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GuidetoResinInfusion

GuidetoResinInfusion

Introduction

Vacuumresininfusionisasophisticatedtechniqueformanufacturinghighperformance,voidfreecompositesevenon
largeorcomplicatedmoulds.Theprocessisideallysuitedtothemanufactureofcarbonfibrecompositesandiswidely
usedbyprofessionalmanufacturersfortheproductionofcarbonfibrebodypanelssuchasbonnetsandbymarine
manufacturersfortheproductionofboathulls.

Inresininfusion,reinforcementislaidintothemoulddry,i.e.withoutanyresin,andthenenclosedinaspecially
configuredstackofbaggingmaterials(suchaspeelply,infusionmeshandbaggingfilm)beforebeingsubjectedto
vacuumpressureusingacompositesvacuumpump.Oncealltheairhasbeenremovedfromthebagandthe
reinforcementhasbeenfullycompressedunderthispressure,liquidepoxyresin(mixedwithhardener)isintroduced
tothereinforcementthroughapipewhichtheninfusesthroughthereinforcementunderthevacuumpressure.Once
theresinhasfullyinfusedthroughthereinforcement,thesupplyofresiniscutoff(usingapipeclamp)andtheresinis
lefttocure,stillundervacuumpressure.

Advantagesofresininfusion

Resininfusion,whendonecorrectly,canproducepartsofincrediblestrengthandqualityofappearance.The
combinationofvacuumpressurealongwithcarefullyplacedvacuumconsumables(suchaspeelplyandinfusion
mesh)meanthatthefinishedcompositewillhaveabsorbedresinattheoptimumresintoreinforcementratio,
avoidingresinrichcompositesorvariationsinperformanceinevitablewithtraditionalwetlaymanufacture.

Theresininfusionprocessalsoeliminatessomeoftheproblemsthatcanblightwetlaycomposites,suchasairvoids
(causedwherethereinforcementhasbridgedaroundtightcorners)andtinyairbubblescausedbyairtrappedwithin
thelaminate.

Thequalityofepoxyinfusionresinsmeansthatresininfusedpartscanbemadewithstrengthtoweightratiosthat
canrivalpartsmadeusingpreimpregnated(prepreg)reinforcementsystems.

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GuidetoResinInfusion

TheStarterKitContents


Components/material Purpose
Compositesvacuumpump Electricpoweredvacuumpumpcapableofveryhighvacuumpressure(99.98%
vacuum).Thispumpcreatesthevacuumpressurethatdrawsalloftheairout
ofthevacuumbagandmaintainsthisvacuumpressurethroughoutthecure
cycleofthecomposite.
Resincatchpot&liners Thecatchpotsitsbetweenthecompositeandthevacuumpumpandprevents
anyexcessresinfromthecompositebeingdrawndownthevacuumtubeand
intothepump.Thecatchpotcanbelinedwithremovablelinerssothatany
resincaughtbythepotcanbeeasilydiscardedaftertheprocessiscomplete.
Vacuumgauge Thevacuumgaugeshowsthelevelofvacuuminthesystemandisinvaluable
inidentifyingwhentherearetinyleaksinthevacuumbag.Infusionshould
neverbestarteduntilthewholesystemismaintainingfullvacuum(atleast
99.9onthevacuumgauge).
Turnvalve Theturnvalveisusedtoholdbackthevacuumpressurewhilstpreparingthe
bag.Thevalvecanbeopenedandclosedtoremovemoreandmoreairasthe
bagisshapedtofitproperlyaroundthebaggedcomposite.
Tubeclamp Thetubeclampisusedtocloseoffthefloworresinfromthefeederpotinto
thebaggedcomposite.Thetubeisusuallyclampedjustbeforetheresin
flowingintothecompositereachestheendofthereinforcement(toallowfor
somelaginthesystem).
Siliconebagconnectors Theconnectorsformthejoinbetweenthevacuumhosesandthevacuumbag
andalsobetweentheresinfeedpotandthebag.Siliconeconnectorsareused
(insteadofmetalthroughbagconnectors)becausethewillbecomecoatedin
resinduringtheinfusionprocess.Bybeingsilicone,resincaneasilybecracked
offthemaftertheprocessiscompleteandusedagain.
Vacuumhose Thevacuumhoseconnectsthevacuumpump,catchpotandresinfeedpotto
thebaggedcomposite.
Vacuumbaggingfilm Thisfilmisusedtocreatetheoutervacuumbagfromwhichtheairis
evacuatedbythepump.Thefilmistearresistantandsticksextremelywellto
thebagsealingtape.
Peelply Thisthinwovenfabricisthefirstremovablelayerbetweenthecompositeand

