Explaining the difference between G10 and Micarta

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
User avatar
glbpro
Member
Posts: 308
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:26 pm
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Explaining the difference between G10 and Micarta

Postby glbpro » Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:49 am

Greetings everyone,

What do you think is the best way to explain the difference between G10 and Micarta to somebody who is interested in knives but not all that technically inclined? A person who understands what fabric/cloth is and what glue/epoxy is but who doesn't understand what carbon fiber or fiberglass is.

Thanks in advance.

Bruno

yablanowitz
Member
Posts: 4983
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 2:16 pm
Location: Liberal, Kansas

Re: Explaining the difference between G10 and Micarta

Postby yablanowitz » Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:41 pm

I'm afraid that if they don't understand what fiberglass or carbon fiber is, for them there is no difference between Micarta and G-10. It's all just "that stuff on the handle". The resin used in Micarta gives more grip wet than it does dry, where G-10 tends to give less grip when wet, which is one reason it is usually textured rather than polished.

MacLaren
Member
Posts: 4233
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:59 pm
Location: Asheville,NC,USA,Earth

Re: Explaining the difference between G10 and Micarta

Postby MacLaren » Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:44 pm

yablanowitz wrote:I'm afraid that if they don't understand what fiberglass or carbon fiber is, for them there is no difference between Micarta and G-10. It's all just "that stuff on the handle". The resin used in Micarta gives more grip wet than it does dry, where G-10 tends to give less grip when wet, which is one reason it is usually textured rather than polished.
This√

KevinOubre
Member
Posts: 111
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:55 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Re: Explaining the difference between G10 and Micarta

Postby KevinOubre » Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:28 pm

yablanowitz wrote:I'm afraid that if they don't understand what fiberglass or carbon fiber is, for them there is no difference between Micarta and G-10. It's all just "that stuff on the handle". The resin used in Micarta gives more grip wet than it does dry, where G-10 tends to give less grip when wet, which is one reason it is usually textured rather than polished.

Its not the resin that makes micarta grippy. It's the cloth fibers that swell when exposed to moisture that give you increased surface area and therefore grip. Since g10 is a fiberglass like material, the fibers cant do that. Though G10 does absorb less gunk than micarta.

User avatar
Surfingringo
Member
Posts: 5094
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:02 pm
Location: Costa Rica

Re: Explaining the difference between G10 and Micarta

Postby Surfingringo » Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:54 pm

Would someone mind telling me the difference? I have worked with fiberglass a fair bit, with both epoxy and polyester resin, but I really don't know anything about how g10 or micarta are made, or what the difference is. Thanks.

User avatar
Stuart Ackerman
Member
Posts: 1653
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 2:39 pm
Location: New Zealand
Contact:

Re: Explaining the difference between G10 and Micarta

Postby Stuart Ackerman » Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:12 pm

Cloth / Canvas/ Cotton Micarta is made using a phenolic resin, which cures under heat and pressure...layers of cloth saturated in the resin, and pressed in a mold and heated...

Paper Micarta uses the same method, but uses paper instead of a cloth material..

G10 is glass fibres and epoxy resin in pressure plates, and the epoxy cures with its own heat and cure time...
The colours are dependant on the glass fibre colours and the resin colours...

hoimin
Member
Posts: 446
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:39 am
Location: Toronto

Re: Explaining the difference between G10 and Micarta

Postby hoimin » Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:16 pm

I'm no expert, but based on what I've seen and read (http://www.knifecenter.com/info/knife-handle-materials" target="_blank), G-10, Micarta, and Carbon Fiber are just thermoset resin blends (liquid plastic) reinforced by layers of some sort of woven cloth that are soaked in the resin. It is then baked/hardened/cured into a lightweight, and very strong material that can be carved, milled, cut into whatever you want.

