Author: AKeson

Chrome Plated Fiberglass

Fiberglass Composite materials can be coated to show many different finished effects.  I ran across a Youtube video demonstrating a spray on chrome process with a fiberglass molded piece. It is interesting to see the change in appearance as the coating is applied. I am amazed at how wet the part is sprayed.  Definitely not a traditional spray application method. My guess is that the spraying with an air nozzle is working to help remove any runs and wrinkles in the surface finish. This coating process will act like a painted surface more than a part that has been subjected to a hardened plating process.  Surface adhesion will be very important to test the durability of the finished...

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Cirrus Composite Airframes

I found a very interesting Youtube peek inside of the Cirrus airplane assembly factory in Minnesota. While it would be cool to learn more about the actual composites fabrication of the individual parts, there is some great information about part bonding, inspection, and final assembly of the Cirrus aircraft. They use fiberglass and carbon fiber reinforcements to create a very strong and durable fuselage, and it is great to see in action. Personal jets made of composite materials offer many advantages and unique properties. Design of complex shapes and anti corrosion of aluminum are two advantages. Disadvantages include repeatability and upgrading/modification. Composites that are properly designed and fabricated can be used in many applications where safety is a big concern. Proper design and inspection during production can create an airplane that can be easily maintained and have a very long life. Great factory tour courtesy of...

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Underwater Pipe Repair

An epoxy and fiberglass wrap can repair steel pipes while submerged underwater. Repairing small holes in pipes by wrapping them is sure to be much less expensive and disruptive than replacing bad sections of pipe. Divers must have access to the circumference of the pipe and the pipe must be free of its contents to prevent contamination and allow for the wrap to seal the leak. As always, surface preparation is very important, and is demonstrated in the video with the grinder. The epoxy must form a good bond with the substrate material, not the rust and scale that is on the outside of the pipe. Jeff Longmoore of TFT demonstrates how this repair is performed in a Youtube video, but does so in a dry environment rather than the actual underwater one....

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Use of FRP Composites in Bridges

FRP (Fiber Reinforced Composites) have been successfully used in the construction and repair of transportation bridges in the U.S. for several years. These projects have proven that the materials and work methods are can be successfully used. FRP rebar can replace steel rebar and provide equal physical strength while eliminating the corrosion problems of having steel embedded in concrete. Prefabricated bridge decks made of FRP in a factory can be quickly and easily installed in the field to save time and money during the bridge construction project. The large panels are shipped in and laid down, ready to use very quickly. Concrete cure and inspection times are reduced. Concrete crack repairs can be made to bridges and concrete structures by wrapping them with composite materials to seal these cracks and hold the concrete together, protecting it from further damage. This technology has been in development for many years, and proper materials, construction techniques, and design guidelines have been established to allow for many successful projects to be completed. Economics play a considerable role, and this cost comparison constantly changes with the prices of materials on both sides. Composites have the advantage of typically requiring fewer road closures and construction time in the...

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Infusion-Test Panel and Fuselage

Ran across an interesting Youtube video demonstrating an epoxy resin infusion process on some test panels and fuselage.  It is interesting how everybody has their own terminology and technique for resin infusion.  There is definitely more than one way to get the job done. They use an interesting layup, including lots of the Soric material.  I have used this before, and it is a good material to infuse with.  Made by a company called Lantor, it is a non-woven polyester material that acts as a core material.  It appears that the folks in the video are using the SF grade Soric, which comes in several thicknesses. order viagra 50mg An advantage of using Soric as a core is that it flows resin very well for infusion.  It is easy to cut and handles well. Disadvantages also abound.  One of them is the possibility of print-thru on the surface of the laminate.  Another is the negative effect on the structural properties of the laminate.  This non-woven material does not have much crush resistance such as a balsa or foam material.  A serious issue that I have found is the higher risk of delamination.  Like any core, this material works by separating the two skin layers to create a sort of “I beam” effect.  The problem is that this material is not inherently strong within itself.   Though it does become...

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