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Foam to use as a base in fiberglassing, bondo work, etc.

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  • Foam to use as a base in fiberglassing, bondo work, etc.

    Hi guys, so I'm just about ready to get my project underway (molding the lcd into the dash) along with various other things that require fiberglassing, bondo, etc. and I've read that 2-part expanding construction or 2-part expanding packing foam can be used as a base for applying resin/fiberglass over. I was wondering if as an alternative to these foams if I could just use plain old styrofoam. My guess is, the resin will eat right through it, but has anyone actually ever tried this? Can you tell me for certain that it won't work and that the styrofoam will melt? If it is possible to use styrofoam this would be ideal as it is dirt cheap, easy to shave/shape, can be bought in about any shape imaginable, and if I wanted to get real creative, like molding a face into something, I could just buy a styrofoam dummy head and fiberglass it in. Just wondering about this, thanks for the knowledge.

    -DK

    EDIT: Okay so I've woken up to reality and realized that of course the resin will melt the styrofoam... much like gasoline will.. my question now is, can you recommend anything that will sufficiently protect the styrofoam from the resin but will maintain it's shape? Like some sort of spray on coating that would dry evenly but not be too thick?
    2002 Subaru WRX - Silver
    -FP18G turbo
    -Walbro fuel pump
    -Modified OEM 840 CC Injectors
    -TurboXS: UTEC, turboback, uppipe, intake
    -Blitz FMIC
    -STI cluster
    -17"x7.5" SSR Competitions
    -Tein Flex coilovers
    -NOS 50 shot
    -2004 rear conversion

  • #2
    good ol aluminum foil should work if u cover up da strofoam good neva tryed it tho

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    • #3
      Some 2 part foams can handle the resin just fine. Check www.shopmaninc.com. The have good prices and can answer your questions if you call them.
      http://www.mybimmer.net

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      • #4
        Floral foam. That works great
        2002 Oldsmobile Alero GL2 4DR
        Aleroputer 90% done (ripped out and being rewired)
        MYMODS:
        Pioneer Head unit in a remote location, Clarion Amp, XM Satilite Radio, 2 10" Audiobahn DVC Subs wired 1 ohm in a bandpass box, Grill Mesh, Halo Guages

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        • #5
          Hmmmm.. yeah I've heard that floral foam works too... interesting. Thanks for the tips guys.
          2002 Subaru WRX - Silver
          -FP18G turbo
          -Walbro fuel pump
          -Modified OEM 840 CC Injectors
          -TurboXS: UTEC, turboback, uppipe, intake
          -Blitz FMIC
          -STI cluster
          -17"x7.5" SSR Competitions
          -Tein Flex coilovers
          -NOS 50 shot
          -2004 rear conversion

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          • #6
            yep floral foam and then cover it with foil, tape, combo of both, just something to keep the resin from eating the foam
            2003 PT Cruiser
            Sony, DEI, Kicker, Polk Audio, Stinger sound system custom cold air intake, diamond plate floors, progress springs 2" drop
            Freakville Pc's
            The PT Crew
            my cardomain page
            my webshots page

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            • #7
              ive used standard styrofoam and the resin didnt eat it at all.

              I coated a styrofoam ball purchased at a hobby shop with fiberglass. no problems.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by WhiteRabbit
                ive used standard styrofoam and the resin didnt eat it at all.

                I coated a styrofoam ball purchased at a hobby shop with fiberglass. no problems.
                woah, are you serious? can you tell me what exactly what kind of resin you used? Did you use the cheap styrofoam from like stereo packaging?
                2002 Subaru WRX - Silver
                -FP18G turbo
                -Walbro fuel pump
                -Modified OEM 840 CC Injectors
                -TurboXS: UTEC, turboback, uppipe, intake
                -Blitz FMIC
                -STI cluster
                -17"x7.5" SSR Competitions
                -Tein Flex coilovers
                -NOS 50 shot
                -2004 rear conversion

                Comment


                • #9
                  yess please tell me more interested in this floral foam too - was it easy to use ??

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                  • #10
                    no, not like polystyrene expanding balls

                    I have a feeling it wont eat those, but I have no experience with those, i really dont know. my gut says no.

                    I was using standard polyester resin, and the styrofoam you find at hobby shops in blocks. or balls, as in my case. or cylinders....or heart shapes.... you know, that hobby styrofoam. the kind that looks like polyurethane 2 part expanding foam, rather than like a billion little balls expanded into a mold to form a shape of something.

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                    • #11
                      alright, so I decided to do a little experiment to end conjecture (including my own)



                      here are my two test cups. both polyester resin, I didnt try vinyl ester nor epoxy, I have neither here right at this second. the left is home depot brand, cheapest money can buy. the right side is surfboard resin, the same stuff but clear and UV protected. also double the cost.

                      below you can see the two test pieces. One is the polystyrene expanding balls. you see this stuff in like computer monitor boxes and stuff, its made in molds. also, when it overexpands and cant be used for packaging, its the beans inside beanbag chairs. the second stuff I tried is packing peanuts, three of them. neither of my test pieces are the foam I used in my successful glassing attempt. I dont have any of that lying around.



                      just added to each cup, no catalyst. so far, so good.



                      styrofoam is still all there, so far so good



                      there go the peanuts, they dissolved. no catalyst yet.



                      you cant see it here, but the tip of the PS is gone. I had jsut added teh catalyst, but it had been slowly eating up. the bottom of the PS is nearly gone in teh surf resin cup, it was far thinner. so without catalyst even, resin eats packaging styrofoams.



                      you can see the peanut disolving without even disturbing it.



                      final pic, you can see everything disolving more, catalyst has been added, not that it makes a difference.

                      resin eats polystyrene.

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                      • #12
                        The hardener itself will tear through that styrofoam, it's brutal stuff.

                        Epoxy resin won't eat polystyrene.

                        Your best bet is Polyurethane foam. You can buy it in 4 x 8 sheets in varying densities.

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                        • #13
                          Just Rap it in plastic, or Duct tape.

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                          • #14
                            ^ or like i said good ol aluminum foil

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                            • #15
                              i use paper mache to get a mold. let it dry completely. then line the inside with foil and masking tape.

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