Fiberglass Resin Recommendations? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-29-2014, 02:00 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Seth and Desiree View Post
Hi everybody, sorry I have not responded sooner, but thank you for the info! I ended up using Bondo brand fiberglass resin to which I added the included hardener. I brushed it on, the laid strips of fiberglass cloth over it while it was still wet, then brushed another coat of resin/hardener over the cloth strips once they were in place. I did this twice, then did some sanding to take down sharp edges and high points. Then I used Bondo brand fiberglass filler and used the hardener that came with that to spread around and fill any remaining gaps, pits, low spots, etc. and sanded smooth(ish). Two or three more rounds of that and then it was at a point that I could live with. So I brushed on some primer, followed by a couple coats of white paint and then installed the fan! Fit like a glove and I'm pretty happy with the results! Here are some pics. Enjoy!

Attachment 73082Attachment 73083Attachment 73084Attachment 73085Attachment 73086[ATTACH]73087[/



-Seth & Desiree




Sent from my iPhone using Fiberglass RV
And that's how it's done....great job....Fiberglass Dave
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:24 PM   #16
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Very nice! That will last for many years.
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:46 AM   #17
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A note to anyone using epoxy (as I would). Epoxy will degrade in UV rays from the sun. It has to be painted to protect it from UV. You would want to paint it anyway for appearances sake.
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:53 AM   #18
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Denny, are you saying that polyester does not degrade, or degrades slower, in the sun?
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:58 AM   #19
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Denny, are you saying that polyester does not degrade, or degrades slower, in the sun?
I don't know about polyester - never used it. I do know epoxy slowly turns to a chalky white powder in the sun. Doesn't happen overnight but over several years.
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Old 07-03-2014, 11:22 AM   #20
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A note to anyone using epoxy (as I would). Epoxy will degrade in UV rays from the sun. It has to be painted to protect it from UV. You would want to paint it anyway for appearances sake.
And you must use an epoxy primer because nothing sticks to cured epoxy except epoxy, Not worth the price and not worth the trouble on our fiberglass trailers. The "extra strength of epoxy" in our case is not applicable and gives no benefit. I mean you could cover the entire trailer with 1/4 steel for "extra strength" also. I can't think of one good reason to use epoxy on your fiberglass trailer, and we use it all the time where it really is called for.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:01 PM   #21
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Please explain the "extra strength" of epoxy. It is my understanding that the strength of fibreglass is mostly in the glass. What are the benefits of epoxy?
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:20 PM   #22
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And you must use an epoxy primer because nothing sticks to cured epoxy except epoxy, .
Absolutely untrue. I've built 20 boats with epoxy used as both glue and coating. Both latex and oil based paint stick just fine. No primer at all is needed. The epoxy needs to be sanded first, just as any glossy surface would.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:28 PM   #23
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Please explain the "extra strength" of epoxy. It is my understanding that the strength of fibreglass is mostly in the glass. What are the benefits of epoxy?
Excerpts from
Resin Properties for Composite Materials

Epoxy sticks to stuff better:

"Of the three resin types discussed in the article (polyester, vinyl ester and epoxy resin) polyester resins generally have the lowest adhesive properties of the three systems. Vinyl ester resin shows improved adhesive properties over polyester but epoxy systems offer the best performance of all, and are therefore frequently found in many high-strength adhesives."

Epoxy is stronger:

Graph shows after 7 day room temp cure Epoxy has 6500 psi tensile strength, poly and vinyl esters have 5500.

"After a cure period of seven days at room temperature it can be seen that a typical epoxy will have higher properties than a typical polyester and vinyl ester for both strength and stiffness."

Epoxy is more water resistant:

"Both polyester and vinyl ester resins are prone to water degradation due to the presence of hydrolysable ester groups in their molecular structures. As a result, a thin polyester laminate can be expected to retain only 65% of its inter-laminar shear strength after immersion in water for a period of one year, whereas an epoxy laminate immersed for the same period will retain around 90%."