The difference between the three are generally determined by the material that makes up the reinforcing cloth layers.
G-10: Fiberglass - strands of glass woven into a cloth
Micarta: commonly linen; any cloth really
Carbon Fiber: strands of carbon woven into a cloth

User avatar
Surfingringo
Member
Posts: 5094
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:02 pm
Location: Costa Rica

Re: Explaining the difference between G10 and Micarta

Postby Surfingringo » Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:17 pm

Stuart Ackerman wrote:Cloth / Canvas/ Cotton Micarta is made using a phenolic resin, which cures under heat and pressure...layers of cloth saturated in the resin, and pressed in a mold and heated...

Paper Micarta uses the same method, but uses paper instead of a cloth material..

G10 is glass fibres and epoxy resin in pressure plates, and the epoxy cures with its own heat and cure time...
The colours are dependant on the glass fibre colours and the resin colours...
Thank you Stuart. As far as the different colors go I would assume with the g10 they just tint the resin, but with micarta it might have more to do with the color of the cloth they use?

User avatar
The Deacon
Member
Posts: 24469
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:33 am
Location: Upstate SC, USA
Contact:

Re: Explaining the difference between G10 and Micarta

Postby The Deacon » Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:22 pm

KevinOubre wrote:Its not the resin that makes micarta grippy. It's the cloth fibers that swell when exposed to moisture that give you increased surface area and therefore grip. Since g10 is a fiberglass like material, the fibers cant do that. Though G10 does absorb less gunk than micarta.
Sorry, but that makes no sense. Cotton, linen, and cloth are all absorbent materials, and once saturated with the resin they cannot react with moisture. As Yablanowitz stated, it's the phenolic resin that gives "original recipe" Micarta it's grip. Bakelite, which is basically the phenolic resin without the paper or cloth "filler" has the same "grippier when wet" property. Granted, not all Micarta today will act that way, since Micarta is now nothing more than a trademark owned by Norplex that can be applied to composites made with any type of resin.

G-10, on the other hand, is a NEMA specification, that calls for fiberglass cloth and a specific type of epoxy resin and is only one of a number of similar specifications including G-3, G-11, and FR-4 among others.

In the broadest sense, Micarta, CF composites, FRN, G-10, and the other NEMA composite specs, are just modern examples of an ancient technology that began when someone discovered that reeds mixed with mud made stronger bricks and walls than mud alone.

Composites can either be organized, like G-10, Micarta, and most CF composites, all of which use a woven material of some kind for strength, or disorganized, like FRN, FRCP and some forms of CF composites, which use short strands of fiberglass, carbon fiber, or some other "thread" mixed with a resin of some kind.
Paul
My Personal Website ---- Beginners Guide to Spyderco Collecting ---- Spydiewiki
Deplorable :p
WTC # 1458 - 1504 - 1508 - Never Forget, Never Forgive!

KevinOubre
Member
Posts: 111
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:55 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Re: Explaining the difference between G10 and Micarta

Postby KevinOubre » Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:37 pm

The Deacon wrote:
KevinOubre wrote:Its not the resin that makes micarta grippy. It's the cloth fibers that swell when exposed to moisture that give you increased surface area and therefore grip. Since g10 is a fiberglass like material, the fibers cant do that. Though G10 does absorb less gunk than micarta.
Sorry, but that makes no sense. Cotton, linen, and cloth are all absorbent materials, and once saturated with the resin they cannot react with moisture. As Yablanowitz stated, it's the phenolic resin that gives "original recipe" Micarta it's grip. Bakelite, which is basically the phenolic resin without the paper or cloth "filler" has the same "grippier when wet" property. Granted, not all Micarta today will act that way, since Micarta is now nothing more than a trademark owned by Norplex that can be applied to composites made with any type of resin.

G-10, on the other hand, is a NEMA specification, that calls for fiberglass cloth and a specific type of epoxy resin and is only one of a number of similar specifications including G-3, G-11, and FR-4 among others.

In the broadest sense, Micarta, CF composites, FRN, G-10, and the other NEMA composite specs, are just modern examples of an ancient technology that began when someone discovered that reeds mixed with mud made stronger bricks and walls than mud alone.

