Friday, January 28, 2011

The great satisfaction of a perfect infusion

Vacuum resin infusion, although not rocket science, demands accurate and thorough craftsmanship.  I think I was a bit in a rush, pushing for launch before the summer is once again gone in my last attempt.  I had the pleasure of having Thomas, one of the original co owners of Frimann, visiting yesterday.  And he was keen on seeing an infusion process, so we had to finish placing the consumables and the bag.  We made sure the bag was well over sized this time, and able to fold around every tubes and other obstacles.  This went quite uneventful, and as the pressure gauge read -1,0 bar, we decided to mix up some epoxy and keep on in the small hours.

I tried a new thing this time.  As this infusion was not well planned, the workshop and thus the moulds and epoxy was not pre heated and only held around 18 degrees (my "idle" temp in the workshop) until we started and turned up the thermostat a bit.  To overcome this, and to assure good flow and promote early gelling, I used my heat gun to warm up the epoxy just as it entered the bag.  Other than a slight deformation of the plastic sucking hose, this seemed to work great. It all wetted out easily, and within a few quarters of an hour the exothermic reaction was obvious.  And it all happened without any of us taking active part, we just enjoyed watching the process.

De moulding was also a bit of an excitement as the mould is old and somewhat in poor condition, and has to be used once more for the upper trailing half.  But this went smoother than I dared hoping for, and out of the mould popped a perfect quarter of my new wing mast.  What a marvellous feeling.

Update Jan 29:

We were really focused on the work during the mast infusion and the preparations for that, so I didn't even notice I had left the camera at home.  The process was however identical to the last attempt, except 800gsm less 0º UD fibres all over, 400gsm more 90º UD fibres around the track and a lot bigger bag. I took a couple of post festum shots the following day but I have struggled to get them out of my phone.  But here are two shots of the lower trailing edge part of the mast:

I cleaned up the workshop and waxed the next 1,5m of mould to be used in the next infusion.  The upper section is 1,5m longer than this, all of which is a smaller profile, ending with a chord of about 30cm (one foot) at the mast top.   However, due to sick kids and me going away for a week on a work/skiing related trip, I have not  prepared more for the next part.  I hope to have started the assembly by week 8.

I dropped by the paint shop this afternoon to discuss details on the white area and non skid areas, and both floats, the pop top and the rudder case are now yellow.  Even better finish on the second float.  This will look like a floating Lamborghini ;-)
The rudder case below, and in front my first soft shacle and Brummel splice made from a 4mm 12 strand braided Spectra? probably.

Next update in a week and a half or so.


CrashGybe 22 said...


Where are the pics?


Dag said...

Good news Tor!! You are doing great progress. And excellent work. As always.

Little brother.

Guy Waites said...

Great news Tor!

Very pleased for you indeed.


Tor Rabe said...

Thanks to you all. An update should be available in the post.