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GuidetoResinInfusion

thevacuumbag.Peelplycreatesasurfacethatcanabsorbexcessresinand
also,whenremovedfromthecomposite(aftertheprocessisfinished)
providesatexturedsurfacethatisparticularlywellsuitedtobondingto.
Resininfusionmesh Infusionmeshisaplasticmeshpatterndesignedtopromoteresinflowduring
theinfusionprocess.
Resininfusionspiral Thisplasticspiraltubeisusedtoprovideaveryfreelowingchannelthrough
whichtheresinisdistributednearthepointwheretheresinisfirstfedintothe
composite.Resinflowsfreelythroughthecentreofthespiraltube,butjustas
easilyoutofthespiralsintheside,allowingresintobesuppliedalltheway
alonganedgeofthecomposite.
Bagsealingtape Thisspecialsticky,gumliketapeisusedtocreateperfectsealsbetweenthe
twofacesofavacuumbag(whenenvelopebagging)orbetweenthevacuum
bagandmouldsflangewhenhalfbaggingamould.
Breather Intheinfusionprocess,breatherisoftensimplyusedtocreateanabsorbent
barrierbetweenthecompositeandthevacuumconnector.
EpoxyInfusionResin(1KG) Theresininfusionprocessrequiresspeciallowviscosityresin.Unlikepolyester
resins(whichtendtoboilunderthevacuum)epoxyinfusionresinisthevery
bestresinforthejob.Continueddevelopmentsintheperformanceofepoxies
meansthatepoxyresininfusedpartscannowrivalthestrengthand
performanceofprepregparts!

BeforeYouStart

Thekeytosuccessfulvacuumresininfusionishavingalltherightequipmentandpreparingeverythinginadvance.

Oncetheepoxyinfusionresinhasbeenmixedwithitshardener,ifanythinggoeswrongitisgenerallytoolatetodo
anythingaboutit.Anyproblemssuchasrunningoutofresin,loosingvacuumorhavingaleakinthebagwillalmost
certainlyresultinthepartbeingruined.Thismeansthatforthefirstfewattempts,methodicalplanningisessential.
Havingsaidthis,thenatureofresininfusionissuchthatcorrectlyfollowingtheprocedureshouldproduceperfect
partseverytime.

BasicConfiguration

AlltheequipmentandsuppliesnecessarytoundertakevacuumresininfusionareincludedinthisEasyComposites
starterkit.

Thepartsofthekitareusedasfollows:

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GuidetoResinInfusion

Vacuum Hose

Resin Catch Pot


Silicone Bag Connectors

Infusion Spiral

Bag Sealing Tape


Vacuum Pump
Infusion Mesh

Carbon Fibre / Glass Fabric

Epoxy Mould with Flanges


Therearemanyalternativeconfigurationstotheabovethatcanbeusedforresininfusion.Theaboveconfiguration,
however,isquitetypicalandmakesagoodstartingpoint.

SuitableMoulds

Beforeyoucanstarttheresininfusionprocess,thefirststepistohaveasuitablemould.

Amouldsuitableforresininfusionismuchthesameasamouldthatwouldbeusedforconventionalwetlay
fibreglass,withacoupleofimportantdistinctions:

MouldSurface
Thebestinfusionresinsareepoxy(includingtheinfusionresinthatcomeswiththiskit),thereforeitisimportantthat
thesurfaceofthemouldthatwillbeusedforinfusionisalsomadefromepoxy;eitheranepoxytoolinggelcoat,or
justepoxyresinusedasasurfacelayer.Mouldsurfacesmadeusingpolyestergelcoatorpolyesterresinasasurface
layerarelikelytoresultinpartsmadefromepoxyresin(orwithanepoxygelcoat)stickingtothemould,destroying
thepartandthemould.

IfyouneedtouseamouldmadewithapolyestergelcoatinyourinfusionprojectonesolutionistouseaP.V.A.
mouldreleaseagent,ratherthanmouldreleasewax.P.V.A.willcreateasufficientbarrierbetweenthepolyester
mouldsurfaceandtheepoxyparttoendurethatthepartwillreleasefromthemould.Thedisadvantageofthis
methodisthatP.V.A.needstobecleanedoffthemouldandreappliedeachtimeitisusedandalsothatthepartwill
needquiteabitofpolishingtoremovethesmearpatternthatP.V.A.causes.

