Considering Peel Ply for a new build

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by hardcoreducknut, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. hardcoreducknut
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    hardcoreducknut Junior Member

    Ok, I am getting the bug to build another boat in my garage. This will be the third one I have done, but what's holding me back is the thought of grinding and sanding. I've done a lot of reading on the forum and I'm considering peel ply as a possible solution to minimize sanding.

    A couple of things I want to mention. One, this will be a hand layup. Two, it's a hunting boat so a matte finish is welcome.

    My one question is what about the overlapping of the peel ply edges? The boat will be wider than 60" and therefore I will have overlapping edges of the peel ply. Will there be a line running down the edge of the bottom layer of peel ply? Any way to avoid this? :confused:
     
  2. jorgepease
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    jorgepease Senior Member

    overlapping of glass you will have a slight ridge, overlapping peelply does nothing. Great thing about peel ply is you can roll over it and it will remove some excess resin and preserve your roller longer. Gives a nice matt finish which you can sand down ready for paint.
     
  3. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    If you try to put large sections of peel ply on a hull, you invariably get puckers, voids and the like.

    I have found it better to use smaller, more managable size 'patches', say 1 metre square maximum, and sand out the ridges later. The ridges are easy to sand, and not nearly as bad as a whole lot of runs.

    If you layup epoxy carefully, the only place you need peelply is on the sides where you get runs, and even these can be minimised if you have the time to monitor and smooth out the epoxy when its still liquid.

    If you warm the epoxy slightly as it is applied with a warm air blower, the lower viscosity makes any potential runs appear instantly, instead of 8 hours later when you come back to what you thought was a perfect job.
     
  4. Tungsten
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    Tungsten Senior Member

    Couldn't imagine not using it. Once you try it youll never go with out
     

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  5. Tungsten
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    Tungsten Senior Member

    Close up
     

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  6. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Peel ply works well and most experienced users discover it's benefits and employ it regularly, though it doesn't eliminate much sanding. It's role is to protect the surface from contaminates, air and moisture. By doing this you can all but eliminate many issues, such as blush blooms, suicidal bugs, dust, etc. It can also help you shape surfaces with goo on them, though there are other techniques that also perform this.

    Working neat, careful planning during the epoxy run and technique will cut down on the amount of sanding you need. For example, eventually you'll learn to make neat, crisp fillets, so that you don't have to go back and spend a half a day sanding them smooth.

    To answer your question, well sometimes you have no choice and a seam or lap joint will have to be handled. Instead of wondering how to contend with this, just consider the amount of work you'd need if you hadn't used the peel ply in the first place. In other words, while you're flattening out the seam, consider how much happier your elbows will be, not having to flatten the whole area.

    Simply put, sanding is the butt kicker of this sort of thing, so read up and practice the techniques and methods we use to make the process go faster/easier. A novice will use twice as much goo as they need and will sand off half of it, just smoothing thing out. An experienced user will use enough to get the job done, use techniques to make the job as easy as practical and will have learned the often hard lessons necessary to get to this stage.
     
  7. hardcoreducknut
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    hardcoreducknut Junior Member

    Thanks everyone for the replies. They pretty much have me sold on it.

    One thing I thought about. Would peel ply aid in preventing Kevlar from floating?

    @Par: Yeah, I struggled with fillets on my first boat and learned a lot. My second one was MUCH better. Night and day. I used wood flour as the thickener the first go, but discovered how much easier fumed silica is to work with when you get that caulk like consistency. A cheap silicone spatula did very well in keeping a nice even profile.
     
  8. jorgepease
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    jorgepease Senior Member

    Peel ply is removed, it doesn't remain on the part. It just protects and creates a good surface for bonding without having to sand. Are you thinking of something else maybe?
     
  9. hardcoreducknut
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    hardcoreducknut Junior Member

    No, I know it's to be removed. I was originally asking about where the two pieces overlap, would there be a ridge left once removed.
     
  10. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    A peel ply surface still needs to be sanded, if you want a good mechanical bond, with subsequent layers of whatever.

    No, peel ply will not stop some fabrics from floating, but they can help a bit, assuming you have the right amount of resin and not too much. To really get these fabrics to "lay down" you need to bag it. This can be vacuum or as I sometimes do, simply fill a trash bag with hot water and place in on the the area, I've just coated and covered.
     
  11. rob denney
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    rob denney Senior Member

    All the gluing and laminating tests I have done, the peel ply surface has been as good as a sanded surface, and generally better than the substrate. Exception was epoxy gluing vinylester which did not work until the ve was 10 days old. Then it worked as well as any other peel plied surface.

    There are various peel plies available. The cheapest are the "rain coat" or "umbrella" materials. These are also the finest weave, so use less resin. However, some of them have coatings which remain on the job, and act as release agents for glue. They also tend to leave the selvedged edge of the peel ply on the surface. Easily sanded off, but a pain.

    We use peel ply on all surfaces to be glued, painted or wet laminated.

    If your kevlar is floating, you are using way too much resin.
     
  12. LP
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    LP Flying Boatman

    Is peel ply a one time use item? I get curious about it and start pricing it and go screaming back into the woods. Maybe, I'm looking at the wrong stuff, but isn't it about the same price as some FG cloth? Seems expensive for a throw away item.
     
  13. Tungsten
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    Tungsten Senior Member

    The ridge that is left from overlapping peelply is very small and barely visible.
     
  14. hardcoreducknut
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    hardcoreducknut Junior Member

    When you look at the amount of sandpaper you burn through, vacuum filters (even with a dust collector), respirator filters, time, etc. peel ply is likely cheaper.
     

  15. jorgepease
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    jorgepease Senior Member

    Yeah the ridge is barely imperceptible on the ply I have used but there are many types of peelply, some have a release agent, some are finer and others more aggressive.

    The papers I read said that bonding results were inconsistent and listed a bunch of factors including moisture and threads that get left behind when ripping the ply off the part.

    Vacuum infusing takes care of the moisture, I couldn't see the threads, they must be microscopic, I will find out if my boat falls apart down the road.
     
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