Products Used in Fiberglass Work

Depending on your project, you might need one or more products, found in one or more of the following groups:

ABRASIVES
Sandpaper & Grinding Discs Sandpaper might be the first idea of abrasives that comes to mind. However, for fiberglass work, the category also contains barrel sanders, bronze wool, cut-off wheels, discs, file sheets, grinding discs, hand pads, sanding rolls, screens, sanding sheets, sponges, steel wool, sanding belts, sanding stones, scuff pads, etc.
Grit sizes are macrogrits and microgrits, and are measured in micrometers (µm). One micrometer is one millionth of one meter, and that is, approximately, 0.000039 inch.
Macrogrits (12 grit to 220 grit – determined by sieving) encompass: extra coarse, coarse, medium, fine, and very fine. Their average particle diameters measure from about 1815µm to about 68µm.
Microgrits (240 grit to 6000 grit – determined by sedimentation) include: very fine, extra fine, super fine, and ultra fine. Their average particle diameters are from around 58.5µm to around 4µm, all according to the ANSI®/CAMI® (USA), and FEPA® (Europe) standards.

ADDITIVES
Volcanic PumiceNon-skid pumice granules, UV inhibitor, gelcoat promoter, gelcoat thickener.

 

 

 

BUFFING MATERIALS
Wool Buffing Pads Wool buffing pads (dual side, single side grip, single side inner ring), foam buffing pads, center ring buffing pads, mini buffing pads, buffing pad cleaner spur tool, wax and compound aplicator pads, dual side adaptor bolt, 3″ backing plates, 7″ high speed backing plates, flex edge grip backing plates, center tee buffing pads (wool, and foam), micro fiber towel, micro fiber cloth, micro fiber bonnet, buffing compounds, etc.

CATALYSTS
Benzoyl Organic Peroxide BPO paste, BPO liquid, and Methyl Ethyl Ketone Peroxide MEKP.

CLEANING AGENTS
Scouring PadGrouped as Acidic, Alkaline, Neutral, and Degreaser, cleaning agents in the fiberglass industry are used to clean and maintain metal (including aluminum), paint, gelcoat, bilge, vinyl & plastic, upholstery, etc. Some are geared towards loosening and removing adhesives, and others are very specific, like parts washer, mold cleaner, and swirl remover.
Accessories for cleaning jobs include rags, mops, mop bucket, sponges, scrub pads, gloves, masks, respirators, goggles, safety glasses, etc.
 
CONTAINERS
Paper cups, Beakers, Plastic Containers Paper cups, beakers, plastic containers, measuring bucket, squeeze bottle, metal can (F-style, cylindrical), treated paper cup, untreated paper cup, glass jar, poly cup, poly jar, bottle, box, UN-approved pail, container lids and caps, etc., are among the items, commonly, used in fiberglass work.

 

CORE MATERIALSFiberglass-reinforced core boards
In a variety of thicknesses, densities, and sizes, the market has the following, at your disposal: composite cored panel, paddle board blank, polyply, polyurethane, surfboard blank, marine plywood, styrofoam sheet, fiber reinforced polymer (FRP), malleable scored and scrimmed foam sheet, foam fillet strip, flat honeycomb sandwich panel, malleable honeycomb sandwich sheet, etc., for use in industries related to marine, transport, wind energy, aerospace, subsea, sports, construction, furniture, arts, and others.
Balsa wood in scrimmed and scored sheets are available, as well.

EPOXY
Resin, curing agent, glue, paste, gel, putty.

FIBERGLASS
Quadriaxial, triaxial, biaxial, unidirectional, carbon kevlar blend, carbon, cloth, cloth tape, gun roving, chopped strand mat (CSM), chopped strand, stitchmat, veil, woven roving.

FILLERS
Fillers are, usually, combined with the resin, in order to produce a third product. Depending on the filler and the quantity added, the new material might become a coarse or smooth putty, a slightly thicker resin, a paste-like product. Examples of fillers include aluminum sulfate, cotton flock, fumed silica, microballoons, microspheres, milled fibers, talc, walnut shells.

GELCOAT
Airless, exterior, brushable exterior, fire retardant, interior, tooling.

LIQUID FOAMS
A-Side, 2 Lb B-Side, 4 Lb B-Side, 8 Lb B-Side, 24 Lb B-Side.

MOLD RELEASE PRODUCTS
Modeling ClayAerosol, pre-wax cleaner, modeling clay, sheet wax, wax paste, wax fillet, water and alcohol-based polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), de-molding wedges (flexible, heavy duty, high performance, medium, rigid), etc.

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS
Chip BrushesBrush, empty caulking tube, extension handle, floor paper, hand cleaner, step ladder, step stool, masking film, masking paper, atomizer, paint roller frame, paint roller, paint roller pan, paint roller pan liner, stirrer, strainer.

 

PAINTS
Paint CansTo protect, accentuate, finalize, and give color to your work – or any combination of the aforementioned –, there are several brands and applications, from which to choose.

 

 

PIGMENTS
PigmentsUsed to change the color of transmitted or reflected light, pigments are materials for coloring fabric, food, plastic, paint, ink, etc., and, usually, presented as dispersion, poly paste, and powder. Dyes are, generally, a water-based solution.
Although not a pigment, metalic flakes will produce a sparkling effect, and accentuate the contours of bodywork more than non-metalic paint.

 

PUTTY
Troweled PuttyVery effective, and, frequently, utilized in fiberglass work, putties have many applications, and are, especially, employed when there is a need to fill a small hole, a dip, or a minor crack on a defective part. Epoxy bonding, trowelable fairing, gelcoat, radius, glazing, polyester fairing, polyester filling compounds, are some of the choices.

