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General Fibreglass

  1. Making a Mould from Liquid Latex

    Making a mould from Liquid Latex is a relatively simple process as a result of its easy to use nature and versatility. It is also an extremely cost-effective way to produce a mould, not only in terms of material costs but also in relation to the long-lasting properties of this material.

    Whilst cost benefits and durability are two of the key benefits of this process, one of the drawbacks is the length of working time. It can be a lengthy process as Latex moulds are built through multiple layer application.

    With the right preparation and application tips, you can easily make many duplicates of your chosen item.

    What you will need;

    Choosing an Item to Mould

    A common question asked by our customers at FibreGlassDirect is ‘What object can I make a mould from using Liquid Latex?’ Liquid Latex can be used to mould almost anything with the exception of skin. Applying directly to a person’s skin will cause damage and seal the skin from the air.

    Some common Liquid Latex moulding projects include;

    • Special effects
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  2. Tips for Using Fibreglass in Summer

    Summer is the optimum time for any large fibreglass repairs as there is less rain, improved temperatures and generally good working conditions.

    However, what do you need to do when temperatures start to rise beyond normal? In this post, we're sharing our top tips!

    Fibreglass in Summer Months

    • Always check the local weather forecast, it is a good idea to have an app on your phone that you rely on for this.
    • Check the temperature. Do not start fibreglassing if the temperature is above 35°C as it will cure too quickly. Use the catalyst addition chart to calculate the percentage of resin that should be used.
    • Leave the resin and topcoat in the shade to prevent direct sunlight from heating them up.
    • The curing time of the resin and topcoat depends on the percentage catalyst used and the temperature. In hotter weather, the resin will cure faster, therefore to avoid wasting material, mix the resin in smaller batches than you normally would.
    • Apply resin in shorter runs, this will give you a chance to consolidate the resin into the glass before it cures.
    • Use a temperature sensor to measure the surface temperature of the laminate before applying the topcoat. The topcoat will cure tacky at this temperature and debris can stick to it which will impair the finish.
    • Remember the roof will be hotter on the side that faces the sun. If possible try to avoid applying fibreglass in direct sunlight, wait till later in the day if possible.
    Catalyst Addition Chart

    Ambient Temperature

    27-30°C
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  3. Advice for Applying Fibreglass in Winter Months

    There are three main issues when fibreglassing outside during the winter months, cold weather, wet weather and shorter days. Fibreglass work is still possible. With the correct information and a little bit of planning, you can still get the job done.

    Apart from wrapping up and braving the elements, follow our simple checklist to get the most from your fibreglass materials.

    Our Top Tips for Fibreglass Work in Winter

    • Always check the local weather forecast, it is a good idea to have an app on your phone that you rely on for this.
    • Check the temperature. Do not start fibreglassing if the temperature is below 5°C as it will not cure. Use the catalyst addition chart to calculate the percentage of resin that should be used.
    • During the shorter winter days, avoid fibreglass or topcoating a roof after 2-3 pm. The heat from the sun helps the curing process, it is unlikely that it will cure overnight after the sunsets. This will affect the finish of the topcoat and debris can stick to the surface of resin which will have to be removed.
    • Check the temperature of the boards, resin and topcoat before laying the fibreglass. The resin should be left in a warm room the night before using it if the ambient temperature is below 10°C. Care should be taken to ensure that the resin does not freeze.
    • If it starts raining, stop working immediately and cover the roof with a Visqueen sheet.
    • If you have a deck laid and are unable to laminate it, coat the decking with catalysed resin to seal it from moisture. Ensure that all exposed edges are covered. Use a Visqueen sheet to cover edges and uncoated boards.
    • If you are unable to laminate over a prepared deck, then coat the decking with catalysed resin and cover any exposed edges. This will seal the deck and prevent moisture uptake until the laminate can be applied. Always cover the edges of the roof and uncoated boards with a polyethene sheet.
    • Always e
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  4. Why use GRP?

    Glass reinforced plastic (GRP) is a composite material commonly known as fibreglass. Composites are materials combined from two or more materials with different physical or chemical properties to create a material with characteristics of both materials. GRP is a composite made from resin and glass, which results in a strong lightweight product. The glass is in the form of either chopped strand mat, woven roving or glass strands. Aramid or Carbon fibres can be used when additional strength is required for advanced applications.

    GRP can be used for a multitude of applications as it is extremely adaptable and versatile. From Flat Roofing to Boat Repairs, Fibreglass has many properties which can’t be found in ordinary building or repair materials.

    Advantages of GRP

    Unlimited Design Potential

    The unique attributes of GRP allow it to be moulded and engineered to almost any shape or design. This allows for unlimited design possibilities. It can also be engineered with virtually any finish, colour or size. These design capabilities has seen an increase in the use of GRP as a choice material for Engineers, Architects, Designers and Builders.

    Cost Effectiveness

    In recent years, the overall costs of GRP Materials have decreased. Competitive prices combined with its long life expectancy make it an economical alternative to traditional building materials.

    Adaptability

    GRP is traditionally a lightweight but very strong material which appeals to a variety of industries and types of users. Again, GRP will provide lots of advantages for a wide range of products thanks to its light weight and low-maintenance requirements.

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  5. Fibreglass Repair

    In comparison to traditional building materials, Fibreglass composite materials are generally easier to repair. 

    It is important to note that once the original fibreglass laminate is damaged, any repairs to the original are considered as secondary bonds. With this in mind, the materials used to repair the laminate should be as good as what the laminate was constructed with. This is particularly important for resin choice. For example, if the laminate was constructed with an Epoxy Resin it should be repaired with an Epoxy Resin.

