Tools and Materials
The materials will vary depending on the project being undertaken, but usually the following materials will be required:-
A gel coat would normally have about 3 times more thixotrope than a typical laminating resin. This increase in thixotrope means that the gelcoat can be applied to the recommended thickness of 0.4 -0.6 mm in a single continuous film without drainage on vertical or inclined surfaces. This is applied first to the mould 600g covers approximately 1 square meter. See our gelcoat range here.
Lay-up resin: a thinner resin used to apply the glassfibre matting one kilo of resin is needed per square metre of 450gsm glassfibre.
Catalyst: catalyst must be mixed with both gelcoat and lay-up resin to start the curing process. 2% of catalyst (hardener) is added according to weight (i.e. 20cc of catalyst per kilo of resin), 1% of catalyst can be used with resin, but not with gelcoat, this small amount of catalyst is used in hot weather to stop the resin curing too rapidly. Never mix up more resin than is needed at one time. You will need to work faster on hot days to prevent the resin curing too fast.
Catalyst is an organic peroxide and is corrosive and irritating to skin so protective clothing and gloves must be worn when handling catalyst and resins, if any should make contact with skin wash immediately under a running tap. If splashed into eyes flush them with running water for at least fifteen minutes and seek medical advice. As a preventive measure it is advisable that goggles are worn when using catalyst and resin.
Pigment: Pigment paste is used to colour the resin, in a ratio of not more than one part pigment to ten parts resin, by weight i.e. 100gm of pigment to one kilo of resin. A lower ratio will be adequate for more dense pigments such as black. Add pigment before mixing catalyst.
Release Agents: These prevent the laminating materials from bonding to the moulds. Conventional waxes and polishes such as car wax should not be used as they contain additives to which the resin will bond.
Glassfibre: There is a wide variety of glassfibre materials available the most popular being chopped strand mat.
Barrier Creams: Barrier and cleansing creams protect the skin and should be used when handling glassfibre materials
Acetone: Use acetone to clean brushes and remove resins. Do not use acetone on skin. Acetone is highly flammable and must be kept away from sparks and naked flames
FIBREGLASS MATERIALS ARE UNSUITABLE FOR CHILDREN, USE IN A WELL VENTILATED AREA AT A TEMPERATURE OF ABOUT 20 DEGREES CENTIGRADE AND WEAR PROTECTIVE CLOTHING.
Tools and accessories will vary depending on the project but the following are usually required:-
Mixing containers: cups and buckets made from a suitable plastic which will not be attacked by resin
Brushes and / or Rollers: These are used to apply resin. Use only rollers made for GRP work, conventional decorating rollers are not suitable as the glues used on them will be attacked by resin.
Metal Rollers: For rolling out air pockets in the resin and glassfibre layers.
Catalyst Dispenser: Use a specially designed dispenser for safety, catalyst should not come into contact with eyes or skin.
Rubber Gloves: These should be worn in conjunction with barrier creams to protect the hands from glassfibre materials and chemicals.