RESINS
Resin PelletsWith a considerably long shelf life while not mixed, epoxy resins have extensive applications, and are known for their chemical and heat resistance, and a very high level of adhesion. Some epoxy resins utilize a curing agent mixing ratio of 1:1, 2:1, 3:1, 4:1, and 5:1.
Polyester resins are widely used with fiberglass work. Once it cures, the thermosetting plastic cannot be reheated to change or reverse its shape. A cured and solidified thermosetting resin is known as thermoset, and cannot be recycled, although it can be used as filler material.
Vinylester resin is made from epoxy resin, and has a lower viscosity than polyester, and epoxy resins. In light of its increased resistance to corrosion, Vinylester is the preferred resin in the marine industry.

SACRIFICIAL ANODES
Sacrificial Anode Zincs For marine corrosion control in commercial, recreational, or military vessels, sacrificial anode pieces come in several shapes and forms, for a variety of applications: shaft, rudder, trim tab, engine/pencil, propeller, hull, outboard, outdrive, bow thruster, jet drive, heat exchanger, condenser, cap, crab trap, de-icer, frigo boat, grouper-shaped, POD drive, sail drive, sea strainer, rods, etc.
These products are, usually, made with zinc, or magnesium, or aluminum.

SAFETY & ACCESSORY PRODUCTS
Safetywear IconsThe United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has determined that “Synthetic Mineral Fibers are inorganic substances made primarily from rock, clay, slag, or glass. These fibers are classified into three general groups: fiberglass (glass wool and glass filament), mineral wool (rock wool and slag wool), and refractory ceramic fibers (RCF)”.
As you get ready to work with fiberglass, you find that the specialized market offers a wide variety of accessories at your disposal, some or all of which you might want to wear for your undertaking: goggles, gloves, shoe covers, ear plugs, mask, respirator, full body paper suit, paper pants, sleeve covers, lab coat, apron, hood, head sock, face shield, knee pads, non-skid footwear, safety glasses, work boots, hard hat, etc., to help you achieve your goal, while contributing to keeping you safer and cleaner.

SOLVENTS
Common Organic Solvents The American Chemistry Council® classifies organic solvents according to their respective chemical structures: Oxygenated Solvents (alcohols, ketones, esters, glycol ethers, and glycol ether esters), Hydrocarbon Solvents (aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons), and Halogenated Solvents (chlorinated hydrocarbons).
Solvents can dissolve, suspend, or extract other materials, usually without chemically changing the solvent or the other materials.
In fiberglass work, frequently used solvents include acetone, denatured alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, lacquer diluent, lacker thinner, methyl ethyl ketone, mineral spirits, paint stripper, etc.

TAPES
Pressure Sensitive Adhesive TapesSingle, or double sided, Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA) tapes do not require water, solvent, or heat, in order to bind to the surface on which they are applied. Typically, rubber-, acrylic-, or silicone-based, PSA tapes have different attaching characteristics and applications, and work better on clean and dry materials .
Tapes are available in several widths, carriers, colors, and styles: black, blue, clear, de-bulking, double side, duct, filament, fine line, general painting, general purpose, green, high temperature, low temperature, felt bonding, foam bonding, rubber bonding, gasket bonding, marine, masking, packaging, painter’s, performance, plastic, preservation, sealant, silver, solvent resistant, weather resistant, etc.

TOOLS
On-Off ButtonHaving the right tools and using them properly help you do your fiberglass work more efficiently.
You might need air power tools, electric power tools, extension cords, surge protectors, fiberglass rollers, hand tools, spray guns, work lights, drum wrench, hammers, vacuum cleaners, vacuum cleaner attachments, levels, chisel knives, pry bars, tape knives, T-squares, rulers, measuring tapes, scissors, spring clamps, bar clamps, corner clamps, hose clamps, clutch lock clamps, pipe clamps, G-clamps, trowels, scrapers, putty knives, spatulas, razor knives, box cutters, rubber mallets, spreaders, extension handles, tool bags, tool belts, heat guns, glue guns, air compressors, angle sanders, DA (dual action) sanders, drum cradle, electric drills, electric polishers, mil gauges, mixers, wire brushes, drum pump, gallon pump, pail pump, drum heating belt, etc.

VACUUM BAGGING
Tubing, used in Infusion Known as Closed Mold Process, resin infusion is drawn by vacuum into a dry fiber laminate in a one-sided mold. The mold is contained inside a film bag, or a sheet of the film is placed on top, and sealed around the outer edge, of the mold.
Resin infusion is better than non-vacuum bag curing in several aspects: less resin usage with better fiber-to-resin ratio, faster ply lay-up, less operator exposure to harmful emissions, and stronger laminate with low void content.
Vacuum bagging materials, tools, and equipment include release fabrics (nylon peel ply, polyester peel ply, fiberglass peel ply), release films, water-based release liquids, bagging films (multi-layer polyolefin, polyamide compound, multi-layer nylon, thermoplastic elastomer, polyimide nylon), flow media, rubber edge damming material, fluorocarbon shrink tape, hand roller for tape application, polyester shrink tape, non-woven polyester bleeder/breather cloth (very light weight, light weight, medium weight, heavy weight, very heavy weight), non-woven nylon breather/bleeder cloth, resin infusion products (flanged locking pliers, contact spray adhesive, low profile resin distribution medium, high temperature resin distribution medium, extruded resin distribution medium, vacuum reservoir, leak detector, vacuum pump, tubing, elbow, T-fitting, straight fitting, veil, spiral wrap), rubber (cured silicone rubber, uncured silicone rubber, uncured synthetic rubber, fiberglass-reinforced uncured silicone rubber), tooling materials, vacuum bag sealant tapes (synthetic rubber, silicone), vacuum valves, vacuum gauge, quick-disconnect set, vacuum regulator, etc.