Groper has made me an infusion convert

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by khaos, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. khaos
    Joined: Feb 2013
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    khaos Infusion Padawan

    OK, I'll do that. :)
     
  2. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    SamSam Senior Member

    I seem to remember you were using regular polyethylene sheet plastic for the vacuum bag...? That's available everywhere under different brand names and has to be cheaper than anything labeled specifically for infusion.

    As for peel ply, I have heard that regular nylon cloth from fabric stores works, but maybe that is just for polyester...or maybe it's totally wrong to begin with...?
     
  3. Jetboy
    Joined: Feb 2012
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    Jetboy Senior Member

    FWIW, I don't do infusion, but I may give it a try. I have vacuum bagged.

    This is what I use $100:
    [​IMG]

    Then get one of these $40:
    [​IMG]

    And one of these $25:
    [​IMG]

    Then you can take the control switch off the pump, there are 4 wires plus a ground to the switch, You can sire the pressure switch to the red wire using crimp on spade ends (then there's no soldering, and it's a very clean connection without cutting any original wiring from the pump, you just plug in the pressure switch inline to disrupt the pump switch).

    You'll then need the appropriate brass fittings to connect your pump to the tank. KEEP the original pump brass connector - its' a 1 piece unit that includes a check valve. Check valve is important both for pump life not starting under load and to keep from losing vacuum back through the pump.

    Nicely the standard pressure gauge at the air tank is a 1/8" FT fitting, which is the same as the pressure switch so you won't need and adapter.

    It's the cheapest good pump set up I could put together.

    Buy the proper fittings to connect the two, I used a square of plywood and mounted them together with a carry handle.
     
  4. khaos
    Joined: Feb 2013
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    khaos Infusion Padawan

    Interestingly I wen't with a UK company that had what I wanted at a reasonable price. The markup at some places blows the mind. I am still not completely sold since I know everything is often not what it seems like at first glance.

    I looked at a one place and they had a product from 16 to 18.75 USD /yd by qty and the UK price was 6 to 9 USD for the same product. :( Even after shipping I recieved a better deal. No VAT for me, which helps too. Small order placed about 400USD and so begins my infusion adventure.

    The companies I looked at include: fiberglasssite, fibreglast, carbonfiberglass, easycomposites, and eastern burlap.

    Eastern Burlap is local and looks like a great place for core though. As shipping bulky items is quite high.
     
  5. khaos
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    khaos Infusion Padawan

    @JetBoy, I could see some real value in that tank as a vacuum reservoir. :cool:
     
  6. groper
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    groper Senior Member

    Yes, at the moment im using virgin PE shrink film as vac bag - its not a great deal cheaper than the proper nylon vac film tho. Careful with what you buy as some plastics have pinholes in it, and PE is only good for epoxy resin work, styrene destroys it.

    Peel ply i use polyester tafet fabric from a fabrics wholesaler - much cheaper than peel ply from a composites supplier - again, be careful to get the right weight, texture and one that doesnt contain any contaminants like silicone etc.

    30% Shade cloth for flow media - but if i were to do it again i would not the SCRIMP infusion method - i would use "lite infusion grid cut and perforated" core material for less waste plastic to deal with, and less resin consumption. Assumes a sandwich core tho... for single skin you would still need the flow media...
     
  7. Jetboy
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    Jetboy Senior Member

    The tanks are cheap and also nice to use because it allows the pump to cycle when needed, but most of the time remain off. I can leave for hours and not worry about pump overheating from running all the time. Plus it saves energy costs.

    I used that style tank simply because I had an old one in my garage from another project. I use them on my rock crawler 4x4s with on board air to have good volume to seat beads on tires offroad.
     
  8. groper
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    groper Senior Member

    I wouldnt use a tank like that for infusion... the rotary vane vac pumps are designed to run continuously - they dont overheat.

    You want as close to 100% vacuum as possible- if you let the pump cycle off and you have some very small leaks - which is inevitable on big infusion setups, the vacuum will slowly reduce - not ideal. The pump only has to run for around ~4-6hours with most epoxies, until the resin has gelled and uses a very small amount of energy in this time...

    keep it simple...
     
  9. Jetboy
    Joined: Feb 2012
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    Jetboy Senior Member

    Interesting. I've only done vacuum bagging. Never infusion. Possibly I should bypass the tank for infusion? Should be easy enough to do.
     
  10. khaos
    Joined: Feb 2013
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    khaos Infusion Padawan

    Good catch Groper, I guess its another possible point of vacuum failure.

    Now I am amazed at the shipping price from the UK. In a good way! About 57USD ordered on 3/5 delivery expected by COB 3/7 not freaking bad for my getting started kit. I have to start somewhere and so here it is.

    1x Professional Resin Catch Pot & liners
    1x Vacuum gauge (on catch-pot)
    2x Infusion Tube Clamp
    2x Silicone Resin Infusion Connector
    6m PVC Vacuum Hose
    6m Vacuum Bagging Film(1.52m wide)
    5m Peel-Ply
    5m Resin Infusion Mesh
    5m Resin feed spiral
    2x 15m Roll Vacuum Bagging Sealant Tape
    1.5sqm Breather Cloth

    I look forward to really getting the hang of the process. Hopefully finding a way to keep consumable cost down without sacrificing the end product.

    Groper, your posts gave me that little nudge over the edge to add another tool to my arsenal. Given that I have a full cockpit, upper deck, several bulkheads, engine covers and an interior yet to finish, I will get plenty of practice. :)
     
  11. khaos
    Joined: Feb 2013
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    khaos Infusion Padawan

    Everything arrived today :D

    Now I have to actually 'do' something. :eek:
     
  12. jorgepease
    Joined: Feb 2012
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    jorgepease Senior Member

    Eastern Burlap is the cheapest I have found for core and Noahs Marine is pretty good on everything else
     
  13. khaos
    Joined: Feb 2013
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    khaos Infusion Padawan

    EB's Core would be hard to beat. Is Noahs Marine local or does it have a website?
     
  14. jorgepease
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    jorgepease Senior Member

    They have an office in NY based out of Canada though. They ship all the way to me in Florida and it's still cheaper than going with the local guys. Website is same as the name.

    The good thing about Noah's is you can order in smaller qty. ... and they will still place large orders for you on items they don't normally carry ... and be competitive.

    However next time I will be using infusion cut core, as per Groper, and do away with most of these polluting consumables.
     

  15. khaos
    Joined: Feb 2013
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    khaos Infusion Padawan

    Great. I found them and wasn't sure it was the right folks. :)

    The less consumables I have to use the more of my hard earned duckets actually go into my project. At some point I have to find the value. I don't want to buy more than I have to. But I don't want to give up any measurable quality.

    I was thinking that I could make some good silicone feed hoses that are reusable that are designed something like those wire guards for office floors. The design would need to withstand vacuum. I think I might try to create some with some 5-6mm rope beside the channel to provide compression protection. This would maintain flexibility to get the resin out with ease. Also, the footprint might minimize impression from the hose to the part. An end view is posted here:

    Of course someone has tried this already?
     

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