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Fillers & Reinforcements: What’s the Difference?

Discover how to choose the best filler or reinforcement for your application needs.


Are you an engineer or product development expert faced with the material selection task? If so, you might also be looking to specify a material filler that will help your product perform better than the competition.
Let’s face it: bringing a new product to market can be a daunting process. Especially when the question of material selection comes up. 
To develop a successful, market-viable product, you must weigh your application’s performance needs with other considerations such as end user preferences, processing limitations, and regulatory implications. Make no mistake – material selection is hard because the right material can be the difference between mediocre market responses a runaway success. 
When your application demands game changing performance, choosing the best filler or reinforcement is just as important as the choice of polymer. And being able to make smart decisions about fillers early in the design process will give you a greater likelihood of success. 

When you need to choose a filler or reinforcement, you may rely on tried and true solutions. Take glass fiber reinforcements, for example. Short-glass fiber, when chopped into lengths of less than one-half inch, has long been used to improve the stiffness and impact strength of a product. But you owe it to yourself to look at alternatives, such as:

  • Long-glass fibers for even more impact strength than that of short-glass fiber
  • Milled glass and glass beads for improved mold flow, surface appearance and dimensional stability
  • Carbon and aramid fibers for lightweight, high-end reinforcement and more tensile strength and creep resistance than short-glass fibers
  • Bio-based fibers for an improved life cycle analysis, a lower density and lower tool abrasion than that of short-glass fiber

Similarly, you may have your tried-and-true favorites when it comes to other application requirements. Have you ever needed to make a plastic compound electrically or thermally conductive? Or maybe you needed to boost strength, reduce cost, add an opaque appearance, or create a denser feel. Is radiation shielding a requirement for your application? A slight tweak in the approach to your material formulations can have a huge effect on your product outcome.

Download our eBook, What’s the Difference?™ Fillers & Reinforcements, to learn more about the pluses and minuses of a wide variety of options within each filler and reinforcement category:

  • Mineral Fillers
  • Conductive Fillers
  • Fiber Reinforcements
  • Metallic Fillers

What’s the Difference?™ Fillers & Reinforcements

Need more information on filler and reinforcement options for a particular application? Look no further.

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