Fiberglass over EPDM Rubberized pipe insulation?

Discussion in 'Materials' started by Thomas Cooke, Jul 4, 2018.

  1. Thomas Cooke
    Joined: Jul 2018
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    Location: lubec, maine

    Thomas Cooke Junior Member

    I'm trying to find out if anyone has fiberglassed over EPDM Rubberized pipe insulation (black rubber foam)? I'm building a gate out of steel pipe with the final shape using high heat resistant elastomeric pipe insulation and sheeting to wrap it for it's final shape. The layers of rubber are contact adhesive bonded and will be covered (sealed) with fiberglass resin. I Chose the EPDM Stuff because it has high heat resistant qualities so it can withstand the hardener as it cooks off. The second question is what should i use for resin for long term UV resistant outdoor use? Polyester/Epoxy ? I'll need to color it with various pigments and some flecks of gold and aluminum foils. Thanks,
    Tom in Maine
     

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  2. Thomas Cooke
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    Location: lubec, maine

    Thomas Cooke Junior Member

    Here's a in process picture.
     

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  3. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
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    Location: Colorado

    Blueknarr Senior Member

    Welcome

    Not the typical boat project.

    The heat generated from resin cure is usually dissipated from the surface unless it is applied extremely thickly. So should not affect your interior foam.

    However, your soft foam core is subject to solvent attack. Polyester contains styrine which often attacks foams. Epoxy rarely dissolves substrates is very quickly destroyed by UV light.

    Any resin you choose will need to be reinforced with glass cloth
     
  4. Thomas Cooke
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    Location: lubec, maine

    Thomas Cooke Junior Member

    Yes i figured the resin might eat at the foam somewhat. That's why i figured the rubberized stuff would put up a better fight over time. I Also left several anchor holes that the resin can soak down to the steel which is heavily primer coated. The cloth i have is Plain Weave 4.12 oz. It's been a long long time since i messed with Fiberglass and kind of remembered that Polyester laminating resin could be used to soak in the mat for a couple of coats and then finish it with a couple of coats of finishing resin. So i'm looking at the " Totalboat polyester laminating resin" and the "Totalboat finishing resin" i found on Amazon. Another thing i want to try is to embed fiber optic strands in the second to the final coat of resin so i can have light effects so the skin of the Octopus will look wet and moving at night. What would i need to do to the first coat of finishing resin after it sets up before the final coat. I read somewhere's that it has wax in it and it would rise to the surface when setting up and might cause bonding issues from extra coats? Thanks for you help. I Messed with boats a lot when i was younger but got away from it after i had health issues from the resin and MEK.
     
  5. Blueknarr
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    Blueknarr Senior Member

    My impression is that four layers of your 4oz cloth should suffice.

    Once any resin cures itis basically inert, and will not continue to attack base. It is the solvents liquidfying the resins which dissolve base foams. Polyester's styrine is the most guilty solvent. I recommend doing a small comparability test before committing to wholesale use of polyester

    One of the characteristics of polyester is that when properly catalyzed it cures with a soft sticky skin. This soft skin is easy to bond success layers to. Unfortunately, flaws, insects or other blown on debris are harder to remove because sand papers gum up quickly. There are several established strategies to harden the final surface. Wax is not my favorite technique. Gelcoat is the finish most comparable with polyester. However, some find it difficult to play with.

    If it were my project;
    -Laminating polyester resin if passes compatibility test
    -fiber optics inbeded after
    -4 layers of 4oz cloth
    -gelcoat with PVA suffocant
    -pigments and visual affects could added to both resin and gelcoat
    -lots of testing/sampling before commitment

    Best of luck
     
  6. Thomas Cooke
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    Location: lubec, maine

    Thomas Cooke Junior Member

    Thank you for a clear answer to my issues. i'm leaning towards a weathered copper color with some darker shadowing. The only issue is the jet black foam color, so i have no choice but to color it in lighter tones to start with. This gate is going to be in some brutal seaside Northern Maine weather. We have extremes here sometimes equivalent to Northern Canada weather and the salty sea air coming off the Bay of Fundy which starts in my front yard. So it's gotta be tough and sealed good.
     