MouldFlanges
Theresininfusionprocessrequiresthemouldtohavesomeadditionalflangeareaaroundtheedges.Thisflangearea
isusedtoplacethevacuumconnectors,resinfeedconnector,infusionmeshandresinflowchannels.Itissometimes
possibletofindenoughspaceonexistingmouldstopositiontheseinfusionspecificitemsbutifthereisntroomyou
willneedtoremakeorextendyourmoulds.

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SafetyInformation
Infusionepoxyresin,oncemixedwithitshardenerisexothermic.Iflargeamountsofmixedresinremaininthefeed
potoraccumulateinthecatchpot,theresincanbecomeveryhotindeed.Inextremecircumstances,theresincan
actuallystartsmokingasitreachesveryhightemperatures.Thiswillonlyhappenwheretheresinisaccumulatedin
oneplace(i.e.neverinthepart)andonlywheretoomuchresinhasbeenprepared.

Duringyourfirstfewinfusionprojects,itisimportantthatyoukeepaneyeoutforlargeamountsofexcessresin
eitherremaininginthefeedpotoraccumulatinginthecatchpot.Whilstthereisntmuchthatcanbedoneabout
excessiveresininthecatchpot(withoutbreakingthevacuumandspoilingthepart),excessresininthefeedpotcan
bedispensedintosmallercontainersorotherwisedispersedtoreducethechancesofthisbecomingtoohot.This
shouldonlyeverbedoneoncetheinfusionprocessiscompleteandtheresinfeedlinehasbeenclampedoff.

StepbyStepInstructions

1.BeforeYouStart

Themouldsurfaceshouldbepreparedusingyourfavouredreleaseagent.PVA,waxandchemicalreleaseagentsare
allsuitablealthoughyoushouldensurethatifachemicalreleaseagentisusedthatitiscompatiblewithorbetterstill,
designedforepoxyresinsystems.

Ifagelcoatisrequiredonthepartthenthisshouldbeappliedandallowedtocurebeforeproceeding.

2.LayLaminateintoMould

Thekeytosuccessfulresininfusionispreparation.Beforeactuallystartingyourproject,ensurethatyouhaveread
throughtheseinstructionsinadvance.Makecertainthatyouhaveeverythingyouneed.

Preparation
1.Preparethemouldsurface(seefig.1)
Ifyouwillbeallowingtheinfusedparttocureatambienttemperaturethenconventionalmouldreleasewaxisa
suitablereleasesurfaceforthemould.Ifyouintendtoacceleratethecurewithelevatedtemperature(seeAdvanced
Techniques)thenwaxisnotsuitableandatemperaturetolerantchemicalreleaseagentshouldbeusedinstead.

Preparethemouldsurfaceaccordingtotheguidancethataccompaniesyourchosenreleaseagent.Rememberto
covertheentiresurfaceofthemouldandflangeswiththereleaseagentasyouwontbeabletocontrolwherethe
resingoesoncetheinfusionstarts.

2.Cutandpositionthereinforcement(seefig.1)

Cutyourreinforcementtotheappropriatesizeforyourmoulding.Wherepossible,alwaystrytomakethepartusinga
singlepieceoffabricforeachlayer.Atypicalcarbonfibreproductwilluseanywherebetween2and6layersofcarbon
fibre.Ifyoureunsurehowmanylayerstouse,3layersisoftenrightforasmall,lightpart.

Ensureyoucutthefabriclargeenoughthatitextendsbeyondthealltheedgesofwherethetrimmedpartwillcome
to.Positionthemultiplelayersoffabricintothemould(youcanpositionthemallatonce).

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Inmorecomplicatedmoulds;particularlythosewithsteepsidesormultiplecontours,itissometimesnecessarytouse
spraytacktoholdthelaminateagainstthemouldsurfaceandholdsubsequentlayersofreinforcementtoeachother
(seeAdvancedTechniques).

3.Addthepeelplylayer(seefig.2)
Peelplyisthefirstlayeroftheinfusionbaggingstackandisaremovablebarrierthatispeeledoffthefinishedpart,
leavingarelativelyconsistentsurfacethatisalsoidealforbondingto.Thepeelplyincludedinthestarterkitisheavier
thanbudgetpeelplybutyoullfindthataslightlybetterpeelplyiseasiertoremoveandwellworththedifference.

