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Old 09-23-2013, 04:42 AM
  #1
sensei
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Default Spinner's

About 10 or maybe 12 years ago while I was still flying my Comp Arf 3.3 Yak's I manufactured several different sizes of 2X2 twill carbon fiber spinners and back plates ranging from 2" to 6", I mainly did this because I wanted to fly my own 6" carbon spinner's on my Yak's, I manufactured them in compression composite molds and autoclaved everything @ 60 psi utilizing modified 1 gallon Binks pressure pots as the pressure vessel's, and yes anyone can can build their own 1 to 15 gallon autoclave's relatively inexpensive if they are willing to perform a little work setting it up. Sure beats spending hundreds of thousands of dollars as I have done over the years on large autoclaves. Just thought I would share this with anyone interested, all you really need is a pressure pot, compressor, vacuum pump, and with a little work, your ready to go.

Bob

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Old 09-26-2013, 09:07 PM
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Very interesting, what kind of material did you make your mold out of? Would love to see the process of how this is done, all I know is hand layup stuff. Great job on those spinner they awesome.
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Old 09-27-2013, 03:52 AM
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I manufactured my molds sets utilizing Resin Services HTR 250 epoxy tooling system and their HTR 302 X face coat along with 14 plies of style 7500 tooling cloth. I have also manufactured them from 6061-T6 aluminum machined on a lathe, Note: If you are making epoxy tooling for use in an autoclave then you must also make your tooling in the autoclave. What I mean is this, the face coat and first 4 plies need to be vacuum bagged and placed in the autoclave under pressure allowing to full cure, prior to abrading and placing the remaining plies on the mold, failure to perform this small detail will result in ruined tooling first time it is used under pressure, voids and inclusions that would never be an issue under the face coat will become major issues once your part and tool are under pressure especially if you use any type heat to accelerate your cure. Remember, you are now processing @ 60 PSI not 28-29 hg. equaling roughly only 14 PSI.

The spinner's and back plates are hand laid up on the male side of the two piece compression tooling set in one piece layers with no cuts. 2 plies on the spinner's, 4 plies on the back plates and epoxy resin as the matrix, The 2X2 twill goes down nicely creating what appears to be 4 uniform quadrants as the weave gathers at each quadrant, I then place the female side of the tool set over the layup, slip everything inside a pre made vacuum bag envelope I make with bagging and bag tape, close and debulk with vacuum. I then place everything into the autoclave with vacuum connected, close the lid, and pressurize the vessel to 60 PSI. After 10 minutes I disconnect the vacuum source allowing the vacuum bag to vent to atmosphere throughout the cure cycle.

Bob

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Old 09-27-2013, 08:11 AM
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is the autoclave heated? or is it just a pressure vessel? Any pics?

Thanks,

Vic
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sensei View Post
I manufactured my molds sets utilizing Resin Services HTR 250 epoxy tooling system and their HTR 302 X face coat along with 14 plies of style 7500 tooling cloth. I have also manufactured them from 6061-T6 aluminum machined on a lathe, Note: If you are making epoxy tooling for use in an autoclave then you must also make your tooling in the autoclave. What I mean is this, the face coat and first 4 plies need to be vacuum bagged and placed in the autoclave under pressure allowing to full cure, prior to abrading and placing the remaining plies on the mold, failure to perform this small detail will result in ruined tooling first time it is used under pressure, voids and inclusions that would never be an issue under the face coat will become major issues once your part and tool are under pressure especially if you use any type heat to accelerate your cure. Remember, you are now processing @ 60 PSI not 28-29 hg. equaling roughly only 14 PSI.

The spinner's and back plates are hand laid up on the male side of the two piece compression tooling set in one piece layers with no cuts. 2 plies on the spinner's, 4 plies on the back plates and epoxy resin as the matrix, The 2X2 twill goes down nicely creating what appears to be 4 uniform quadrants as the weave gathers at each quadrant, I then place the female side of the tool set over the layup, slip everything inside a pre made vacuum bag envelope I make with bagging and bag tape, close and debulk with vacuum. I then place everything into the autoclave with vacuum connected, close the lid, and pressurize the vessel to 60 PSI. After 10 minutes I disconnect the vacuum source allowing the vacuum bag to vent to atmosphere throughout the cure cycle.

