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Old 09-28-2012, 06:47 PM   #61
therivermonster OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stumpy-ktm View Post
hey buddy , i think your using too much hardener .... i do a 2-4% of the volume of resin , i also use polyester resin ... so if i make up 500ml it is only 10ml of hardener .....when i was using too much hardener i was getting same results as u ......
cheers blair
I think that it depends what resin system you're using, right? And epoxy is a lot different then say a poly resin in that the ratio of MEKP to poly resin is much lower then the ratio of epoxy resin to hardner. Isn't this right?

The resin that I am using (MAX CLR-HP) calls for a 2:1 resin/hardner ratio. When I put the first layer of resin on the plug, I mixed 60 grams or resin with 30 grams of hardner. This is correct isn't it?

I'm curious if there was something on the surface of the plug that the resin didn't want to stick to. About 15 minutes before I started applying the resin, I cleaned the part with rubbing alcohol, but I wouldn't imagine that this would cause the fish eye.

Quote:
Originally Posted by klx_dude View Post
If your using gte spray bottle as a mold you didn't say anything about putting on mould release agent ?
I put two coats of Partall wax on the spray bottle followed by two coats of PVA. Hopefully this works.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:21 PM   #62
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Epoxy Problems - Fisheye

I have been researching the fish eye epoxy problem for a little while now and it sounds like it comes down to a couple different problems; surface contaminents and surface tension.
A number of articles that I read mentioned how body filler is very pourous and can act like a sponge. I wonder if I didn't wait long enough between when I wiped the plug down with denatured alcohol and applied the first coat of epoxy. There may have still been alcohol in the filler which acted as a contaminant to the epoxy.
Also, some solvents like the ones you get at Wallmart and the hardware stores will not completely evaporate. Therefor if you are going to use a solvent before epoxy or paint, you should look for solvents sold at auto body stores which will evaporate clean.
Fisheye can also be caused by the coat being applied too thin allowing the surface tension of the material to pull it apart in places.
Who knew?!!
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:34 AM   #63
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The plug you have made has a surface finish that will mean any mould made from it will have the exact same final finish. Plugs need A1 surface finish, and this can be achieved with 2K high build primer, and 2K top coat machine polished to mirror finish.

Fish eyeing has almost certainly occurred due to release agent that has not been allowed to dry completely, but if tou are intending to make a mould then you need far better surface finish, and then apply 4 coats of wax release, letting each dry, then a final coat of PVA.

Contact moulding carbon is certainly possible, but parts will generally always be resin rich, surface finish is often not that great, and parts wont be that much stronger or lighter than GRP.

I would suggest working with GRP for few months, then have a look at using carbon with vacuum of some sort.
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:37 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by therivermonster View Post
I think that it depends what resin system you're using, right? And epoxy is a lot different then say a poly resin in that the ratio of MEKP to poly resin is much lower then the ratio of epoxy resin to hardner. Isn't this right?

The resin that I am using (MAX CLR-HP) calls for a 2:1 resin/hardner ratio. When I put the first layer of resin on the plug, I mixed 60 grams or resin with 30 grams of hardner. This is correct isn't it?

I'm curious if there was something on the surface of the plug that the resin didn't want to stick to. About 15 minutes before I started applying the resin, I cleaned the part with rubbing alcohol, but I wouldn't imagine that this would cause the fish eye.



I put two coats of Partall wax on the spray bottle followed by two coats of PVA. Hopefully this works.

