Moulding Kit Instructions

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Moulding Kit Instructions Powered By Docstoc
					                           Moulding Kit Instructions
Inside The D.I.Y. Moulding Kit
   -   300mm × 1m 830g Fibre Glass Cloth
   -   300mm × 1m 400g Fibre Glass Cloth
   -   2 × A4 size 300g CSM
   -   300g Wet Lay Epoxy Resin
   -   80g Wet Lay Epoxy Hardener
   -   150ml Gelcoat
   -   20ml Gelcoat hardener
   -   25ml PVA Release
   -   15g Release Wax Paste
   -   3 Plastic Cups
   -   3 Latex Gloves
   -   Mixing Sticks
   -   2 × 25mm Brushes
   -   Small Block of plasticine

What Can I Make With This Kit?
This kit is designed to make high quality moulds with flat dimensions of 300mm × 400mm.
You may use this kit for moulding from existing plastic parts on your motorcycle e.g. chain
guards, cockpit infill’s, huggers, small fairing parts or perhaps on your car e.g. air filter
covers, dash parts, plastic trim replacements etc. Or you may use a custom made plug made

Why Use This Kit?
This kit includes all the necessary components used by professionals every day to make
strong and reliable moulds. This D.I.Y. kit also provides people of all experience levels the
reassurance to create great professional moulds which can be used later with our Wet Lay
Kit to create a beautiful carbon fibre part. Great results can be achieved very easily.

What Extra Components Will I Need?
   -   An existing part made from plastic, steel or any non porous material.
   -   A set of kitchen scales (available from our website)
   -   A clean workspace
   -   A pair of scissors
   -   Lint free cloth (e.g. washing up sponge)

   - Heat gun/hairdryer
   - Small cutting tool (e.g. dremal, grinder or hacksaw)

The Moulding Process
The fibre glass mould process begins with an object known as the plug or buck, in this case
your plastic part. This is an exact representation of the object to be made, and can be made
from a variety of different materials.
After the part has been mounted to your parting board it is covered with mould release
agents. These release agents will allow the mould to be separated from the part once it is
finished. The mould release agent is a special wax, and PVA (Polyvinyl alcohol).
Once the plug has its release agent applied, gelcoat is applied with a brush or specially-
designed spray gun. The gelcoat is pigmented resin, and gives the mould surface a harder,
more durable finish.
Once the release agent and gelcoat are applied, layers of fibreglass and resin are laid-up
onto the surface.
Once the final layers of fibreglass are applied to the mould, the resin is allowed to set-up
and cure. And finally your part can be separated from your mould

The Part or Plug
Choosing a suitable part for your moulding kit is crucial. The surface of the part should
represent the finished product you want to create out of carbon fibre. If you have a mirror
finish on your Part you will get a shiny presentable carbon fibre part, and if it is bumpy,
rough or scratched these imperfections will show up on your mould. Minor imperfections
however can be fixed when your mould is completed, by sanding.

Safety First
When using any products in our kit it is highly advised to wear the appropriate personal
protective equipment. GLOVES, RESPIRATOR and GLASSES. A good tip when using carbon
fibre or fibreglass is to cover bare skin in some talcum powder, this blocks the pores in your
skin and prevents small particle of carbon fibre making you itchy. Always read the safety
measures that are provided on the product labels.

Understanding Flanging
Before you start making your mould there is one important process that is required of you
to understand, which is creating flanges so your mould can be used correctly later when
creating a carbon fibre part.
To create a perfect mould the appropriate flanges need to be added to your parts.

This means you extend the edge of your part by about 25mm, so your mould ends up larger
than your existing part. This flange on your mould is used to lay the overhang of carbon fibre
fabric when making your final part, this is then trimmed off and your carbon fibre part ends
up the exact same size as your moulded part. If there are no flanges, the overhang will have
to be trimmed up, and the finished product will end up smaller than your original part.
The flanging process will be easier to understand throughout the instructions.


Preparing Your Part or Plug
This set of instructions is based around creating a mould from a motorcycle licence plate,
blanking plate. Before starting any steps ensure your part is dry and clean.

Finding A Base plate:
The base plate is a flat surface which the mould is laid up on. In this case we are using a
6mm plastic sheet. Other material for base plates can be laminated wood, glass, sheet metal
(oven tray) etc.
TIP: A shiny non porous flat sheet is desired as a base plate.

Adding your Flanges:
In this case, our part is relatively flat so we can use our base plate as a flange. We attach
them using plasticine or non drying modelling clay, which is provided. When doing this step
ensure the clay has smooth edges.

There is going to be an additional flange added to the piece of the part protruding into the
air, also joined by plasticine.