Composites can either be organized, like G-10, Micarta, and most CF composites, all of which use a woven material of some kind for strength, or disorganized, like FRN, FRCP and some forms of CF composites, which use short strands of fiberglass, carbon fiber, or some other "thread" mixed with a resin of some kind.
I see what youre saying. I have never held baklite so I cant comment on that. I do know that all the micartas on my ESEEs and BK9 feel more cloth like when wet which is what I attributed the grip to. Its like the fibers swell slightly when they get sweaty during use. Granted these are pretty rough finished micarta so it has a coarser texture in itself and may contribute to it. I know it get very little traction on polished micarta when it is wet which is why I never thought about the resin. But as you said, people use various different resins now.

User avatar
paladin
Member
Posts: 1879
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2011 5:51 pm
Location: Hotel Carlton-San Francisco

Re: Explaining the difference between G10 and Micarta

Postby paladin » Tue Nov 04, 2014 4:03 pm

The Deacon wrote:
KevinOubre wrote: In the broadest sense, Micarta, CF composites, FRN, G-10, and the other NEMA composite specs, are just modern examples of an ancient technology that began when someone*** discovered that reeds mixed with mud made stronger bricks and walls than mud alone.
That would be Moses***, but Pharaoh didn't include the reeds in the budget the following year...amazingly production did not drop off, but brick toughness decreased quadratically

User avatar
glbpro
Member
Posts: 308
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:26 pm
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Re: Explaining the difference between G10 and Micarta

Postby glbpro » Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:10 pm

hoimin wrote:The difference between the three are generally determined by the material that makes up the reinforcing cloth layers.
G-10: Fiberglass - strands of glass woven into a cloth
Micarta: commonly linen; any cloth really
Carbon Fiber: strands of carbon woven into a cloth
I think this is the key to getting the person to understand - would it be fair to say that these materials are all some sort of 'reinforced plastic' (the resin) and that the difference is what is used to do the reinforcing?

Also, how does one produce 'strands' of glass? I thought glass was a supercooled liquid?

User avatar
paladin
Member
Posts: 1879
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2011 5:51 pm
Location: Hotel Carlton-San Francisco

Re: Explaining the difference between G10 and Micarta

Postby paladin » Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:57 pm

glbpro wrote: I thought glass was a supercooled liquid?
No offense bro., that myth has been debunked...a case of bad science that rivals Piltdown Man...

Cautionary tales that scientists sometimes chose to deceive the world for perverse reasons

bdblue
Member
Posts: 1329
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:04 pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Explaining the difference between G10 and Micarta

Postby bdblue » Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:05 pm

When I discovered Micarta years ago I thought it was very interesting. When I saw it, mostly paper and linen, I thought it was great stuff. Canvas Micarta is also interesting but for different reasons. I've bought a lot of custom knives with various micarta over the years. Recently I got a couple of knives with sculpted and/or polished G10, one of which is a Vallotton, and it is also pretty nice stuff. The polished G10 looks about the same to me as polished Micarta, and I suppose it would be interchangeable for my uses.

I would like to have some sculpted polished G10 scales for my Para 2.

Now that I think about it, I have one of the older Lum tanto fixed blades. I wonder if it has polished G10 or polished Micarta.

User avatar
glbpro
Member
Posts: 308
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:26 pm
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Re: Explaining the difference between G10 and Micarta

Postby glbpro » Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:17 pm

paladin wrote:
glbpro wrote: I thought glass was a supercooled liquid?
No offense bro., that myth has been debunked...a case of bad science that rivals Piltdown Man...

Cautionary tales that scientists sometimes chose to deceive the world for perverse reasons
Haha! Glad to know that! So what *is* glass and how can it be made into fibers?

Cliff Stamp
Member
Posts: 3852
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 2:23 pm
Location: Earth
Contact:

Re: Explaining the difference between G10 and Micarta

Postby Cliff Stamp » Wed Nov 05, 2014 11:32 am

glbpro wrote:
What do you think is the best way to explain the difference between G10 and Micarta to somebody who is interested in knives but not all that technically inclined? A person who understands what fabric/cloth is and what glue/epoxy is but who doesn't understand what carbon fiber or fiberglass is.
If they understand what fabric is and what glass is then it should be easy for them to understand what fibre - glass means. Fibre is a very generic term, fibres can be all sorts of materials. G10 is in fact a type of Micarta, just one that uses a different material with the resin.