Peelplyisusuallyappliedinonesinglelayer,positionedtocompletelycoverallareasofthereinforcement.Thepeel
plydoesnotneedtooverlaptheedgesofthereinforcementbutitdoesneedtocoveritallsoitisusuallycuttobe
justfractionallybiggerthanthereinforcement.

4.Addtheinfusionmesh(seefig.3)
Theinfusionmesh(alsoknownasflowmedia)isusedtoensurethattheresincanflowfromtheresinfeedline(and
spiraltube)freelythroughthelaminate.Theshapeofthemeshmeansthatevenundertotalvacuum,therearestill
gapsthroughwhichtheresincanflow.

Theinfusionmeshisalsoappliedinasinglelayer(althoughitwontaffectanythingifmultiplepiecesareoverlapped
wherenecessary).Itshouldbecuttobethesamesizeasthereinforcement/peelplyapartfromateachendwhere
themeshshouldextendsufficientlytoallowforthevacuumconnectoratoneend,andtheresinfeedlineatthe
other.Bypositioningthevacuumconnectorsdirectlyontotheinfusionmeshweensuregoodchannelsforbothair
andresinwillbemaintainedoncethevacuumisdrawn.

AlternativeMethod

Analternativetopositioningthevacuumlineconnectordirectlyabovetheinfusionmeshistoendthe
infusionmeshshortofwherethevacuumconnectorwillbepositioned.Afoldedpieceofbreatherfabric
isthenusedtocreateapadthatcanabsorbexcessresinfromtheinfusion,preventingitfrombeing
drawnintothevacuumlineandcatchpot.Inpractice,theamountofresinthatcanbeabsorbedbythe
padislimitedandforthismethodtoresultinnoresinenteringthevacuumlineorcatchpotrequires
carefultimingontheclampingoftheresinfeedline.

5.Positiontheresinfeedspiral(seefig.3)
Theresinfeedspiralisspiralwrappedplastictubethatisusedtoimprovetheflowoftheresinfromthefeedtubeinto
thelaminate.Resinwillbedisbursedalongthefulllengthofthespiralthereforethestandardconfigurationisto
positionthespiralallthewaydownoneside(thesidewherethefeedtubewillbepositioned).Thismeansthatthe
resinisquicklydistributedalongonesideofthemouldandthenadvancesmoreevenlytowardstheotherside.

Itisessentialthattheresinfeedspiralispositioneddirectlyovertheinfusionmesh.Thisensuresthattheresincan
floweasilyfromthespiralintothemesh.

Inlargerormorecomplicatedinfusions,multipleresinfeedlinesandmoreconsideredpositioningoftheresinfeed
spiralissometimesrequired.Thisisnotlikelytobenecessaryformostprojects,however,ifyoufindthatsomeareas
ofyourlaminatewaitanexcessivelylongtimefortheresintoreachthemyoucanimproveresinflowtothoseareas
withsomeadditionalfeedspiral.

Securetheresinfeedspiralinpositionusingacoupleofsmallpiecesofthebaggingtacktape.

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6.Positiontheresinfeedconnector(seefig.3)
Theresinfeedconnectorisoneoftheredsiliconeconnectors.Itisslightlydifferentfromthevacuumconnectorin
thatithasasinglechannelontheundersiderunningfromonesidetotheother.Itisintothischannelthattheresin
feedspiralgoes,allowingresintoflowthroughthefeedtube,throughtheconnectorandintothespiral.

Positiontheresinfeedconnectorinthecentreoftheresinfeedspiral.Presstheconnectordownontothespiralso
thatthespiraltuberunsthroughthebottomoftheconnector.

7.Positionthevacuumconnector(seefig.3)
Thevacuumconnectoristheotherredsiliconeconnector;ithasapatternof3outletsontheundersideandis
designedtoallowfreeairflowfromtheconnectorintothematerialunderneath(theinfusionmesh)evenundertotal
vacuum.

Positionthevacuumconnectorontopoftheinfusionmeshattheoppositesideofthemouldtotheresinfeedspiral.
Theconnectorshouldsitontopofinfusionmeshinanareabeyondwherethereinforcementends.

8.Applyvacuumbaggingtape(seefig.4)

Vacuumbaggingtacktapeisatypeofverystickygumtape.Thetapeisusedextensivelyinallvacuumbagging
processeswhereitspliablenaturemakesithighlyeffectiveatprovidinganairtightseal.

