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Thread: Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic

  1. #1
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    Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic

    I figured I ought to ask about this before I get too invested into the project.

    Has anyone any experience working with fiberglass cloth to reinforce plastic? I'm using it with my ABS sludge to fab my screen bezel and it occurred to me that some fibers will separate from the compound they are in (carbon fiber in normal fiberglass resin, for example) and I wanted to check if anyone knows if that will happen with fiberglass and ABS

    -Zack
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  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate djvillar's Avatar
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    ABS is a pretty hard plastic. Why would you need fiber-glass in the mix? Fiber-glass is for structural strength, by that I mean holding up a 20lb sub-woofer. You're making holder for your .125lb phone. Fiber-glass is needlessly complicated.

    The sludge would work only if you have enough solvent to make the sludge viscous enough to saturate the FB. Do a test piece and let us know.

  3. #3
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    It's going right through the fabric and adhering to the plastic below without incident. I initially broke the 'glass out to do support I couldn't do without something for the ABS to stick to. I'll post a pic of the current state of the bezel when I get home. It's really sloppy looking right now and my first major fabrication work. I'm hoping any mistakes I've made are not irreparable.

    -Zack
    via Droid Charge

    edit: pics


    The white parts are from the liquid ABS. I got a back of small pellets so they dissolve really well in MEK.


    A gap I haven't filled as of the taking of this picture


    Closer picture of the edges. In the bottom right corner (as seen in first pic) I didn't secure the fabric right & the corner is way too rounded and will block part of the screen if I don't fix it.
    Last edited by Ryven; 07-19-2011 at 07:34 PM.

  4. #4
    Variable Bitrate djvillar's Avatar
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    For this project, I really don't like you need any glass at all. It's only going to make finishing harder. You're going to have to do a lot of sanding to get the shape you want. When you do, if the abs doesn't completely bond with the abs, you'll constantly get fibers sticking out. This isn't the end of the world, it just means you'll have to get your shape, then re-apply a skim coat of sludge. Also the glass should probably have remained in the back so that the fiber issue isn't an issue on the finished product side.

    Don't worry about it looking likes a mess right now. You have to think of the fabrication process (when it comes to filler) like sculpting. You start out with a lot of material, then shave down until to relieve the shape underneath.

  5. #5
    Variable Bitrate djvillar's Avatar
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    Take a look towards the bottom of the page where I start constructing the center speaker enclosure. Some of my work

    I started with clay as support then a ton of fiber glass resin just glopped on. Not very clean looking, i just slapped in on then got to sanding. Don't try get the end shape by spreading the filler (abs or otherwise) perfectly, it doesn't happen.

    Slap it on, sand it down with the big stuff, 40grit. Most of the material should be on the shop room floor. Then glaz it and hit with some 150 then 300 and you're golden.

    Looking good dude. Keep it up and keep us updated.

  6. #6
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    Update:
    The bezel is coming along nicely and most of the 'glass had been sanded/cut out at this point. I am having trouble building up enough on the liquid ABS to do a hard corner on this bezel so I used a flexible filler I got from a bodyshop. It worked GREAT (if Dynatron 660 is like this, I see why turbocad swears by it) but as a test, while I was sick I had the bezel sitting in my car in the driveway. It sat in the sun and heat for about a week and when I brought it back inside to continue work on it, the filler sheared right off.

    What did I do wrong? I've gone back to building with my ABS but now I miss the ease of use that the filler provided.

    -Zack
    via Droid Charge
    Last edited by Ryven; 08-19-2011 at 08:44 PM.

  7. #7
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    Current state of this bezel



    I'm having difficulty getting a proper shape on this. Either I'm too impatient or the ABS sludge is softening the existing material too much and causing some sag. It may simply be my impatience with not piling on the ABS then grinding it down into the desired shape, but rather trying to build to the desired shape. Smooth, flat surfaces seem quite easy (more or less) but to get a hard angle, I have to way overbuild the plastic then grind away the excess and I fear I might not get the shape I want.



    the red lines are where I'm trying to get a hard edge as it slopes to the screen. I've almost completely given up on the idea of hard corners. I'm not really sure how I would attain that without making it look like garbage, so I planned on leaving the inner corners of the bezel rounded on the recessed area.
    Last edited by Ryven; 08-19-2011 at 11:07 PM.

  8. #8
    Variable Bitrate djvillar's Avatar
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    Okay, if you want a hard edge, use... a hard edge.

    Cut out a piece of card board or think sheet of acrylic (from home depot or wherever) and tape that to the bezel. Now load up the sludge against it.

    !!!YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BUILD IT UP PERFECTLY!!!

    Just glob that stuff on. Most importantly against the acrylic dam you make. Let it set then pull back the dam. Now sand down the excess. When you get that perfect, put tape over that edge so you don't sand it down later on your next step, which will be to build the inside edge/surface that ramps up from the screen to the hard edge.

    Look at the link I sent you earlier, on the second page. The civic bezel mod was done that way and its documented pretty well. Don't reinvent the wheel, its been done.
    Last edited by djvillar; 08-25-2011 at 03:15 PM.

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