User avatar
glbpro
Member
Posts: 308
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:26 pm
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Re: Explaining the difference between G10 and Micarta

Postby glbpro » Fri Nov 07, 2014 3:32 am

Thanks everyone for your replies, I believe the person understands now, and I've learned something too :)

Bruno

User avatar
The Deacon
Member
Posts: 24469
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:33 am
Location: Upstate SC, USA
Contact:

Re: Explaining the difference between G10 and Micarta

Postby The Deacon » Fri Nov 07, 2014 5:41 am

Cliff Stamp wrote:G10 is in fact a type of Micarta, just one that uses a different material with the resin.
Only partially true. Nowadays Micarta can be anything Norplex decides to call Micarta, so it could, conceivably use the same epoxy resin that the NEMA specification requires for G-10. However "traditional" Micarta, made the way it's been made for nearly 100 years and the way Norplex continues to make at least some of its Micarta, requires a formaldehyde phenolic resin that is hardened by heat while the epoxy resin used for G-10 hardens due to a catalytic reaction that normally occurs at room temperature. G-3 would be the NEMA spec equivalent of traditional Micarta, since it combines a fabric made of glass fiber with a heat-set phenolic resin.
Paul
My Personal Website ---- Beginners Guide to Spyderco Collecting ---- Spydiewiki
Deplorable :p
WTC # 1458 - 1504 - 1508 - Never Forget, Never Forgive!

Cliff Stamp
Member
Posts: 3852
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 2:23 pm
Location: Earth
Contact:

Re: Explaining the difference between G10 and Micarta

Postby Cliff Stamp » Fri Nov 07, 2014 8:01 am

The Deacon wrote:Only partially true.
Micarta, is a trade name, a trademark and also a generic term for resin impregnated fibers.

It doesn't make a lot of sense to use one definition to correct a statement made where another is used. That is how the "theory" of evolution is refuted because after all it is only a theory, and a theory is only a loose guess.

User avatar
The Deacon
Member
Posts: 24469
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:33 am
Location: Upstate SC, USA
Contact:

Re: Explaining the difference between G10 and Micarta

Postby The Deacon » Fri Nov 07, 2014 8:50 am

Cliff Stamp wrote:
The Deacon wrote:Only partially true.
Micarta, is a trade name, a trademark and also a generic term for resin impregnated fibers.

It doesn't make a lot of sense to use one definition to correct a statement made where another is used. That is how the "theory" of evolution is refuted because after all it is only a theory, and a theory is only a loose guess.
:rolleyes: Should have known you'd never admit to being anything less than 100% right. What you're doing is just continuing the debasement of language to the point where anyone can use any word to mean whatever they darn well please. I know that Norplex could make G-10 and label it Micarta, but there does need to be some attempt made to understand what "real" Micarta is. On the other hand, anyone calling a product made with fiber glass cloth and phenolic resin G-10 would be guilty of false advertising. It could be made, it could be sold, but the correct label for it would be G-3, not G-10 So, regardless of how badly the term Micarta has been broadened by the trademark holder, your contention that
Cliff Stamp wrote:G10 is in fact a type of Micarta, just one that uses a different material with the resin.
is still incorrect in that, while today Norplex can use any resin the please to make Micarta, only a specific type of resin can be used to make G-10. Unless, of course, you are now contending that G-10 has also become anything folks wish to call G-10.
Paul
My Personal Website ---- Beginners Guide to Spyderco Collecting ---- Spydiewiki
Deplorable :p
WTC # 1458 - 1504 - 1508 - Never Forget, Never Forgive!


Return to “Spyderco General Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: attila, Bing [Bot], Google [Bot], Psryan255, RLR, Texan42 and 53 guests