Bob
Bob, I like it!

As the heat source, do you heat the pot directly by some external means or do you place the whole pot assembly in the auotclave?

I have a 1 gallon pressurized paint pot on hand and silicone heating strip that could be wrapped around it. It would get the temp up to about 175F give or take. Poor man's autoclave??
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:20 PM
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I have let things cure at ambient, I have used a silicone tank heater and also placed the tank in small process ovens. One could actually use an old pizza or kitchen oven, anyway all methods have worked very good at 40-60 PSI, I have even processed 350 F pre- preg in a 15 gallon tank but that requires a very heavily insulated box enclosure, and is kind of a pain to deal with. As a side note, if you plan on placing your PMA (poor man's autoclave) in an oven, just be sure that your compressed air and your vacuum lines will sustain your desired temperature range. Good luck!

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Old 09-27-2013, 01:49 PM
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can this entire process from mold to producing parts be done without the use of heat curing and only use a pressure vessel?
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Old 09-27-2013, 02:49 PM
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Yes, any room temperature cure system can be used for making parts in the pressure vessel only, just keep in mind that any laminating system you use with a longer pot life is working to your advantage. The application of heat will only aid in the advancement of the cure cycle in room temperature cure resin systems, but again not needed.

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Old 09-27-2013, 04:04 PM
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Nice I will have to try it because I have spinner plug already and having aluminum tooling for it is too expensive.

So you basically have a male and female mold, I am guessing you have a space between them for the carbon and resin material?

I am thinking of incorporating an area in the tip of the spinner for a recess screw to hold it to the motor instead of screws around the spinner, that recess part will be in the male and female mold.

Vic
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Old 09-27-2013, 04:16 PM
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Best of luck to you.

Bob
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:13 PM
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You have any pictures of your molds?
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Old 09-28-2013, 05:44 AM
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Yes I do, I have them someplace here at home and will get some pictures later today.

Bob
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Old 09-28-2013, 12:23 PM
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Found them, there is allot more stuff then I remembered inside that old box...

Bob

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Old 09-28-2013, 06:35 PM
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I just got into making molds using West System epoxy, if I can produce a couple decent cowls, this sure looks like the next step for me, all I need is a pressure pot, have everything else. Did you make your molds based off a plug?
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Old 09-28-2013, 07:24 PM
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Yes, every mold was made from a master model/plug.

Bob
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Old 09-28-2013, 09:27 PM
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Bob, thanks for those pics it explains a lot. I'll try and post on here what I can come up with. Vic
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Old 09-30-2013, 02:22 PM
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Bob, that is a nice display of composite talent. Your pics speak a thousand words. Your words don't hurt either.

Nice stuff.

Hi Vic. Hope all is well. Spinners next I figure??












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Old 09-30-2013, 03:01 PM
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Thanks for the kind words Steve.

Bob
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:14 PM
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Hey Steve,

All is good! Busy building cant have enough warbirds. Trying the spinner? Yeah I wished I picked a subject that had a common shape spinner, but an LA-7 is not. I only need a couple so aluminum tooling is out of the question. A simple carbon hand laid spinner would suffice but because of Bob's original post, why not waste my time learning something different. Its all Bob's fault!

Many years ago I did make a similar mold, a canopy mold of a MK1 Spitfire. A female mold that you laid your glass and resin on and a male mold you place inside. Then the tricky parts starts, you start the clamp at the center of the mold, work your way clamping to the outside. The first one of course was a disaster, but eventually got the hang of it and it works well and the canopy actually fit perfectly over the clear canopy, because the male mold was made from the same canopy pull. The frame came out smooth on both sides and you have thickness on the frame and not the window.

I might try and put the mold in a vacuum bag but I think it might deform the spinner mold.

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Old 10-01-2013, 03:53 AM
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:34 AM
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Vic, it's like a disorder. You want to fabricate everything you can.

I love to see quality work by talented individuals. It makes me want to be in that group too!

steve
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