Sunday, January 14, 2007

Laminating the second float bulkheads

It became a little cold to start the float hull lamination outside in the garage, so I have moved the work to the basement where I have set up the small vacuum bagging table to laminate the float bulkheads.

Laminating indoors you say, well, the Aeropoxy epoxy resin has almost no smell. The hardener has a bit of an odour, but after the resin is mixed there is very little to offend. The family has not complained at all. I just make sure I have lots of disposable vinyl gloves on hand. Home Depot sells them in packs of 100. They seem to stand up to the epoxy very well.

Quoting from the product bulletin

These products can be considered low toxicity materials that have minimum hazard potential when used properly and in a clean and responsible manner. PR2032 does not contain any hazardous diluents or extenders. Hardeners PH3660, PH3665 and PH3630 do not contain methylene dianiline ( MDA), or other potentially harmful aniline derivatives.
Anyway, I have 'bagged' the bow, stern and central bulkheads this weekend. Here are some of my current thoughts.

Since I have used a very slow hardener (rated at 2 hours), I tend to be most concerned about forcing too much of the epoxy out of the laminates and into the breather material, leaving the laminates possibly in a dry state susceptible to delamination.
  1. I am very careful not to start the vacuum pump too soon. I wait 2 hours after mixing the resin before starting the vacuum pump.
  2. I now use a finishing nail to perforate the foam. I used a hand drill earlier and I think I opened up the holes too large.
  3. I never use more than 2 layers of the breather felt material. I used more layers earlier thinking that 'more is bettter'. Quit often it is not.

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