Why use a solvent on a plug which should have been properly prepared with release agent?
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:13 AM   #65
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i was just going to ask the exact thing twin..... there should be no touching with any thing after you have done the mold release and pva .... other than the resin of course .....i agree with also spraying a hi fill primer and 2k paint polished and buffed ..... but its all good learning ... and you are having a ball by the look of it . good luck
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Old 09-29-2012, 02:14 AM   #66
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Not completely sure that release is going to be that easy after a plug has been wiped down with solvent?
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:36 AM   #67
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I'm just about to head out the door and get this trip started, but I'll answer some questions first...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twin-shocker View Post
Why use a solvent on a plug which should have been properly prepared with release agent?
I was not applying the epoxy to the plug to begin layup of a mold. I was applying it to help smooth out the surface of the plug; in essence, the epoxy has become part of the plug. I had read that people use epoxy as a final coat to their plugs to get a super smooth finish. Maybe it wasn't the best idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stumpy-ktm View Post
i was just going to ask the exact thing twin..... there should be no touching with any thing after you have done the mold release and pva .... other than the resin of course .....i agree with also spraying a hi fill primer and 2k paint polished and buffed ..... but its all good learning ... and you are having a ball by the look of it . good luck
I am having a ball. Stumpy, like mentioned above, I didn't apply the epoxy as part of a mold creation process. It's simply the end coat on the plug. The goal was to take advantage of the self leveling properties of the epoxy, but that didn't work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twin-shocker View Post
Not completely sure that release is going to be that easy after a plug has been wiped down with solvent?
I completely agree. I won't use solvent when I get ready to wax and PVA the plug in the future.

Update...

The fiber glass and carbon fiber layup that I did yesterday poped off the little spray bottle like it wasn't even on there. Crazy! I trimmed it up with the dremel and did a bit of sanding on the edges. After a quick wash in the sink it looks awesome (for being a copy of the side of a spray bottle).
To be honest, I'm very impressed with it myself and it seems super strong.

I'll post pics when I get back.
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:01 AM   #68
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A few observations......... Your mix ratio is spot on, and as was pointed out, it depends on the system your using. As another inmate pointed out, too much catalyst could mimic your orange peel surface texture..... IF it was polyester.....but it is not,and epoxy's relationship of the two parts are measured by weight.....not by volume, as polyesters are. So you are good there.

The reason you get the orange peel, can be a couple issues. Without me being there I cannot say 100%, but I will put my money on the surface tension, as well as you guessed. A few things can do thi, with epoxy, as polyesters behaves differently. A slight breeze, like a shop fan, is a big no-no. some people cures their matrix'es in the winter with a forces air heater.....no-no. Use an non convective infrared heater. But.... Try a layup without the wax. I use the same system as you do, but a little inside secret..... I do not even buy the wax. Only reason it is there, is to get a good release of the film to the mold.... This stuff is water soluble, and whatever is left will rinse off. Waxes are sort of the devil, but a neccesity with polyesters, where you see this a lot. If your mold , weather it is a bottle or a plug,.... has two coats of release agent ( the green stuff from Polymer products) and it is smooth.... then your epoxy should layup smooth as well. Finger smears.....grease prints will alter this, so don't touch after the pva film. Lastly....a high bubble content in the mixed resin can also yield the orange peel texture, as the bubbles pop, but that depends on the curing state of the resin.

If it happens again..... try to get a chemical resistant sprayer.... fill it with acetone...... lightly spray the top , to break the surface tension.... It is like magic, it also gets rid of the bubbles.....

Since you like experimenting..... Here is a project for you..... to venture further onto the dark side. Try to mechanically degass the resin....... This is straight forward, but important that you experiment first. There are many ways to mechanically de-gas resins. Ultrasound is one, but heat is another. You do put the resin under stress, and will experience reduced working times, but for smaller projects you can get away with it. Mix a small tester, say 20/40 gram of CLR-HP.... Do try to mix with resin temps over 80, as below you are the bubblenator....... after the mix.... set the cup under a 150 watt IR heat lamp ( you will need this in the winter time anyway....any hardware store), about 8-10 inches away poining straight down the cup..... After 5 minutes watch the convection going, and the bubbles coming to the surface and popping. How long..... Varies.... with resin start temp..... ambient temp.... resin weight.....etc. So experiment first.
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:03 AM   #69
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Went back and read the whole page..... No alcohol either..... water only. Water is about as ph neutral as you can get.... All the pieces I make..... I use water only... to clean the mold..... and the pieces.
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:56 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebrabaek View Post
A few observations......... Your mix ratio is spot on, and as was pointed out, it depends on the system your using. As another inmate pointed out, too much catalyst could mimic your orange peel surface texture..... IF it was polyester.....but it is not,and epoxy's relationship of the two parts are measured by weight.....not by volume, as polyesters are. So you are good there.
OK. Good!

