Teaching & Academics

Fiberglass Composites: Getting Started Reinforcing Foam Core

What you’ll learn

  • Cutting Fiberglass and different material weaves
  • Fiberglass and Curves
  • Foam Core types and materials
  • Foam Core cutting and hot-wire Polystyrene cutting
  • Balancing Epoxy Resin and Hardeners
  • Epoxy Resin mixing, mixing Micro Filler and Cotton Flox
  • Filling and Fiberglass’ing a foam core sample
  • Adding Peel Ply
  • 2 ply directional layering
  • Plywood and foam core bonding
  • Knife trimming and sanding edges

Requirements

  • Suitable device, internet connection and notepad to follow the course.
  • Safety requirements: Respirator Mask, Nitrile Gloves, Safety Goggles, pass a safety theory test in Chapter 0.
  • Strict Adult Supervision if not an adult, ability to read safety notices, and make important notes during course.
  • Good common sense, safety gear and patience, creative mindset.
  • Practical/Practice requirements:
  • Workshop and Bench Tools required: Tissues for spills, Sharp scissors, PVC drop sheet, Cling wrap/Wax wrap, Stanley Knife, Hacksaw blade, 36 grit sandpaper, plastic disposable mixing cups, plastic or wooden mixing spoons, lead weights, clamps, nails, plywood, permanent marker, pen.
  • Composite Materials required : Bi-directional Fiberglass sheets; Foam Core; 2-inch peel ply; Fiberglass Epoxy Resin (watch the course); Hardener (watch the course); Micro balloons; Cotton Flox.
  • Composite Tools required: DIY Fiberglass Roll Holder Roller; Digital or DIY Epoxy Resin Balancing Scale offset and designed specifically for the ratio you intend to work with(in this course we use a 100:28 ratio Resin/Hardener); DIY Foam cutting Hot Wire cutting tool (in order to follow along with complex plans that require it)

Description

Fiberglass Composites: Getting Started Reinforcing Foam Core. In this course, we will get you started with working with Fiberglass material effectively to reinforce foam and other core materials!

Have you ever sat in awe or been inspired by some experimental built and designed aircraft or even some celebrity concept cars and wondered what they are made from?

Course Coverage:

  • This introduction course is condensed into a short 1-hour long “over-the-shoulder” workshop covering a DIY guide to reinforcing foam cores with Fiberglass.
  • To get you started sharing these skills from the experience of an experimental aircraft builder, where in the past we have worked to build our own aircraft from plans, experienced helping others build theirs, as well as build conceptual water tanks for automobiles, water bowls for wild birds, even as small as postboxes.
  • Each lecture covers a topic in the process, where we cover the basics in short 2-minute lectures so you can follow along and take notes.
  • We don’t cover the topic of makings molds in this course, though these skills can be used on certain molds which would act as cores to apply Fiberglass.
  • However, we do demonstrate how wings and structures such as “canards” used on aircraft are cut from foam, which are the cores to which Fiberglass gets structurally applied in Aircraft design.

It has many applications in DIY repairs, even in the structural design for marine vehicles like small boats. In this course, we will cover the basics of Fiberglass in practice, working with it, and how to apply it relatively quickly and effectively.

Although we don’t cover the topic of makings molds in this course.

For many, the subject of “Fiberglass” and “Composite Materials” may come to mind! Fiberglass tends to be heavier than Carbon Fiber, however it is known to be cheaper, and why many use it!

Further Considerations:

Have you thought of a creative or great use case in which you could use this material yet?

Though of course before practicing or learning anything new, first things first, think and practice safetyalways!

Some may think when covering the course, that before 3D printers became popular, this building thing from Fiberglass was sort of an analogy to the hands-on manual process of doing so that many users still use today to complete many projects.

