Number Plates


privateer703

AOF Addict
Location
Altoona, PA
I thought someone would have beaten me to this since I had no space to work for a few years, but I have some space now and I'm working on right side number plates. I hope to have the mold finished in about 2 weeks and then I'll start some test pieces to see how durable they are. Here is the mold in process:

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I will be working on smooth sided shrouds as well, but right side number plates I know are in demand so I'll get those out first. At least this way when everyone tries to sell their Alta's for the Stark you'll at least be able to say that plastics are still available for sale.
 

privateer703

AOF Addict
Location
Altoona, PA
I can make the right side number plates, but they aren't pretty. I have issues getting the resin to completely flow out with fiber reinforcement. So they end up having small air bubbles in the corners. Don't mind the frayed edges, those are easily trimmed. And being fiber reinforced it feels pretty tough. It can take a blow from hammer with only some scratches, and it is more flexible than the original. I think I need to make the mold out of FRP and make it a vacuum infusion mold. I don't think I can vacuum this mold since it is silicone and would probably collapse. I could try and pressure infuse this mold, but I still don't think that would get the bubbles out, and would likely send resin spewing out everywhere.


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JP racing

Member
Location
New York, NY
These look awesome! I'll take 3 :cool:

I don't really work with reinforcing plastic in molds but I've worked with fiberglass and carbon fiber a fair bit.

As you say it's going to be hard to saturate the fabric in the mold and using a vacuum mold makes sense and would be killer but if you are happy with the mold otherwise maybe a different mat with a more open weave or pre-impregnating it will work and be less... work.

Speaking of less work, are they too weak without reinforcement? It must be double the labor, triple if you need to pre-preg, maybe just skip it?

Very good work, thanks for doing this!
 

privateer703

AOF Addict
Location
Altoona, PA
I was really hoping that the "flexibilizer" additive Smooth-On makes would allow me to simply use resin. The resin ones I made looked great, completely filling out the mold, but while they had a ton of flex, they were way to brittle. Even a light hammer strike breaks it too easy. So that's when I used some 12 oz fiberglass woven roving I had and I wetted it out in the mold first by hand then injected the remaining resin, but the cloth traps those air bubbles. I do feel that my technique could solve those issues, since the air bubbles are on the back side of the cloth (which is the outside surface of the plate). I've never done fiberglass in a clamshell mold so this is new for me. My other problem is that I don't have a ventilation hood in my basement so I really made a stink making the mold and the plates I did make. It took over 2 months to completely get the smell out. I'm going to try a new resin that is supposed to be odorless. IF that works, and I get get those bubbles out, then I think we've got something. If anyone has any recommendations on a resin system please let me know. Right now I'm looking into what Aeromarine has to offer.
 
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