The reason you get the orange peel, can be a couple issues. Without me being there I cannot say 100%, but I will put my money on the surface tension, as well as you guessed. A few things can do thi, with epoxy, as polyesters behaves differently. A slight breeze, like a shop fan, is a big no-no. some people cures their matrix'es in the winter with a forces air heater.....no-no. Use an non convective infrared heater. But....
I did have a fan going that was pointed at the ceiling to get sort of a convection effect with the heat in the room. The air was gently coming down on the plug.
When I first saw the fish eyeing, I looked at the fan and thought to myself, "no way". But I did turn it off. When I repainted it with epoxy, the fish eyeing didn't happen again, but I just thought I got lucky.
NO FAN NEXT TIME, BLANE!!

Try a layup without the wax. I use the same system as you do, but a little inside secret..... I do not even buy the wax. Only reason it is there, is to get a good release of the film to the mold.... This stuff is water soluble, and whatever is left will rinse off. Waxes are sort of the devil, but a neccesity with polyesters, where you see this a lot. If your mold , weather it is a bottle or a plug,.... has two coats of release agent ( the green stuff from Polymer products) and it is smooth.... then your epoxy should layup smooth as well. Finger smears.....grease prints will alter this, so don't touch after the pva film. Lastly....a high bubble content in the mixed resin can also yield the orange peel texture, as the bubbles pop, but that depends on the curing state of the resin.
I'll try it without the wax next time, but I'll make sure that I have a few good coats of PVA. No touching after PVA.

If it happens again..... try to get a chemical resistant sprayer.... fill it with acetone...... lightly spray the top , to break the surface tension.... It is like magic, it also gets rid of the bubbles.....
That's funny that you bring this up, because I have already obtained a bottle for just this use. I saw you spraying the pox in your video. I'll try this out next time.

Since you like experimenting..... Here is a project for you..... to venture further onto the dark side. Try to mechanically degass the resin....... This is straight forward, but important that you experiment first. There are many ways to mechanically de-gas resins. Ultrasound is one, but heat is another. You do put the resin under stress, and will experience reduced working times, but for smaller projects you can get away with it. Mix a small tester, say 20/40 gram of CLR-HP.... Do try to mix with resin temps over 80, as below you are the bubblenator....... after the mix.... set the cup under a 150 watt IR heat lamp ( you will need this in the winter time anyway....any hardware store), about 8-10 inches away poining straight down the cup..... After 5 minutes watch the convection going, and the bubbles coming to the surface and popping. How long..... Varies.... with resin start temp..... ambient temp.... resin weight.....etc. So experiment first.
I'll try this out. It sounds interesting. Maybe I'll give vacuum degassing a shot soon. That's pretty neat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebrabaek View Post
Went back and read the whole page..... No alcohol either..... water only. Water is about as ph neutral as you can get.... All the pieces I make..... I use water only... to clean the mold..... and the pieces.
I'll try nice clean water in the future.
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, Rocks Flyin', Me Cryin', and God Looking On - A WABDR Adventure, Fun With Carbon Fiber
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:15 AM   #71
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First Part...

We're back frome running section two of the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route. It was a blast.

Here's the Jeep enjoying the view.


My buddy Curtis was a great companion for the trip.


Now back to business...

To recap, I wanted to practice laying up some fiber glass cloth on a little spray bottle that I had laying around, so I did. When I finished up with that I figured "why not put one piece of carbon fiber cloth on top.

Here is the layup curing.


I trimmed it up a bit after it had cured a little while, then pulled the composite from the bottle. It came off the bottle very eaisly.


I was surprised with how well the outside of the bottle had printed onto the inside of the part; even down to the small texture on the plastic.


I just trimmed it up with the dremell. I wouldn't say that this was hard, but I was still a bit tough to cut through.


Here the rough part has been cut from the ragged ends of the cured layup.


I sanded the part on the belt sander, then sanded a bit by hand. The edge was very easy to finish with 60 and 220 grit sand paper.
Here the part has been washed with clean water. The PVA washed out very eaisly. Check out the outline from the label of the bottle as well as the ridges.


Here it is, my first carbon fiber hand guard! (spray bottle part) Shhhh.


I don't have a pic of the following test, but we did run the part over with the Jeeps rear tire. You can see on the edges where the part pressed into the pavement, but the part held its shape perfectly with no damage. This stuff is super strong.