    Any repairs should be matched as closely to the original repair as possible including thickness, density and ply orientation. This will avoid any further stress to the laminate.

    Depending on the damage to the laminate, different repair techniques may be required. The steps below outline a standard fibreglass repair. If you require more assistance don't hesitate to contact us or view our FAQ section 

    Undertaking the Fibreglass Repair

    Inspect the area and identify required materials

    Damage to the laminate can present itself in four ways; Tears, holes / punctures, crushed core laminate or delamination.

    Care should be taken to ensure that the damage hasn’t spread further than the initial visual inspection. Tapping a coin on the surface of the laminate to detect any sound changes between crushed or solid laminate is one way to detect further damage.

    Measure the area to be repaired

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  6. G4 Damp Seal

    G4 Sealer, also referred to as G4 Damp Seal is a brown, translucent, polyurethane which hardens when in contact with moisture. Once applied, it will provide a tough damp-proof seal for most porous and non-porous substrates such as concrete, brick, stone or wood.

    Application of G4 Damp Seal

    G4 can be applied with a brush or roller. It can be applied to substrates which contain moisture, although it is important to note that the area should be dry enough to be porous. If the area is too damp, this can cause the G4 to de-laminate or blister. Once the area is dry enough to be porous, this will ensure that the first application of the G4 sealer will adhere to the surface area. G4 should not be used in temperatures below zero degrees.

    Ideally, the area should be free from all existing coatings and wiped down with Acetone before application. However, if this is not possible the adhesion will depend on the existing coating. If applying to brick, any loose pointing should be removed before G4 is applied.

    It is also important to note that G4 is not effective in areas of direct UV light; therefore if UV resistance is required a topcoat should be used to enhance UV protection.

    After the G4 is applied, we recommend that brushes are cleaned immediately with Acetone and then dried.

    Uses of G4 Damp Seal

    G4 Damp Seal can be used for coating walls, floors and as a pre-coat for fibreglass roof builds and ponds.

    Ponds

    In the case of 

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  7. Camper Van Fibreglass Repair

    Fibreglass Camper Van Repair

    Have you ever wanted to know how to repair a camper van? Camper van exteriors are mostly made of reinforced plastic parts, allowing repairs that most DIY enthusiasts can easily undertake.

    Using Fibreglass and Polyester Resin materials are the most common and efficient way of repairing a camper van. It can be used to repair cracks and holes in the fairing or leaks in the roof.

    Why choose fibreglass for camper van repairs

    Fibreglass, once mixed with a thermosetting resin such as Polyester or Epoxy resin, will provide a strong and long lasting reinforcement to efficiently repair dings and roof damage to a camper van.

    Glass reinforced plastic (GRP) is very lightweight and has almost no limit regarding the way it can be shaped.

    Fibreglass is also a very cost efficient way of repairing a van, compared to traditional repair materials. It also allows different types of finishes (textures and colours) that will fit perfectly with the rest of the van.

    NB: The area to be repaired should always be sanded to ensure good adhesion for the GRP Repair materials. It should then be wiped down with acetone and free of any contamination (corrosion, etc.) 

    If you are unsure of how much fibreglass material you may need, use our General fibreglass calculator to give you the quantities! 

    Calcuate Fibreglass Materials

    How to repair the external surface of the camper van roof

    Hail storm or any other

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  8. What is Fibreglass or Fiberglass?

    Fibreglass or Fiberglass is a type of fibre-reinforced plastic made from glass fibre. For this reason, Fibreglass is also known as glass-reinforced plastic or glass fibre reinforced plastic. Typically, glass fibre is flattened into a sheet, arranged randomly, or weaved into fabric. Glass fibres can be made from various types of glass, depending on their intended application. 

    The fibreglass or glass fibre is a reinforced plastic material which is composed of a woven material that is embedded with glass fibres which are randomly laid across each other and held together with a binding substance. Fibreglass is combined with resin to form an extremely strong and durable composite. Fibreglass can be supplied flattened into a sheet called a strand mat, or woven into a fabric.

    Fibreglass is extremely strong, lightweight, and flexible. Fibreglass can be moulded into many complex shapes, making it an excellent construction material. Fibreglass is widely used in bathtubs, boats, aircraft, roofs, and other applications. 

    This article aims to explain the types of Fiberglass and their properties and uses.  

     

     

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  9. Glass Tape

    What is Glass Tape?

    Glass Tape is non adhesive and is one of the most commonly used items in any fibreglass repair or build. Its versatile nature makes Glass Tape a firm favourite with our customers. 

    The glass tape consists of strands of glass woven together for strength. Once combined with resin, the rigid structure of the glass tape will provide reinforcement and a smoother, protected surface.

    It is normally applied after the shaping and fairing of the area has been completed and before the final coating is applied.

    Generally, Glass Tape is available in a 175g/m2 weight and a variety of widths and lengths in roll format. The sides of the tape are stitched to prevent fraying.

    Glass tape is used to add additional reinforcement to joints or edges, for strong repairs and in boat and kayak construction.

    Application of Glass Tape

    As Glass Tape has no binder, it can effectively be used with any type of resin including; Polyester, Epoxy and Polyurethane.

    Glass tape can be applied similarly to using fibreglass or woven roving using either a wet or dry method. Both application methods are suitable for large and small areas. However, as glass tape is so light, the dry method will be slightly easier.

    Multiple pieces of glass tape can be used for larger applications. Ensure that there is an overlap of about 50mm when two joining two pieces together. 

    Wet Method

    In the wet method, the resin is applied first. 

    A generous amount of resin should be applied

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