  7. Blueknarr
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    Blueknarr Senior Member

    It is an artistic endeavor.

    Coloring resin and gelcoat could be the fun. Many things can be used in small amounts to add color. Phenolic microballones are brown abd used to make easier to sand fairing compounds. I have successfully used dry tempra powders in resins, they disperse unevenly (probably not bad for you) Tap Plastic (if close to you) sells small 2oz container of official resin colerants
     
  8. Thomas Cooke
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    Location: lubec, maine

    Thomas Cooke Junior Member

    Yeah smoothness isn't a factor in this project..actually i'm looking for grainy slightly lumpy effects. I Even thought of embedding fiberglass screen door mesh to give it a consistent texture but i'll wait to see what i get with the first couple of layers of 4 oz. weave. The main reason i opted for the EPDM Foam was it's heat resistance (340*) and it being rubberized to the point i can sand it with a 4 inch angle grinder with a flapper wheel sanding disk. I Can literally carve it and get a consistent surface. Even the joints were easy to seal because the stuff they sell on TV Called "Flex seal" pourable rubber is the same stuff in liquid form and acts like caulking in grooves and seams and is also sandable when it sets up. The color pigments i found for resin are Mica based with oyster like chrome effects and will give me the layering capabilities in each coat to give a nice deep color.
     
  9. Blueknarr
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    Blueknarr Senior Member

    I'm camping and the internet connection is somewhat less than spotty. My posts ate clipped and losing content.

    Phenolic balloons are color over black. Side benefit os easy sand, most others use for sanding not color. Wanted to introduce idea of powders into resin.

    Bondo or its cousins could be used to create texture. I add fumes sylica (cabo-sill) to thichen resin. Sometimes to a mashed potato consistency. It makes for hard sanding unless some micro-balloons thrown in as well.

    Don't use saw dust in polyester, it has been known to spontaneously combust! Stone dusts: talc, chalk, gypsum or sand/gravel are safe.

    Remember, the resin matrix is weakened as more stuff is added

    Twenty years of industrial painting leaves me wary of wax. O know many use it successfully, but? I prefer to suffocate my polyester with PVA. You can get ot where you buy the gelcoat. It is not yhe same as pva wall primer sold at paint stores.

    And as always. Test and practice first

    Paul
     
  10. Thomas Cooke
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    Location: lubec, maine

    Thomas Cooke Junior Member

    Yea i took a long strip of the EPDM Black foam and glued it down to a steel mesh scrap and i want to try a couple recipes for just resin and then do a color scale with single colors over the foam then start mixed samples till i find what i'm looking for and to watch for any adverse issues. I Also found some glow in the dark lime green powder flakes for polyester resin to mix in with the third coat maybe to keep it close to the surface so it can load up with sunlight during the day. I Built two support columns last summer to hang this Monster on and i'm getting anxious to see it done. I've been working on this for two years. I'm a disabled Veteran and can't get around very well anymore so it's taken me a lot longer to get where i am with it.
     

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  11. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    SamSam Senior Member

    I like your gate very much, but have large reservations of your plan as described here. Bubbles, puckers, hard to reach areas plus early onset of resin gelling...it's hard to describe all the problems I can imagine or what a pain it would be to cover that adequately with fiberglass. That's without the foam. I think the soft foam and rubber are especially not a good idea under fiberglass. Just resin will quickly crack and flake off. With fiberglass, the foam giving it no real support, you'll have to make the thickness of the lamination thick enough to be on it's own so the fiberglass won't flex at all or get crushed or cracked or broken by whatever usage the gate will receive. If water gets in there and freezes, it could start breaking the fiberglass apart in a few seasons. Rust will set in and Demons will be let loose.