I'll do it again and take pics if you guys want. Let me know...

Now its back to work on the mini fairing plug. I need to sand it smooth, then create the flange support in order to make a two part mold. I think that I'll make the flange support out of foam board.

I'll post pictures of the process as I continue...
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:26 AM   #72
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Carbon part looks fine...........most seem to want mirror smooth finish though! You need to spray plug with 2K high build primer, wet sand, finally using 600g, then spray with black 2K top coat, wet sand, finally using 1200g, then machine polish with cutting compound to provide A1 surface finish. I would suggest making moulds using polyester tooling gel coat, and filled polyester resins designed for this purpose.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:22 AM   #73
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Carbon part looks fine...........most seem to want mirror smooth finish though! You need to spray plug with 2K high build primer, wet sand, finally using 600g, then spray with black 2K top coat, wet sand, finally using 1200g, then machine polish with cutting compound to provide A1 surface finish. I would suggest making moulds using polyester tooling gel coat, and filled polyester resins designed for this purpose.
Thanks, Twin!
I'll try finishing using that system on the next plug.
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:11 PM   #74
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Laying up the plug...

I decided to use the mini fairing plug as a male mold and just get it over with. I want to be done with that thing already, but I have to make something with it, so here we go...

I sanded the badly fisheyed epoxied plug with 60 grit, then 220 grit sand paper. This brought most of the bumps down and left a fairly smooth surface.
I decided to apply a couple of coats of wax this time around to help smooth the surface a little more.


The wax did a great job of filling in all the little scratches left by the sand paper and brought out a very nice shine in the plug.


Then it was time to brush a couple of coats of PVA mold release onto the plug. While these coats dried, I cut the pieces of carbon fiber.


I layed a piece of bubble wrap over the plug and cut out the template for the fabric (I did this before applying the wax or PVA). Then I used the bubble wrap template as a guide to cut out the pieces of fabric.


I situated the pieces neatly at my workstation. Having everything in place before starting with epoxy really seems to be paying off.


I brushed on the first layer of epoxy and layed on the first piece of carbon fiber fabric. I was really surprised how well the fabric contoured to the shape of the plug. The only seam I had to make was at the bottom of the plug. No big deal.


There's that little seam.


All the pieces have been layed up. I should really bring a little cooler of beer into the shop for sipping while I work.


I trimmed all of the dry fabric away which there was quite a bit of. I'll have to get better at figuring out how big to make the pattern.
I'll keep these trimmings in bags for times when I need to mix fibers in with epoxy to make mounts or fittings for parts.


After an hour and a half or so, I decided to trim it up a little bit more to help with releasing the part more efficiantly. It was odd cutting through three layers of wetted CF fabric. The stuff felt like what I would imagine pre-preg to feel like.
Now we'll let it sit for a day or so to set up. I'll take photos of the finishing process.
I have been wondering if this would fit on any of the little kid motorcycles. I bet it's too small though.


While I was at it, I sanded the little bottle layup that I had finished earlier this weekend. I used 60 grit, then 220 to get a semi smooth surface. This does sand away a bit of the outside fiber, but once sprayed with clear laquer it looks way better - more like a mirror finish that you would see on most CF parts. Next time I'll sand up to 800 grit. I bet this will leave a much better surface finish.
This pic is after sanding and spraying. It's not meant to look pretty, but simply to illustrate a technique that might work to make the parts look a little better. I think that earabaek des something like this too, which has seemed to work well for him.


I only used one layer of 5.7 OZ fabric. Notice how much light you can see though the weave when you hold the part up the light.
It's really not a problem though, because you'd probably use more layers of CF for "real" parts.


Anyhow, time to get some lax in for the weekend. It's been a great one for sure.

I'll post more when I finish the very awesome little Dakar style mini fairing that we have been working on. I'm sure that it'll turn out great!

This stuff really is easy, people. Check out the resources in the first post of this thread an place your order for materials. You'll be making CF stuff in no time.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:52 PM   #75
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Be very careful about cutting, sanding or grinding carbon fiber. I have been told it is VERY bad for you to inhale it. Not unlike asbestos. Just be sure to use an appropriate mask and dust control.

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