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Thread: Fiberglass help... Underside Layup

  1. #11
    planecrazzzy's Avatar
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    If you used foam to hold your Fiberglass in place... Just sand the foam away after it dries ...?
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    Gotta Fly...
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  2. #12
    Airmutt's Avatar
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    If installing this panel is a big hassle as you say, it seems to me it would worth your time to build yourself a mold. First question…are you satisfied with the fit and look of your panels once in place? If yes, I would take poster board, not foam board, and create templates at a spacing close enough to capture the compound curve, say at 1 inch spacing. Then take some sandable foam and slice it to match your template spacing. Assemble the templates and foam together and sand your foam till your templates are just exposed. Now you’ve got your shape and you can do your layup without fighting gravity.
    Last edited by Airmutt; 03-28-2022 at 04:55 PM. Reason: Corrected typo
    Dave Shaw
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  3. #13

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    Sounds like your problem is that the panel is 2024 which is very stiff. I would first try making the panels out of either 5052, 6061-0, or 3003-H14. They bend and hold shapes much more easily than 2024.

    If you really want to make a composite panel, how about this to take the shape away from the airplane. Aluminum 6061-0 is soft and bendable. Get some 0.040 and bend it into place. Now carefully remove it and you have your mold to lay composite onto. Alternately you might try making a panel of 3003-H14 that is stiffer but bends to shape pretty easily. 5052 is also an option for this but you might decide after putting one of these into place that you do not need to go composite.

    Best of luck,

    Wes

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by WLIU View Post
    Sounds like your problem is that the panel is 2024 which is very stiff. I would first try making the panels out of either 5052, 6061-0, or 3003-H14. They bend and hold shapes much more easily than 2024.
    All Aluminum has essentially the same "stiffness" (Young's modulus) of about 10,000,000 psi. What you mean here is that the 2024 is stronger than the other types listed, so that it can take more stress before plastically (permanently) deforming. That's not stiffness - it's strength.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLIU View Post
    Aluminum 6061-0 is soft and bendable. Get some 0.040 and bend it into place. Now carefully remove it and you have your mold to lay composite onto.
    There's no way that a thin piece of AL will hold its shape anywhere near well enough to act as a mold when taken off the airplane.

    There's no reason not to just do the layup in place on the bottom of the airplane, using copious mold release (PVA) on the surface. Use 4 plies of 7725 BID cloth, two at 0/90 and 2 at 45. Around the edges, where screws hold it on, add 2 more 1" wide strips to bring the total thickness to 6 plies. After cure, pop loose, take off the metal panel, trim the composite panel to shape and voila'.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLIU View Post
    Alternately you might try making a panel of 3003-H14 that is stiffer but bends to shape pretty easily...
    See above - not "stiffer", but stronger.

  5. #15

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    Perhaps you have an FBO on your airport that has an English wheel that can help you create the compound curve you need. If not on the airfield,maybe a body shop, or sheet metal shop in your area. Youll wonder why you never discovered this wonderful tool before now !!

  6. #16
    planecrazzzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JETROCK View Post
    Perhaps you have an FBO on your airport that has an English wheel that can help you create the compound curve you need. If not on the airfield,maybe a body shop, or sheet metal shop in your area. Youll wonder why you never discovered this wonderful tool before now !!
    .
    I'm a beginner on the English Wheel.
    It helps to have a Rubber Wheel on top sometimes.
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    .

    I made a few Mods to a cheap one from Harbor Freight
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    https://www.wingsforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=325&t=23279&sid=0a08824e1396c7b415 1d90c089a2d3c3
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    Gotta Fly...
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