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Old 11-12-2017, 02:41 PM   #1

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Smile Help require for a frp factory setup

Hello members,

I am a new member and have a lot of questions for the experts to help me I hope you'll be willing to help me.

To start with, I am new to fiberglassing. I am into custom automobile parts business and have been getting FRP parts from a supplier but due to bad quality I am thinking of setting up a facility myself. There are companies who do good quality stuff but they require big quantities and initial investment is very high to cover up their setup expenses which I can not afford or going to make profits that much for me as this is a small scale business.

Few of my questions are:
1. When I get parts from my current supplier, inside of the part is sticky. Why is is sticky? I hate it.

2. We'll be doing body parts i.e. tanks, fairings, fenders etc. for custom motorcycles which requires smooth finish and at the same time good strength to handle an impact incase of an accident. Some parts are curvy as well. What do you suggest in terms of material i.e. fiberglass mat of what weight, woven roving, weave, strand direction for curvy items, combination of lay-ups etc.

3. What's the strongest resin for the same which provides high quality, good strength, are non-shrinkable, heat/sunlight resistant and fast curing at the same time not too expensive. I ready Vinyl-ester should be good for this job. Is it strong enough? How do I get this kind of strength. Check the following video:

4. I want my parts to look beautiful inside out. I personally like the woven rowing pattern. Is it good to use this throughout the build or shall I use this as the outer layer for finishing? Check links given below.

5. I have seen some resins which leaves the inner side of the part in greenish see-through color. Is it the pigment? They say they use HEXIUM resin. What's that? Have a look at the links given below:

Also, if you checkout this video in the following link, you will see they have gel-coat on both sides and he says they make them with resin infusion. How do we get this quality?

6. Some of the parts I get from my supplier have cracks on the Gelcoat. What can I do to prevent the parts from cracking in the future.

7. Do we have matte white gelcoats available? I kind like the matte finish.

8. A little off topic but I need to know this styrofoam to make our patterns. What kind of foam is this i.e. density etc.:

9. What's the best and strongest way to bond the fasteners to fiberglass? Somewhat like this:

10. How do I get nice and even thickness throughout the process? I hate different thickness on the edges.

11. I found out about re-usable inner silicon mold by Smooth-on. Is there a cheaper option available? This is very expensive in India after import duties etc. Something which can be mixed without machine unlike smooth-on if I am not wrong.

12. I think vacuum infusion is the best option for us. What all equipment do we require for a production facility with 6-8 people working throughout the day on a number of parts. Also, any tips and tricks on vacuum infusion would be helpful.

13. I want my parts to have the smoothest finish on top possible so my customers can paint them without much work. I know molds should be finished properly. How to make the smoothest and economical mold possible for 150-200 piece production life? Can I used CNC wooden / styrofoam mold / plug with top layer of fiberglass polished to smoothest finish possible? Do we have to finish the parts after molding even if the molds are super smooth? How do we finish the mold so they require minimum sanding work after molding?

14. About carbon fiber, shall I use pre-preg to start as I will need some time to learn what's the best resin available for that in India. Is it easy and cheaper to do infusion instead of using pre-pregs?

15. I see some carbon fiber parts that do not have any pot holes in the resin. Are they sanded after molding? And some have matte finish, are they clear coated with matte after sanding? Have seen red/blue etc. carbon fiber finishes. Looks killer. Do they mix any pigment with the clear coat?

16. What's the best and economical (if any) but top quality gel-coat spray and chopper gun system? I can not afford a vactech system maybe in the future.

17. Saw someone molding carbon fiber without breather fabric. Checkout certifiedokc. They are changing the game. Lot of helpful tips and tricks. I am following them on instagram that's where they put their daily working videos. Youtube channel:

I am sorry for a lot of questions, I know I am asking a lot but I really need to understand completely before starting. No good courses available in India that I know of. Anyone from India willing to help / work with us?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you so much guys.

Best wishes from India.
novicemolder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2017, 03:09 AM   #2

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Not trying to kill your initiative here but it sounds to me like you would be best off hiring proper staff with experience in composites.
As you say, you are starting from scratch and all your knowledge is gleaned from the internet. Nothing wrong with that but you are not a DIY home builder, you are actually looking to produce quality parts in some decent numbers and that means you will potentially loose a lot of time and a chunk of money before you start getting proper parts.

I am just a home DIYer but my advice would be to find money for a proper composites technician in your budget. There's gotta be a few in that big country of yours.
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:57 AM   #3

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Hi, Thanks for writing back. I understand but the problem here is I am trying hard to find a guy who's expert on these but unable to find one and the people who are good are already working with big companies so it'll be difficult for me to afford their salaries. The reason why I want to do it at my works is my parts will all be exclusive and I do not trust anyone else to produce them plus they can not provide parts in time and nowhere near the quality I require. The top companies I had a word with are asking huge amount of money for the molds and then atleast 100-200 pieces production initially which is the total number of my production. I am willing to put in the money for equipment and I will still try to look for an expert but by the time I find one, I would appreciate if someone could help me through the points I have mentioned. Thanks so much and best wishes from India.
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Old 11-30-2017, 09:03 PM   #4

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You're not going to get much response here because you don't know anything about making composite parts and yet, you're asking people here to tell you how to start a composite parts business. That's known as "putting the cart before the horse".
idk is offline   Reply With Quote


carbon fiber, factory, fiberglass, frp, require, rtm, setup, vacuum bagging, vacuum infusion

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