infusion versus hand layup

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by gages, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. gages
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    gages Junior Member

    I currently hand lay sea kayaks and am investigating if going infusion.Currently the layup is in the deck 2 layers of CSM and one layer of cloth with some bits of core in the flatter sections for rigidity and in the Hull one layer of CSM and one layer of 450 Double Bias and then a layer of cloth.
    I join the hull and deck on the same day and currently a layup takes appox 6 1/2 hours from start to finish
    My question is
    .would I save any manufacturing time by going to infusion ?
    .How much stronger would an Infusion layup be than a good quality hand lay?
    . Would I still be able to use the above layers as well as 300gms Satin Weave Kevlar?

    Just trying to weigh up the pro's and cons ?

    Thanks
     
  2. War Whoop
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    War Whoop Senior Member

    Are you hand contact or doing some wet bagging now?
     
  3. Landlubber
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    My question is
    .would I save any manufacturing time by going to infusion ?
    ....I doubt it, cos the time to set up is quite long, the drain tubes etc all need to be set in place...and then vacuum tested...before the resin is allowed in, so no, it would in fact take longer overall. The resin flow when it is turned on is very fast compared to say hand layup, but the set up and removal times will muck it all up.
    .How much stronger would an Infusion layup be than a good quality hand lay?
    ...it would be stronger as there would be less resin used, the ratios would be much better.
    . Would I still be able to use the above layers as well as 300gms Satin Weave Kevlar?
    ....yes if you wish to, you can do that many layers without any worries in infusion, but remember , it all has to be tested to hold vacuum, not worth the risk of doing it all and hoping the vacuum will hold, it HAS to to get the resin to flow through all the layers.

    ...stick with what you are doing, it is OK.
     
  4. gages
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    gages Junior Member

    No it's all hand contact no bagging
     
  5. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    You can infuse by vacuum or pressure. Which method where you looking at?
     
  6. gages
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    gages Junior Member

    Vacuum pressure was what I have been looking at but am wondering if the set up time etc is to any real benefit over my hand layup ,which produces a very high quality job at present but you hear so much about infusion etc
     
  7. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I think infusion is only economical on complicated and large laminates.
     
  8. Stumble
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Stumble Senior Member

    Gages,

    Not being a builder my experience is limited in the process, but I have done some small parts both with infusion, vacume bagging, and hand layup.

    In my experience vacume infusion is by far the easiest process for a number of reasons.:

    1) All of the layup is done dry. So making sure the orientation is a breaze, and correcting a mistake is effortles.
    2) Not working under a time restraint for me relieves the stress of the layup.
    3) Once the vacume is applied there is plenty of time to check the bag for leaks.
    4) Once the epoxy is pulled there isn't much to do but wait for it to cure.

    Of course I am not a manufacturer and don't work in it every day, so your guys may not have the same problems I do. That being said, infusion if done properly leads to a stronger product that is lighter and requires materials to do correctly. So for a manufacturer I would argue that once the process is learned you could make a higher quality product with the same amount of labor (generally), that requires a smaller investment in material cost.
     
  9. jim lee
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    jim lee Senior Member

    Infusion is more fun.

    -jim lee
     
  10. War Whoop
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    War Whoop Senior Member

    If you setup with a reusable bag system and try to reduce the setup maybe it can be integrated seamlessly into your operation .
     
  11. susho
    Joined: Dec 2006
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    susho Composite builder

    like rtm light ;) but you need to calculate if the cost of the extra mould justifies the investment. it is a nice process though, if you need a lot of products.
     
  12. variverrunner
    Joined: Dec 2009
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    variverrunner Junior Member

    Hayes,

    another factor is avoiding all of the goo. With infusion there is almost no mess. Laser sail boats are infused using a reuseable Vac bag using a brushable silicone. If you build a more than a few boats a month , getting set up for infusion would be healther for you, use less resin, and give you stronger lighter finished yaks

    Hope this helps

    Allan
     
  13. variverrunner
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    variverrunner Junior Member

    Gages

    the silicone is mentioned is made by smooth-on. You can see a video of it being used by laser @ smoothon.com. I have not used it yet, but I am about for making infused canoes.

    And Jim lees is on the mark. Infusion is infinitely more FUN.

    Allan
     
  14. Herman
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    Herman Senior Member

    Will you save time? There is too little information for that. 6.5 hours is what it takes now. But what is the breakdown of those hours? Do you spend 6 hours of laminating, or 6 hours of glueing the thing together?

    The funny thing if that by implementing infusion, usually the whole production setup is reviewed and reorganised. Which makes for some saving in time, even if you do not infuse.

    All in all, time savings on smaller objects should not be the goal of switching to resin infusion. Unless you switch to RTM-Light, in which case you end up in a die-hard production facility. (which is not bad either). If you make 1 hull per day, or 2 hulls per day, per mould, and preferably a couple of moulds, that would perhaps be the way to go. (at a weight penalty, compared to infusion under a bag)

    Reasons for switching to infusion can be many:
    -less resin contact
    -less styrene emission (polyester)
    -more constant quality
    -higher quality
    -higher strength (more fiber, less resin)
    -the ability to employ less expensive workers

    If you choose to convert to infusion, keep in mind that you will have to review your laminates. They will become quite a lot thinner, and you will have to compensate for that if you need the stiffness. You could add more fiber, more voluminous fiber (continuous filament mat) or a core (Lantor Soric LRC in 1,5mm could do the job for you, or a thin foam core, or cork)
     

  15. variverrunner
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    variverrunner Junior Member

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