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What is Peel Ply and how is it used

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Old 09-05-2004, 11:49 AM
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DMcQuinn
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Default What is Peel Ply and how is it used

I have seen this referenced in many posts and am confused where / how it is used. Seems like in some cases it goes between balsa skins and foam core wings. other cases sounds like it is the outermost layer of a wing.
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Old 09-05-2004, 12:26 PM
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Ed Smith
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Default RE: What is Peel Ply and how is it used

Peel ply looks like a dacron or nylon material. Peel ply rarely ends up as part of the airplane. When laying up fibreglass parts it is not the cloth that is heavy, it is the amount of resin that adds weight. So a method has been established to remove excess resin.

I will use the example of glassing the outside of a wing with 3/4oz cloth and epoxy resin. The cloth is laid on the wing. The resin is squeegeed through it. Both sides of the wing. Peel ply is laid on the whole mess. A second layer of some "Breather" material is also laid on over the peel ply. The whole lot is slid into a vacuum bag. As the pressure is applied all of the layers are pressed against the wing surface. The resin then soaks through the peel ply and into the breather cloth. The cloth must be thick enough to soak up this resin.

Peel ply is treated so that it will not stick to the resin. When the resin has cured the peel ply and breather cloth are peeled away from the wing. This material is now garbage and cannot be reused.

The end result is a wing surface with the 3/4 oz cloth tight against the skin with no excess resin in the structure. It is truly amazing how much excess resin and therefore weight can be removed with this procedure.

The same method can be used when molding parts.

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Old 09-05-2004, 01:18 PM
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nIgHthAwK17
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Default RE: What is Peel Ply and how is it used

To add to Ed's post - "Peel ply" comes as different materials for the exact same purpose Ed described. Sometimes it is teflon-coated fiberglass, sometimes its nylon. "Peel ply" can be any thin woven material which a) epoxy doesn't stick to, and b) is thin enough for epoxy to flow through. These two reasons are why teflon-coated 'glass or nylon is used as a "peel ply" layer. The reason "peel ply" is called what it is, is because of its purpose (it is meant to "peel" extra resin away) and composite lingo (composites are made of "plys" or layers). That being said, "peel ply" is the "removal of excess resin layer".

Though a long and winded explanation, I hope you better understand what everyone has been talking about.
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