AlternativeMethod

Inresininfusionitismostcommontoapplythetapetotheflangearoundtheedgeofthemould,
wherebythemouldmakesonesideofthevacuumbag,withthebaggingfilmformingtheotherside(as
describedabove).Ifthisisntpossiblethenthebagcanbewrappedaroundtheentiremould,frontand
back,inwhichcasethebaggingtapewouldbeappliedtoonehalfofthebagratherthantothesurfaceof
themould.Thismaybepreferableiftheflangeisnotmadefromsmooth,unbrokengelcoatmakinga
goodairtightsealtothemouldssurfacedifficulttoachieve.

9.Positionandtapedownthevacuumbag(seefig.4)
Itsnowtimetoencloseeverythingwithinthevacuumbag.

Thevacuumbaggingfilmincludedinthestarterkitisoneofthemoreexpensivebaggingfilmsavailable.Thissuperior
baggingfilmisbothstronger(makingitlesslikelytopuncture)andalsomorestretchythancheaperfilms.Inour
opinionitiswellworthspendingalittleextraandusingoneofthesehighperformancebaggingfilms.Aninferioror
ruinedpartisfarmorecostlyinthelongrun.

Whendoingthebaggingitisabsolutelyessentialtoensurethatthereissufficientbaggingfilmtogetintoallthe
shapesandcontoursofthemould.Anybridgingofthevacuumbagwhereitdoesntgetrightintothecornersofthe
mouldwillresultinresinrichareas,reducingthestrengthandqualityofthefinishedpart.

Cutapieceofbaggingfilm(thegreenplasticfilm)thatisplentylargeenoughtocoverandareaabout50%largerthan
yourmouldarea.Startinginonecorner,peelthebackingpaperoffsomeofthebaggingtapeandpressthecornerof
thebaggingfilmdownontotheexposedtape.Movearoundtheedgeofthemould,removingbackingpaperfromthe
tapeandstickingdownthebaggingfilmasyougo.Dontbetemptedtoremoveallthebackingpaperfromthetape;
thisislikelytoresultinthebagstickingtothetapebeforeyouvealignedinproperly.

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Asyoustickthefilmtothetape,beascarefulaspossibletodosowithouthavinganywrinklesorfoldsinthebag.
Pressdownveryfirmlyanduseyourfingerstomassagethefilmandtapetogethertocreateanairtightseal.Ifyou
endupwithleaksinyourfinishedbag(whichwelltestforlater)thenitislikelythatwrinklesorfoldsinthebagging
filmwhereitcontactsthetapewillbethecause.

10.Connectandsealtheresinfeedhose(seefig.5)
Withallthebaggingstackandreinforcementsealedwithinthevacuumbag,yourenowreadytobreachthebagto
connecttheresinfeedhose.Usingapairofscissorsoraknife,makeasmallincisioninthevacuumbanddirectly
abovetheredsiliconeresinfeedconnector.

CutalengthoftheclearPVChoselongenoughtoruncomfortablyfromwhereyouwillpositionyourresinfeedpotto
theresinfeedconnectoronthevacuumbag.Whenyoucutthehose,dosoatanobliqueangle(suchas45)sothatit
isimpossibleforthetubetoaccidentallybesealedagainstthebottomofthemould.

Takingtheendofthehosewiththeobliquecut,pushthehosethroughthesmallholeinthevacuumbagandintothe
holeinthetopoftheresinfeedconnector.Ensurethatthetubehasgoneallthewayintotheconnector.

Sealthetubetothebagbywrappingaringofthebaggingtapearoundthetubewhereitmeatthebag.Pressfirmlyto
ensurethetapehasmadeanairtightseal.

11.Connectandsealthevacuumhose(seefig.5)
Repeattheprocessfromthepreviousstep,thistimeusinganotherlengthofPVCtubethatwillconnectthecatchpot
totheredsiliconevacuumconnectorattheoppositeendoftheparttotheresinfeedconnector.Cutthetubeatan
angle,cutasmallholeinthebag,pushthetubethroughandsealthetubetothebagusingsomemoretape.

12.Setuptheresinfeedpot(seefig.5)
Theresinfeedpotshouldbesecurelypositionednearthemould.Itisabsolutelyvitalthattheresinfeedpotdoesno
falloverduringtheinfusion;ifitdoes,thepartwillcertainlyberuined.

Positiontheresinfeedhoseinsidethefeedpotsothatthetubereachesallthewaytothebottomofthepot.If
necessary,useabentpapercliporsimilartoholdthetubeinposition.