    You might consider using auto body techniques with materials like polyester body filler, Bondo is one brand. Working that stuff with a Surfoam Shaver in the green stage is actually enjoyable. You could ask auto body people how they might finish the gate, or people that do outdoor sculptures.
     
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  12. SamSam
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    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    Again, I really like the gate. I'm wondering if you've hung it up and tested to see how it works as far as supporting itself? There appears to be a few tentacles less in your gate than the original and those tentacles might supply some essential tension or compression members so the gate won't sag or be all flexible. It's hard to tell as the original gate photo is very small and the photo of yours doesn't show the top.
     
  13. Thomas Cooke
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    Location: lubec, maine

    Thomas Cooke Junior Member

    The steel is well engineered, it has many braces that can't be seen in the pictures that are Stainless steel round stock. Then there's a thick galvanized mesh over the head and all of the steel pipe is edge welded with sleeves slipped over and welded to re-enforce it. It's balanced on three pin hinges ans swings in the wind just like it is. It was built and is hanging on a mock up and when a breeze blows it goes with it. It stays tied off to a cement block while i'm working on it. As far as the water getting in , it has drain holes everywhere's necessary and is coated inside with liquid primer poured inside. The rest of it is triple treated with rust preventer spray and three coats of primer then a coat of black at the weld joints then a outdoor rated contact adhesive bond the black insulation foam to everything but leaves gaps at the joints and key places for resin bonding to the frame to stabilize it together as one big mass of aggravation. But it's almost done and i've always been allowed to use the overkill method to these type things. This isn't my first rodeo for these type gates, just the first fiberglass skinned ones. I Haven't messed with Fiberglass since 1992.
     

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  14. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    I think you meant one big mass of amalgamation. A big mass of aggravation is what I might sometimes say and now I just might, sometime. It seems you have the project well in hand. When I suggested that covering over the foam with fiberglass and resin would be one big mass of aggravation, I was imagining the use of regular boat building resin and fiberglass cloth, and I still think that would be a massive aggravation.

    Looking at your new photo, I got to thinking it looks like stucco mesh and maybe stucco might be a good thing to use, at least on the body if not the whole thing. Then I got to thinking Drivit might be the thing to use on the gate. Drivit is the brand name of one of those synthetic stucco systems (EIFS) that they use on buildings, which consists of a resin coating applied to a fiberglass cloth which is stretched over a foam base. Go figure.

    The difference is the foam is rigid, the cloth is more of a mesh like window screen and the resin is a thick substance that can be brushed or troweled on. The foam is the more solid pink or blue extruded styrofoam that can be easily carved and modeled to whatever shape of squidlyness you want, the fiberglass mesh is sticky backed and the resin coating applied somewhat leisurely, as it is air dry and doesn't have the rush of a chemical cure. The DriVit system is not sold to individuals, but Home Depot has an equivalent product (I'm sure Lowes and other places have the stuff also) called Tuff II.

    STYRO Industries 5 Gal. Tanner Tuff II Foundation Coating-TTT - The Home Depot https://www.homedepot.com/p/STYRO-Industries-5-Gal-Tanner-Tuff-II-Foundation-Coating-TTT/203009635?cm_mmc=Shopping%7cTHD%7cG%7c0%7cG-BASE-PLA-D22-Concrete%7c&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIqYfTnMCP3AIVVsDICh1eDwpUEAYYAiABEgJHtvD_BwE&dclid=CKaP06zAj9wCFUYHgQodrDsIow
     

  15. Thomas Cooke
    Joined: Jul 2018
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    Location: lubec, maine

    Thomas Cooke Junior Member

    Well i'm almost ready for fiberglass now. I'm filling and sanding it to it's final shape. I Did notice that the foam rubber has hardened pretty good since it's been outside baking in the sun. So made i short video to show what i have done .
     
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