Plasticine is also used to block any bolt/mounting holes, cracks or blemishes. This is so our
gelcoat or resin doesn’t find its way into and unwanted areas and cause a “sticking” effect
when trying to release the part from the mould.

Applying Release Wax Paste:
Take the release wax paste supplied in your kit and with a lint free cloth apply in a wiping
motion to your part. Ensure you remove any clumps and allow to dry for 2 minutes.
TIP: Release wax paste is a very fine compound and does not need to be applied very thick.

Once dry the wax has a hazy appearance, you can then polish the surface of the mould
leaving it to appear shiny.

Repeat this process over again. Generally 3 - 6 applications are adequate. This process is
giving your part a glass like finish filling in any small pinholes or imperfections.
TIP: Depending on your mould surface you may require more application of release wax.

Applying PVA Release:
The PVA Release provided in the kit is to prevent any epoxy resin and gelcoat sticking to
your part. It leaves the mould with an extremely thin barrier of PVA. Similar to the wax the
PVA is to be applied using a lint free cloth. The PVA release is blue in colour so it is easy to
see how much you are applying. Again attempt to apply in a thin even coating. Leave this

aside to dry for approximately 20mins (this will vary depending on the room temperature).
2 – 3 coats of PVA release is desired.

TIP: Apply a small amount to an area you are not using, so it can be used as a sample to see
when the PVA is dry.

Mixing The Gelcoat

Safety First:
When the epoxy resin and gelcoat is mixed with their hardeners a curing process called
polymerization occurs.
The length of this process will vary when using different hardeners and/or using different volumes.
If a large volume of resin or gelcoat, and hardener is left in a cup, this will cause the reaction to
occur faster than recommended and may generate enough heat to melt your plastic cup or ignite
close flammable liquids. With that in mind you need an adequate amount of both resin and
hardener to create an ideal curing process. Attempt to mix your batches, both resin and hardener to
a gross weight of 30grams. If you mix too small a batch and your resin will never harden.
TIP: It is much safer to mix more batches in smaller volume than to create a fire hazard. A 30gram
batch is ideal.

Mixing the Gelcoat:
The Gelcoat and hardener is mixed to a ratio of 10:1 that is 10 parts gelcoat an 1 part
hardener. E.g. 30g gelcoat: 3g hardener (3 eyedroppers). One full eyedropper is equal to 1 g
or 1ml. To measure this, place the plastic cup provided onto a set of kitchen scales and zero
your scales accounting for the weight of the cup. Then add your gelcoat and read the scales
again. Divide what weight of gelcoat you have by 10, this will tell you how much hardener is
needed. Add your hardener using the eyedropper to correct amount and mix together using
the mixing stick provided.
                       Weight of cup         = 10g
                       Added 30g gelcoat = 40g
                       10:1 ratio            30 ÷ 10 = 3
                       3 eyedroppers of hardener is needed

Applying your Gelcoat:

The aim of the first coat of gelcoat is to cover the entire part you have applied release
agents to, with a thick even coating. Using the brush provided in the kit, make sure there are
no loose bristles, paint the gelcoat quite generously. Sit the part aside for around 20min to
40min (time may vary depending on ambient temperature) and allow the gelcoat to set

TIP: Apply a small amount to an area you are not using, so it can be used as a sample to see
when the gelcoat is tacky.
TIP: Tacky is when you can touch the surface without any resin being stuck to your finger,
but your finger leaves a small imprint.
Leave your cup with the unused gelcoat in an open and well ventilated area, in case of any
dangerous reaction. (Do not breathe the vapour given off)
TIP: You can clean you brush with acetone or nail polish remover if you want to re use it

Second layer of gelcoat:
Start by mixing a second batch of gelcoat and hardener. With the second application of
gelcoat you can be very generous and apply a thick layer with you cleaned brush. If there
are no deep holes or harsh corners on your part you can sit your part aside and allow it to
set tacky, skip the next step.

Gelcoat Thickener:
If there are deep holes and/or harsh corners on your part you can mix the thickener
provided into your cup of gelcoat. This is added by small amounts and mixed with your
mixing stick, continue adding thickener until your gelcoat transforms into a thick slurry. This
will give your gelcoat a more density, and will allow it to stick to harsher corners or fill deep
holes. Once you are satisfied by you coverage, place your part aside and allow it to set tacky.
Next you are ready to apply resin and fibre glass.