13.Connectthevacuumpumpandcatchpot(seefig.5)
Connecttheotherendofthevacuumhosetooneofthepushfittingsontheresincatchpot.Pushthehoseonfirmly
toensureanairtightseal.
Next,cutalengthofPVCtubesufficienttorunfromthevacuumpumptotheotherpushconnectoronthecatchpot.
Thistubecanbeaslongasyouneedandwillnotbespoiledbytheinfusionprocess(meaningitcanbereused
indefinitely).

14.Clamptheresinfeedline(seefig.6)
Positionthelineclamptubeneartothestartoftheresinfeedtubeandturnthewingnuttoclampthepipeshut.
Ensurethatyouclosethepipeproperlytocreateanairtightseal.

15.Switchonthevacuumpump

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Witheverythinginplace,werenowreadytotestthevacuum.

Ifyouvenotalreadydoneso,ensurethevacuumpumpissettothecorrectvoltageforyourterritory(110Vor240V
AC),fillitwiththeappropriateamountofvacuumpumpoilandconnectittothemainspowersupply.

Switchonthevacuumpump.

16.Evacuatetheairandadjustthevacuumbag
Astheairisremovedfromthevacuumbagyouwillseethebagtightenaroundthemouldsurface.Asthishappens
youshouldmovethebagaroundandpositionitsothatyoumovesparebaggingfilmintotheareasofthemould
whichneedit.Thisprocessisessentialtoallvacuumbaggingprocesses(resininfusion,standardvacuumbaggingand
evenprepregs)sogivethisstepplentyofattention.

Asthebagbeginstobecomereasonablytight(certainlynotfullevacuatedbutnotslackeither)temporarilyswitchoff
thevacuumpump.Thiswillallowyouallthetimeyouneedtorepositionthebag,workingwrinklestowardswhere
theyreneededandensuringthatnowhereonthemouldisthevacuumbagbridgingagap.

Duringyourfirstfewinfusionprojects,itispossiblethatyouwillunderestimatetheamountofbaggingfilmnecessary
foryourmould.Ifthishappensyouwillfindoutatthisstagebecausethebagwillbebridgingacrosscertainpointsof
themouldandtherewillbenoamountofrepositioningthatcanfixit.Intheunfortunateeventthatthishappens,
youshouldstop,removethebag(andtape)anddothebagagain.Ifyouproceedwithabagthatistoosmall,your
finishedpartwillsuffergreatly.

17.Testthevacuum

Switchthepumpbackonandfinishevacuatingthebag.Youshouldseetheneedleonthevacuumgaugebegintorise.
Leavethepumponandwaitastheneedleapproachesfullvacuum.Keepadjustingthebagifnecessarytoensure
therearenobridges.

Afterafewminutesthevacuumgaugeshouldreadsomewhereverynearto100%.Becauseofvariationsin
atmosphericpressureandcalibrationofthegaugestheneedlemightnotpointpreciselyto100%vacuumevenwhen
fullvacuumisbeingdrawn.Themostpracticalwaytoknowwhenyouhaveaperfectseal(100%vacuum)istolookat
thevacuumpumpandseewhetheranyoilvapourisbeingemittedbythepump.Whenthesealistotal,thepumps
soundwillchangeslightlyandoilvapourwillstopbeingemittedbythepump.

Ifthesealisnttotal,workyourwayaroundthebag,pressingthebaghardagainstthegumtapeuntilitis.

TheInfusion

Onlyonceyourvacuumbagisperfectlysealed(withthegaugereadingapproximately100%andthepumpisnot
emittinganyoilvapour)shouldyouembarkontheinfusionitself.

1.Gaugethecorrectamountofresin
Theamountofresinthatyourprojectwillneedwillvaryuponitssizeandtheamountofreinforcementyouhave
used;morelayersofreinforcementwillbeabletosupportmoreresin.

WithResininfusionyouarenormallylookingtoachievea60/40fibre/resinratio,thismeansforevery,say,100grams
ofclothyouwillneed66gramsofresin,allofthereinforcementsarelistedbyweighte.g.carbonfibre2/2twill
200gsm,the200gsmreferstotheactualweightofthefabricingramspersquaremeter,so1squaremeterofthis
clothwillneed133gofresintoachievethe60/40ratio.Youalsoneedtoaccountfortheamountofresinusedbythe

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meshwhichis700gramspersquaremeteroflaminate,regardlessofthickness.Another100gramsofresinwillbe
requiredbythefeedlinesandinthebottomofthefeedjug.

