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THE STICKY END OF THE BUSINESS – PART 3
  |  First Published: February 2012



Good on all the keen guy and girl fishos who braved it out on the water this silly season. If you were anywhere near a popular waterway you will know just how much traffic is out there at this time of the year. And with all the chaos comes mistakes, accidents and dramas.

After a good run, your boat will need some love. After any extended use, your boat will need extra maintenance so in this issue I will wrap up on the products information. Next time I’ll focus on basic repairs and structural issues.

Knowledge of all of the products will help you use the right product for the right application. In this part I will cover fillers, core materials and solvents that will assist in making the job easier when maintaining your pride and joy.

FILLERS

To a lot of people in the fibreglass industry, fillers are one of the most important products in the laminating and detailing stage. Fillers are used in the finishing stages whether it be detailing some air bubbles that aren’t structural or bonding foam to fibreglass.

It is an essential product to have on hand and surprisingly enough it is made from the same material as everyday talcum powder, without the floral scent of course. As foam and fillers are both polyester-based their bonding properties are very compatible.

Filler is also used in the moulding process to be applied on the first layer of laminate. Applying a polyester filler, like Probond or Klite, will provide reassurance that there is as little absorption and to compensate for any air voids that may occur from sharp angles, such as chines.

Fillers aren’t just made up of unscented talc. Chemists adjust the density and consistency for different applications. Probond, our most common filler, has ingredients such a Qcell, which is a microscopic hollow sphere known as a micro balloon. It is known for its extra light properties used in shaping and long fairing projects. Qcell mixed with any polyester or vinyl ester and M.E.K.P. will be a great filler product. Gel time at a ratio of 1:1 is approximately 20-30 minutes.

Milled fibre is the strongest ingredient for fillers as it is a solid sphere of glass. Whether it is milled or machined, when applied in a closed mould scenario it has the strongest chemical bond in one application. Its core laminate strength will clearly out strengthen the any other ingredient.

CORE MATERIALS

There are a few different types of core material, such as Balsa or Corematt. Each are used for the same principle; as a stiffener to compensate weight.

Some cores will need resin to work and can absorb quite a lot. It makes the material a little heavier but it is a great shock absorber. Corematt is a great product and can come in varying thickness.

Once you have applied the core it is best to wait before applying more glass and resin because it is messy and itchy kind of work.

I will go into more detail as we get into the project side of things in the coming issues.

SOLVENTS

Acetone is one essential item to have on hand. It can be used for cleaning up spilled resin, rinsing your hands or cleaning all of your fibreglass tools, such as rollers, scrapers and brushes.

Acetone should be handled with care as it breaks the fat down in your skin and could give you skin irritations. Make sure you wear gloves at all times and use a barrier cream to help protect your skin.

If you don’t have acetone on hand you can also use vinegar as an alternative (great for epoxys).

In the next issue I will go through various types of cracks and chips and explain the steps in getting the job done right.

1

The big crack in this locker box can be easily fixed with the right knowledge and products.

2

This is a couple of rolls of Corematt ready to be cut up and used as a stiffener along the side walls of a boat.

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