Infusion - vacuum membrane press vs. hand sealing ?

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by antonkov, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. antonkov
    Joined: Mar 2010
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    Location: Vancouver,BC

    antonkov Junior Member

    After infusing half a dozen flat panels, it got me thinking that a sizable part of time gets spent on the bagging setup, wrinkling, sealing, chasing leaks, ect. It's all routine and repetitive job.

    What if use a hinged, rigid frame with a perimeter seal and elastic membrane?
    E.g. http://torrtech.com/Pages/Tools04-WithCart.htm

    For a dozen of panels, perhaps, it's not worth it, but on a bigger project the bagging consumables may amount to a cost of the press ($2K-$4K), and the main advantage would come from the time and efforts saved.

    Wonder if anyone tried this idea for infusion jobs?
     

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  2. waikikin
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Australia

    waikikin Senior Member

    Seems that reusable bags are molded in sprayable silicone for complex parts so no reason not to on flat panels.... just a matter on ironing out the details like releasable molded manifold & such, get it all right & have it in the bag. FGI was doing infusion demos with a small table set up like those at shows.

    http://alanharpercomposites.co.uk/what-is-first/

    Jeff.
     
  3. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Monroe WA

    ondarvr Senior Member

    It sort of depends on what you want the part to be like. Infusing under a bag will give the best glass to resin ratio, when you use a premade flexible bag like silicone, the resin content goes up, with a stiffer "B" side mold (light RTM) the resin content goes much higher.

    There are flexible bags used for infusion, but they are limited in the stretch department, so it won't conform to much detail.
     
  4. antonkov
    Joined: Mar 2010
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    Location: Vancouver,BC

    antonkov Junior Member

    The panels I make are all flat, 19mm and 12mm thick.
    Hmm, I don't see how the elasticity of the framed membrane would affect the resin ratio. Furthermore, I even thought of using a cheap HomeDepot vinyl in place of the silicone. Vinyl wouldn't drop vertically on the edges, but some reusable silicon trim placed along the edges, I thought, would help the vinyl to transition from the panel to the table.
     
  5. groper
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    Location: australia

    groper Senior Member

    If you shop carefully, you can get bagging consumables for a fraction of what the composites suppliers sell it for. I bought bagging film 4m wide 100m long for $150...
     
  6. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Monroe WA

    ondarvr Senior Member

    The bagging film conforms to every detail and even around the individual glass bundles on the surface resulting in better compaction. As the bag becomes thicker and/or stiffer it does not conform to the surface profile of the glass as well, which can leave more space for resin.

    Think Yoga pants versus pants suit
     

  7. jorgepease
    Joined: Feb 2012
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    Location: Florida

    jorgepease Senior Member

    this was discussed on my build thread and groper suggested stacking perf'd panels and just separating them with some release film. I tried with 3 layers infusing from the bottom up and it works well. One bag to do 10 panels wouldn't be so bad, if the panels were also scored you could get rid of most of the flow media.
     
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