Poly is probably fine for the OP's fan fairing but epoxy is better in every way except cost.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:44 PM   #24
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What I get from what you have said is that in a trailer application, (basically dry) polyester resin will have 85% of the adhesion of epoxy. Is the advantage adhesion only? What advantage does that provide? Adhesion to what? If it is better in every way, what benefit would the OP gain from using epoxy?

As I originally said, it is my understanding that the vast majority of the strength of fibreglass is in the glass. Could you please explain where epoxy has an advantage in a trailer environment.

I do not consider water degradation of polyester to be a problem in this application.
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Old 07-03-2014, 02:13 PM   #25
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What I get from what you have said is that in a trailer application, (basically dry) polyester resin will have 85% of the adhesion of epoxy. Is the advantage adhesion only? What advantage does that provide? Adhesion to what? If it is better in every way, what benefit would the OP gain from using epoxy?

As I originally said, it is my understanding that the vast majority of the strength of fibreglass is in the glass. Could you please explain where epoxy has an advantage in a trailer environment.

I do not consider water degradation of polyester to be a problem in this application.
The technical paper cited above notes three characteristics (adhesion (to everything), strength, water resistance) where epoxy is superior to polyester resin. Also, Epoxy can be had with slow hardener that gives up to a half hour of working time.

All those factors seem relevant to a trailer application. I'm sure the polyester the OP used is good enough and, if he was careful with surface prep and mixing, the fan fairing will last a long time but my point is that epoxy is better.

Wooden boats covered with fiberglass set in polyester resin often have the fiberglass delaminate after several years of expansion/contraction cycles. Epoxy has replaced polyester in that application virtually 100%.
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Old 07-03-2014, 03:01 PM   #26
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A couple of things:
The link provided is a commercial for product. As such it's conclusions are suspect.
Most of the benefits described are for marine applications. These are not relevant to trailers.
My 40 year old Trillium is made with polyester resin. It seems to have held up well.

I fail to see a cost / benefit based reason to use epoxy resin. You have said, "epoxy is better". But you have not provided examples of how it is better, other then it's application in a boating environment. I don't own a boat. If polyester will last 40 years, why spend more? You seem to be addressing a problem that doesn't exist.
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Old 07-04-2014, 12:01 AM   #27
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Polyester resin does not bond well to wood. It lasts about five years. I know because I have had to re-tab every bulkhead in my boat. Not fun. I would never use polyester resin except when I'm working on a large piece and want to maintain the same coefficient of expansion. For repairs I mostly use epoxy. Given a choice is but an epoxy boat over a vinylester boat and pay the extra cost.

As for paint, While epoxy primer paint is harder to work with, and more expensive , the results are worth it. It is hard as a rock, lasts forever, doesn't peel and is easy to repair a small section. It can be sanded to flatten the surface , to remove stains, and buffed to as shiny as you like. I prefer a flatter look to a super high gloss. I love two part epoxy paints.
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:04 AM   #28
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Polyester resin does not bond well to wood. It lasts about five years. I know because I have had to re-tab every bulkhead in my boat. Not fun. I would never use polyester resin except when I'm working on a large piece and want to maintain the same coefficient of expansion. For repairs I mostly use epoxy. Given a choice is but an epoxy boat over a vinylester boat and pay the extra cost.

As for paint, While epoxy primer paint is harder to work with, and more expensive , the results are worth it. It is hard as a rock, lasts forever, doesn't peel and is easy to repair a small section. It can be sanded to flatten the surface , to remove stains, and buffed to as shiny as you like. I prefer a flatter look to a super high gloss. I love two part epoxy paints.

Polyester binds excellent to wood.... it will last 40 years...trailer people go ahead and use it. It does not work as well in a marine environment...Boat People, quit passing on your experience with boats and making the trailer people feel they are not doing the best for their trailer. Boats aren't trailers and epoxy is much harder to use, much more expensive, much more finicky and harder to learn. Polyester is easy to learn and most anyone can do a nice, long lasting repair by themselves the very first time. That is the point of fixing these fiberglass trailers...they last longer than most any other type of trailer construction except maybe aluminum. Boats are boats and trailers aren't...go give boat advice to the boat people. It doesn't apply here...Fiberglass Dave
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