly significant in acidic environments, thereby promoting its use for applications in corrosive environments, such as environmental control devices and chemical, oil and desalination process pipes and tanks.

The enhanced performance properties are expected to advance the use of glass fibre composites when competing with other materials such as wood, aluminium and steel.

In addition to the end-user benefits of E6, this glass formulation is said to have a much lower carbon footprint than traditional E-glass fibre.

Research undertaken by the Science and Technology Group of Chinese glass fibre producer Jushi reports a 90% reduction in emissions of nitrogen oxide compounds and an 80% reduction in waste gas emissions. Additional environmental factors in the manufacture includes the reduction of particulate emissions, a 0% waste water discharge and a significant reduction in process waste glass fibre.

E6 Enhanced Glass Fibre is currently being produced in trial quantities and is under evaluation by a small group of customers in North America. Full commercialisation of E6 is expected by the first quarter of 2010.