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[Video] Mixing Polyester Resin

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Resin mixing is an important part of composite manufacturing. Here's how to do it safely and with an acceptable margin of accuracy.

WARNING - THESE INSTRUCTIONS INVOLVE THE USE OF METHYL ETHYL KEYTONE PEROXIDE (MEK-P), A CORROSIVE COMPOUND THAT IS MILDLY "EXPLOSIVE." GLOVES ARE A MUST AROUND THESE COMPOUNDS AS THEY WILL ATTACK ORGANIC LIFE FORMS - THAT MEANS YOU, YOU MEAT PERSON!

IF YOUR SKIN IS SPLASHED, IMMEDIATELY WASH WITH SOAP AND WATER - DO NO DILUTE WITH ACETONE. SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IF YOU HAVE A SEVERE REACTION OR DEVELOP A FEVER.

FIRE ADVISORY - POLYESTER RESIN IS FLAMMABLE. DO NOT SMOKE OR HAVE AN OPEN FLAME NEAR YOUR WORKING OR STORAGE AREA. DO NOT LEAVE CATALYZED RESIN UNATTENDED WHEN IN SIGNIFICANT QUANTITIES AS THERE IS A POSSIBILITY OF SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION. SHOULD YOU HAVE A FIRE EMERGENCY, SMOTHER THE FLAME.

The following video is long, but full of tips, tricks and advice for working with resin for layup.



Glossary
MEKP - Methyl Ethyl Keytone Peroxide - polyester resin catalyst (hardener)
PVA - Polyvinyl Alcohol (film mold release)
Cabosil - the white silica filler being mixed in (trade name - aka Aerosil)
Tool - negative mold used to make parts
Micro Balloons - air filler encapsulated in silica glass (creates a lattice matrix structure in resin)
Gelcoat - provides a high quality finish to composite tool surface
Composite - material made from two or more substances (in this case fiber glass and resin)
Mat - Reference to chopped fiberglass in a sheet form; tearable by hand with strands about 1.5" long
Exotherm - reference to the heat generated/required by the resin to cure
Pot - Catalyzed batch of resin
Pot Life - Working/usable life of pot. After this time, the chemical reactions between catalyst and resin "take off"
 
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legamin6 days ago

in feeling dumb... How do I view this video?

dawgz0314 years ago
can i replace hardener with some superglue??? and a catalyst?
i really cant find a hardener near my place......
lol no.
i can t see video
hay_jumper7 years ago
This is informative and I like that you added warnings about the materials. However, I'm a little alarmed that nothing was said about safety when working with Cabosil. This stuff is very light and gets into the air very easily. Then it gets into your lungs and will eventually kill you by way of silicosis. When I use this stuff I have a filtered vent hood for mixing and wear a particulate filter respirator throughout the process. All you have to do is open the can to see some of it float away. Even if you don't inhale it directly, it will settle as "dust" onto surfaces in your work space and when you clean or sweep will get reintroduced into the air. That ring around the bucket on the floor caused me to shiver. It's probably not a big deal if you only use this stuff very rarely, but if you are using Cabosil in large batches often, you will do well to protect yourself. Your lungs will thanks you.
What do you make?
trebuchet03 (author)  hay_jumper7 years ago
You're absolutely right -- the MEKP kinda trumped that warning. While there has been no direct link to cancer/silicosis - I surely don't want to be the test monkey to prove that wrong....

Health Safety- Cab-O-Sil
Cabot's Testing Documentation - PDF

The fourth video (soon to be released) will show mixing being done in a spray booth with the vent on. We weren't too concerned as our exposure to the dry powder was less than 20 minutes every time we mixed and we vacuumed frequently to prevent the mess from getting too out of hand -- if the vac filter can't handle the silica - dust masks have no chance :P
piper12346 years ago
; ) tip my hat , many useful information, thanks a lot
royalestel7 years ago
What? You haven't sold out to metacafe yet? :)
trebuchet03 (author)  royalestel7 years ago
Metacafe appears not to support files greater than 100megs :P Overall, I like Google and their practices. Everyone is responsible for their own code, their basic business ideals stick to what I think are honest and every six months - you'll have some sort of web application breath trough (even if it's just a great feature that's now free VIA Google :P).
MixMasterM7 years ago
Very nice - thanks for taking the time to document and link the source/etc. I've always had uses for stuff like this, but just never found it easily.
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