Epoxy Infusion

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by trekker, Aug 19, 2020.

  1. trekker
    Joined: Jan 2016
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    Location: Ohio

    trekker Junior Member

    I am brand new to infusion and am gonna have a ton of questions. I am gonna start by doing some small pieces to get comfortable before I try to do a large infusion. I plan on infusing a 17' x 42" hull.

    Getting ahead of myself, but where can I get larger bags for this process? I have not seen any large enough. Is it possible to tape 2 sheets together to reach a desired size?

    Also, what size, brand of pump would you recommend for a hull this size?

    Thanks!
     
  2. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    fallguy Senior Member

    You can buy at least 10' wide vac bag material. For seaming, use gum tape about 1/2" wide or so. I can't help much on balance. Want to learn infusion as well, but my foam core inventories are the wrong type.

    I will tell you that you ought to consider a backup pump. We wetbagged 32' long panels and had to use our backup pump once as we had a vac pump breakdown about 3 minutes in..
     
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  3. trekker
    Joined: Jan 2016
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    Location: Ohio

    trekker Junior Member

    Thanks for the info on the bag sizes available. I will definately heed your advice and get a backup pump.
     
  4. Chris Rogers
    Joined: Apr 2020
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    Location: Boston, MA

    Chris Rogers Junior Member

    Did you mean 17' x 44'? You can buy vacuum bag in very large widths but for a one-off you may be better off seaming 10' bag together. The seams can also be a nice place to put hoses through. Composites wholesalers like Composites One, Northern Fiberglass, Coast-line, etc. can get you rolls of wider film but you probably won't find it available for retail purchase in less-than-roll quantities. Large custom size bags are available too but are expensive.

    You'll want a not-tiny (1hp or more) pump ideally that can pull very good vacuum - so a oil-lubricated rotary vane pump - that pulls north of 29inHg. You'll also definitely want a back up pump but generally pumps in good shape are quite reliable. Back-up power is a concern too.

    And practice on something small first! And make test panels. And maybe find somebody experienced to let you help them out on a few infusions. It can get concerning fast if you aren't comfortable with the process. Wait, no - infusion is always concerning!
     
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  5. trekker
    Joined: Jan 2016
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    Location: Ohio

    trekker Junior Member

    The hull is 42" wide on the bottom of the hull. Max beam is 48". Freeboard is 18". Typical skinny water size.

    Thanks for the info.
     
  6. trekker
    Joined: Jan 2016
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    Location: Ohio

    trekker Junior Member

    In a lightweight layup. Say, 30 oz of Fiberglass cloth, will I have acceptable flow with media only on top of the laminate?
     
  7. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    ondarvr Senior Member

    Each type of fabric has its own flow characteristics, so there's no way to say if a 30oz laminate would flow well without more information.
     
  8. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    This guy did what you want to do, I'm pretty sure he asked about every possible question pertaining to it. If you go to his profile he also had separate threads about different aspects of the process.
    Infusion Plan https://www.boatdesign.net/threads/infusion-plan.43380/

    Also, if you go to the bottom of every page you open, you'll see a list of "Similar Threads" which is useful.
     
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  9. trekker
    Joined: Jan 2016
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    trekker Junior Member

    I haven't settled on a schedule, but am thinking along the lines of 2 layers of 17 oz. Biax.
     
  10. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    If you want to experiment without a whole lot of money invested, you can use old refrigerator or AC compressors as vacuum pumps. They're free and can pull as much vacuum as you need. Although dependability might be suspect, any backup compressors are also free. You can hook up 2 or 3 together for volume pumping.
     
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  11. Chotu
    Joined: Mar 2018
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    Location: Florida

    Chotu Junior Member

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