Braided Packing: From Flexible Graphite to Fiberglass Packing

Chances are, at some point, you've seen a woven wrap in or out of its "natural setting". Braided packing looks like a rope that is cut into loops and wrapped around a pole. While the styles of braided packing used to be fairly limited, over time the mechanical packing industry has expanded and braided packing can be used in a variety of materials from flexible graphite to fiberglass yarns. Let's dig into this topic and discuss the different materials used to make braided packing in this day and age.

Fiberglass Packing

One of the reasons fiberglass is favored for weaving is that it doesn't burn. It can be used in continuous temperatures up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it ideal for products that will be present in high pressure, high temperature environments. Furthermore, E-glass in particular contains more than 50% SiO2. SiO2 and B2O3 are the main network formers, further emphasizing the utility of this product.

Glass Fiber Packing

Flexible graphite packing

Flexible graphite is another product used in braided packing, in part because it consists of 95% to 99% carbon. It is the softest material, with a Mohs hardness of 1 out of 10, but can withstand high temperatures and has a high level of chemical resistance. While some prefer fiberglass rope to flexible graphite, it is still the classic material associated with braided packing.

Flexible Graphite Packing

Ceramic Fiber Packing

Returning to products known for their high temperature resistance, we turn to ceramic fiber cloth. This particular material is known to withstand temperatures up to 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit—making it more durable than fiberglass rope. The strength of this particular product means it should not be discounted, even when compared to flexible graphite and fiberglass rope.

Ceramic Fiber Packing

Ultimately, the type of material used for braided packing depends on the specific use of the braided packing, as well as the costs associated with the order and the long-term needs of the buyer. However, when choosing materials, relying on materials such as glass fiber rope, flexible graphite, and ceramic fiber cloth, the effect will not be bad. There is a reason these materials have long been valued in the braided packing industry.