Heresanequationthatcanbeusedforthis;

Usethetablebelowtocalculateapproximatelyhowmuchresinyoushouldmixtoensureyouhaveenoughresinthe
projectwillrequire:

Numberofpliesof200gcloth
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
0.1 183 197 210 223 237 250 263 277
0.2 267 293 320 347 373 400 427 453
0.3 350 390 430 470 510 550 590 630
0.5 517 583 650 717 783 850 917 983
AreaofPart 0.75 725 825 925 1025 1125 1225 1325 1425
inSquare 1 933 1067 1200 1333 1467 1600 1733 1867
Metres 1.25 1142 1308 1475 1642 1808 1975 2142 2308
1.5 1350 1550 1750 1950 2150 2350 2550 2750
2 1767 2033 2300 2567 2833 3100 3367 3633
2.5 2183 2517 2850 3183 3517 3850 4183 4517
3 2600 3000 3400 3800 4200 4600 5000 5400

2.Mixtheinfusionresinandaddtothefeedpot
Onceyouhaveworkedoutapproximatelyhowmuchresinyouwillneedyounextneedtocalculatetherightratioof
resintohardenerandmixtheresin.

Theepoxyinfusionresinsuppliedwiththekit(andrecommendedforfutureprojects)needstobemixedataratioof
100partsresinto30partshardener.Aswithallresins,itisimportantthatthecorrectratioisaccuratelymeasuredand
thoroughlymixed.

Useasetofdigitalscalestomixthecorrectratioofresintohardener.Mixtheresininacontainerotherthantheresin
feedpotandthenpourthemixedresinintotheresinfeedpot.Thiswillgreatlyreducetheriskofanyunmixedresin
(usuallyclingingtothesidesofthemixingpot)frombeingdrawnintotheinfusion.

3.Unclamptheresinfeedline

Withthevacuumpumpstillrunning,gentlystarttounscrewthewingnutontheresinfeedlineclamp.Asyouloosen
thescrewyouwillimmediatelyseeresinstarttobedrawndownthefeedlineandintotheinfusion.Unscrewthe
clampallthewaytoensurethereisnorestrictiontotheflowofresinintotheinfusion.

4.Monitortheinfusionandclamptheresinfeedline2/3ofthewaythrough
Dependingonthesizeandshapeofthepart,thelayoutofthefeedspiralandtheamountofreinforcementused,the
resinwilltakesomewherebetweenafewminutesandanhourtoinfusefullythroughthepart.

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Becausetheresinfeedpotisatatmosphericpressure,onlytheviscosityoftheresinitselfpreventsthepartofthe
mouldaroundwheretheresinfeedhoseenterstheinfusionfrombeingatnormalatmosphericpressure.Thismeans
thataroundthisareathevacuumbagwillnolongerfeeltightandthatexcessresinwillbeaccumulating.Forthis
reason,itisnormaltoclamptheresinfeedlineclosedagainwellbeforetheresinhasfullyinfusedthroughthepart.
Thisgiveschancefortheexcessresinattheatmosphericpressuresideofthemouldchancetocarryoninfusing
throughthepart.Asitdoes,thebagwilltightenagainatthisendofthemould.

Experience(andexperimentationwithdifferentmoulds)willshowyouatwhichpointintheinfusiontheresinfeed
lineshouldbeclampedbutaruleofthumbistodothiswhentheresinisabout2/3ofthewaythroughthepart.
Excessresinintheinfusionwillnormallybesufficienttocompletetheinfusion.

Clampingthelinetoosoonwillmeanthattheresinneverfullyinfusesthepart.Clampingittoolatewillresultinlots
ofresinbeingsuckedupintothevacuumtubeandintothecatchpot(thatswhatthecatchpotisfor).Ifyouaretoo
soonortoolateclampingthelineitsnotabigproblem;eitherunclampthelineagainbrieflytoallowmoreresininto
theinfusionor,inthecaseofclampingthelinetoolate,justwatchthecatchpotdoitsjob.

Note:Iflotsofexcessresinisdrawnintothecatchpottheresinmaystarttoexothermsignificantlyandcouldstartto
smoke.Ifthishappens,thereisnothingyoucando.Keepaneyeofthecatchpotandwaitfortheexothermtodie
down.Thisisthemainreasonyoushouldtrynottobetoolateclampingtheresinfeedline.

5.Continuetomonitortheinfusion
Withtheresinfeedlineclampedandthepartfullyinfusedthereisnothingmoretodootherthanwaitfortheresinto
cure.Thevacuumpumpshouldstayonforthedurationofthecurecycle.Dontbetemptedtoturnitoffuntilthepart
isfullycured.

