Atlas Fibre offers FR-4, a glass epoxy laminate that is similar to G-10 with the addition of being flame retardant. FR-4 is known for having good characteristics for fabrication, mechanical strength, and insulation resistance. Learn more about the uses, benefits, and properties of FR-4 material.
FR-4 consists of woven fiberglass and a flame-retardant epoxy resin. It’s often used as an insulator in dry or humid conditions. Because it offers consistently excellent mechanical and electrical performance, it’s considered a generalist material that works for various applications.
The FR in FR-4 stands for “flame retardant,” while the 4 signifies that it’s a glass epoxy.
FR-4’s most notable property is its flame retardance. Flame-retardant materials such as FR-4 are imbued with chemicals that help slow the spread of fire. FR-4 also has excellent electrical properties, making it a good pick for use in circuit boards.
Other notable FR-4 properties include:
*Atlas Fibre LLC provides this data as information only and does not imply any warranty for its use or application. Test results for a specific sheet or lot are available for a fee upon request.
FR-4 is the younger sibling of G-10, a glass epoxy material first introduced in the 1950s. While there are slight property differences between the two types of glass epoxy, the most notable difference is that FR-4 is flame retardant.
If you need to, you can swap in FR-4 for applications that call for G-10. However, you can’t use G-10 in applications that require FR-4, as G-10 doesn’t offer the same resistance to flame.
FR-4 is fabricated in a way similar to G-10 and can be worked on standard cutting machines. Both materials have a low shearing strength and require less rake and greater clearances of the cutting tools.
FR-4 offers several benefits, including:
Depending on how and where it is used, FR-4 can offer a long life span. When placed inside of equipment or machinery, FR-4 can be a permanent material that doesn’t need replacement. However, ultraviolet light will compromise the substance’s structural integrity and shorten its life considerably, so it will need regular replacement in outdoor applications.
FR-4 is available in sheets, rods, and tubes. It is used across multiple industries and applications, representing an essential element in the following products:
While G-10 is still occasionally used, FR-4 has largely replaced it in many applications.
Should you use FR-4, G-10 or another material entirely? If you’re not sure, let us help. Atlas Fibre is North America’s primary supplier of thermoset composite materials. We have the largest in-stock inventory on the continent. We’re here to act as a resource center for you, helping you choose the materials that will best serve your project and reduce your project complexity and costs.
Contact us today for a quote or assistance with product selection.