Mixing The Fibre Glass Epoxy Resin

Mixing The Fibre Glass Epoxy Resin:
The resin and hardener is mixed to a ratio 5:1 that is 5 parts resin to 1 part hardener.
E.g. 30g resin: 6g hardener. To measure this, place the plastic cup provided onto a set of
kitchen scales and zero your scales accounting for the weight of the cup. Then add your wet
lay resin and read the scales again. Divide what weight of resin you have by 5, this will tell
you how much hardener is needed. Add your hardener until your scales read the correct
amount and mix together using the mixing stick provided.
TIP: When mixing try not to agitate the resin too much, as this may create unwanted air
bubbles. Remember to mix thoroughly though and scrape the sides of the cup for all
                (Scales not Zeroed accounting for the weight of the cup)
                               Weight of cup          = 10g
                               Added 30g resin        = 40g
                               5:1 ratio              30 ÷ 5 = 6
                               6g of hardener is needed
                               Total weight of all    = 46g

Applying The First Coat:
The aim of applying the first coat is actually to cover your gelcoat surface in resin and let it
set to a tack. This coat of resin is going to allow your fibre glass to stick to your gelcoat

Using the brush provided in the kit, make sure there are no loose bristles, paint the resin
onto your mould creating a thin layer. The resin may seem to gather in patches so keep
working it with the brush until you get an even coating. Once you are satisfied leave your

part to one side and let it cure until tacky. Depending on the room temperature this will
take between 1 – 2 hours.
TIP: You can clean you brush with acetone or nail polish remover if you want to re use it

Cutting Your Fibre Glass Fabric:
When applying the layers of carbon fibre cloth aim to have around 10 – 20mm of overlap for
the area you are trying to cover. This means to try and cut a bit more cloth than what is
needed. This overlap will be later cut and trimmed down to the correct size of your part
later on.
The more layers the stronger the finished product will be. It is advisable to cut at least 2
layers of cloth to lie in your over you part.

Laying Your Cloth Onto Your Part:
Once you are sure the first resin coating has gone tacky, you can lay the first piece of fibre
glass cloth onto your part. If you are unsure whether the resin is tacky it is better to leave it
set for a little longer than to apply your cloth too soon.
Now with your cloth and part prepared you are ready to start laying your fibre glass.
Line your fabric up square with your part and gently lay it down, start to gently press it
down from the centre out. Making sure it has been worked into all corners.

Wetting Out your Cloth:
Now that your cloth is pressed onto your moulded surface it is time to wet it out with
another coat of resin. Start by mixing another small batch of resin.
TIP: It is safer to mix too little than too much.
Now with your brush apply the resin to the cloth carefully. This time you are trying to push
the resin into the cloth. In doing so you are effectively trying to replace all air from within
the fibres with that of resin. This is done by dabbing your brush slowly across the weave.
Remember you want to wet the cloth out not create a pool of resin.

Applying Additional Layer Of Fibre Glass:
This is done by repeating the steps mentioned above: Laying your cloth onto your mould,
wetting out your cloth. The additional layers of fibre glass reinforce the part making it
stronger and less likely to crack.
The CSM (chopped strand mat) included in your kit is to additionally reinforce your part at a
fraction of the price of fibre glass. It is recommended that you put a minimum of two layers
of fibre glass onto your part before using the CSM. The CSM does not have to be put on your
part, but if you are making multiple parts this may help keep the cost down.
The CSM is applied to your part exactly the same as the second layer of fibre glass. By letting
the previous layer set to a tack, applying your next piece and wetting it out.
TIP: CSM is ripped apart and applied quite generously. You do not need to worry too much
about having air bubbles in these layers.

Finishing Up:
Now you have applied all your pieces of cloth you can carefully place your mould in a safe
place and allow to cure over night (the resin requires at least 8 hours to fully cure).

Releasing Your Mould:
Now your mould has fully cured it is time to remove it from the part (be sure it is fully cured
or you may risk damaging your mould). Begin by finding a bit of overhang of cloth and giving
it a gentle pull until you hear it separating from your mould (be careful of sharp edges). If
the part does not separate apply a bit more force.
If it still does not want to separate from the mould use small plastic wedges and a hammer
to lift the edges.
You should now have a mould ready for its final stages of cleaning and trimming.

Cleaning and Trimming:
If your part has a dull look to it, it may still have some PVA release stuck on it. The PVA
release is water soluble so it can be washed off with water using a wet sponge.

Now your mould is ready to be trimmed. This can be done with multiple tools but the most
effective is a small cut off wheel. What you want to do is trim all excess fibre glass from the
edges, but be sure to leave around 25mm from the original shape, also being careful not to
damage the moulded surface.
Now the mould is starting to take shape it can be further perfected by sanding the edges
and the mould surface (if required) with coarse sand paper changing regularly working your
way down to a fine grit.

You have now successfully created a mould, this can now later be used with our D.I.Y. Fibres
wet lay carbon fibre kit to create a 100% carbon fibre part.

Thank you for your business and if there are and questions about your mould or these
instructions please do not hesitate to contact us at
There are a number of different kits available from our site, for different applications of
Carbon fibre products so fell free to have a browse.


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