Becauseexcessiveamountsofmixedresininoneplacecanexothermdramatically,youshoulddisposeofanyresinin
thefeedpotandcontinuetokeepaneyeontheresininthecatchpotifthereisalotinthere.

Theepoxyinfusionresinsuppliedwiththekitrespondsverywelltoelevatedtemperaturecure(curinginacomposites
ovenorotherwarmenvironment).Althoughcertainlynotarequirement,curingatanelevatedtemperaturecan
dramaticallyshortenthecuringtime(toonlyacoupleofhours)andimprovethetemperaturetoleranceandstrength
ofthefinishedpart.

Usethetablebelowtoseehowcuretemperatureaffectscuretime:
Temperature 20C 40C 60C 80C 100C 120C
CureTime 24 11hrs 6hrs 4hrs 2hrs 1.5hrs

Ifyouintendtocurethepartatelevatedtemperaturewhilststillinthemould,ensurethatyourmouldmaterialisable
towithstandtheelevatedtemperatureandthatyourreleaseagentis(mouldreleasewax,forexample,willmeltand
thepartmightsticktothemould).

Asanalternativetocuringatelevatedtemperatureinthemould,youcanallowtheparttocurefullyatroom
temperature,removeitfromthemouldandthencurethepartinanovenorwarmenvironment.Thisprocessis
knownaspostcuring.

De-Moulding

Thevacuumpumpshouldstayonuntilthepartisfullycured.Whenthepartisfullycuredthepumpcanbeturnedoff
andthevacuumbagcutawayfromthemould.Insomecasesyoumaychoosetokeepandreusesectionsofthe
vacuumbagalthoughthegumtapeandinfusionmesharealwaysthrownaway.

Demouldingsteps:

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GuidetoResinInfusion

Cutthebaggingfilmaroundtheedgeandremove.
Removethebaggingtapefromtheedgeofthemould(quick,sharptugsaremosteffective)
Removethesiliconeconnectorsandcrackanycuredresinoffthem.Theyarereusedindefinitely.
Removeanddiscardtheinfusionmesh
Pullthepeelplyoffthebackofthepart.Thiswilltakealittlebitofforce.
Removethepartfromthemould.Becarefulnottodamagethepartorthemould,especiallywhenforceisrequired
toremovethepart.

Yourpartisnowreadytobetrimmedandfinished.EasyCompositesrecommendsPermaGritTungstenCarbidetools
forthecuttingandshapingofcarbonfibreparts.

ThisGuidetoResinInfusionwasproducedbyEasyCompositesandaccompaniesourResinInfusion
CompleteStarterKitproduct.ThekitisavailabletobuyfromtheEasyCompositeswebsiteat
www.easycomposites.co.uk.

AboutEasyComposites

EasyCompositesspecialisesinthesupplyofadvancedcompositesmaterialstoindividuals,educationalestablishments
andcompanies.Ourmanufacturingdivision,CarbonModsproducescarbonfibreproductsformotorsport,marine,
aerospaceandrecreationaluse.EasyCompositesoperatesfromlargemodernpremisesinStaffordshire,England.

This data is not to be used for specifications. Values listed are for typical properties and should not be considered
minimumormaximum.

Ourtechnicaladvice,whetherverbalorinwriting,isgiveningoodfaithbutEasyCompositesLtdgivesnowarranty;
expressorimplied,andallproductsaresolduponconditionthatpurchaserswillmaketheirownteststodetermine
thequalityandsuitabilityoftheproductfortheirparticularapplicationandcircumstances.

EasyCompositesLtdshallbeinnowayresponsiblefortheproperuseandserviceoftheproduct,norforthe
safeguardingofpersonnelorproperty,allofwhichisthedutyoftheuser.Anyinformationorsuggestionsarewithout
warrantyofanykindandpurchasersaresolelyresponsibleforanylossarisingfromtheuseofsuchinformationor
suggestions.Noinformationorsuggestionsgivenbyusshallbedeemedtobearecommendationtouseanyproduct
inconflictwithanyexistingpatentrights.

Beforeusinganyofourproducts,usersshouldfamiliarisethemselveswiththerelevantTechnicalandMSDSprovided
byEasyCompositesLtd.

EasyComposites,Unit39,ParkHallBusinessVillage,Longton,StokeonTrent,ST35XA
Tel:01782454499Web:www.easycomposites.co.ukEmail:sales@easycomposites.co.uk

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