Even 3D printers can take their time, and do not be fooled some Fiberglass projects can be challenging to build from scratch also the bigger scale the projects is as well as depending on your resources could stretch into years, even decades for some for example when it comes to building aircraft, though with the right experienced team all working together safely and innovating, some people have done amazing things in a short period, and with the extra experienced support it could be both fun and rewarding doing so when everything goes to plan!

Student Background:

  • No matter prior experience, so long as you approach with responsible care and safety, this may suit a creative DIY hobbyist or enthusiast, interested in building aircraft from plans ( though we only mostly cover Fiberglass basics).
  • The more experience you have in an area to use these skills, the better and quicker you may understand and adapt, though everyone learns something from scratch at some point.
  • With a willingness to learn and apply patience from beginner to intermediate you’ll be able to take notes and is recommended to complete the course and have taken notes and planned ahead before practicing,
  • unless of course, you feel comfortable and just refreshing your memory by taking this course! 
  • Adult supervision is advised for younger students!
  • Should you be taking this course to apply these invaluable skills to a personal project, then having a background and or understanding of a “Materials” or “Structural” design will be advantageous to how you approach the task at hand in making your considerations for specifications in what materials are best to use for the project.

Value:

  • Depending on what creative ideas you already have in mind, with the right know-how just like you would be getting started here, because of the many hours required on some large projects, and working with the right clients they may even get you up to speed such as if they see you are a willing apprentice that understands and is able to use the skills safely and correctly to help them on their projects.
  • These fundamental skills can be used to create things from scratch or repair things like plastic bumpers and so forth, or as part of manufacturing certain cosmetic replacement parts that fit vehicles, even certain aircraft, DIY postboxes, and so forth.
  • You can even find ways not mentioned to create your own value.

We welcome and thank you for your support in enrolling in this course!

A lot of effort went into consideration to share this with you today, years of practice and reading books to decide to record the process, making mistakes, fixing them, and the effort of those that have edited this material in a short space and assisted with making the content available!

We would love to hear good reviews, and hope you will have appreciated this offering,

Regards,

Glen

SAFETY DISCLAIMER:

It is good to take great care and caution, by wearing the appropriate safety gear, at all times to protect yourself and others from accidental contact in these areas. We expand a little more in Chapter 0 after the introduction.

Safety Disclaimer

  • Powders and material fabric used in Fiberglass contain tiny glass particles or otherwise can end up sharp and cut you if breathed in, comes in contact with skinhandseyes or swallowed.
  • Always ensure your hands are clean before touching yourself, objects you may accidentally contaminate, or others.
  • Resins and hardeners have the same toxic hazardous carcinogenic danger if at all come into contact with skin hands or eyes or are ingested.
  • Pay careful attention when purchasing these products to do research with your supplier for the safety and storage data sheets.
  • Requires immediate action to rinse if in contact with eyes, and flush out with eyes open for 15 minutes under normal/warm water while doing so seek emergency help and care with a copy of the substance label so Medical Professional can immediately treat you as symptoms may not show up immediately.
  • Hands can be washed under warm soapy water thoroughly.
  • Vacuum any dusk particles from the workspace.

Safety Gear:

  • Wear long-used overalls. (These must be dusted/vacuumed off and washed separately in a bucket and kept out of the home)
  • Wear safety goggles/glasses that cover your eyes to help prevent you from touching them and from splashes or dust.
  • Wear a workshop respirator/particle mask that also covers the nose.
  • Wear thick rubber nitrile gloves.

We as instructors cannot claim responsibility for any harm or injury whatsoever or as a result of any exposure or lack of precaution taken when following this course, it is the onus of the student/consumer of this course material to avoid any neglect or abuse, and to practice and use these skills in a safe and ethical manner as responsibly as possible.

Who this course is for:

  • DIY enthusiast, and Hobbyist, Creative enthusiast.
  • Pilot interested in taking up Experimental Aircraft building from plans with a interest for composite material choices.
  • Workshop that builds with fiberglass offering an apprentice introductory exposure to skills in course.

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