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Can ABS plastic be covered with fiberglass

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Old 10-07-2006, 06:00 PM
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hansvonpensch
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Default Can ABS plastic be covered with fiberglass

Looking at the African Queen, it looked like it might be fun to build, but the ABS plastic hull seems a littel cheezy, is it possible to cover it with fiberglass. thanks, Randy
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Old 10-07-2006, 11:44 PM
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Default RE: Can ABS plastic be covered with fiberglass

wish i could delete
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Old 10-08-2006, 02:26 AM
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Default RE: Can ABS plastic be covered with fiberglass

You run the risk of warping the hull due to the chemicals, or even just the "heat" created while the resin cures.

I used an ABS hull as a plug to make some extra deep V hulls once. After pulling two hulls from the ABS, I set it aside. I picked it up a couple months later and found it quite deformed.

If you place all the frames, and bulkheads in your hull, it might fair better. But there will still be a risk that the ABS may warp.
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Old 10-08-2006, 04:57 AM
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Default RE: Can ABS plastic be covered with fiberglass

I think 'Umi' has it covered. The two 'biggies' are heat and chemical reactions. Get around those two and you got it made.
- 'Doc
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Old 10-08-2006, 10:30 AM
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Default RE: Can ABS plastic be covered with fiberglass

you could try covering the boat with ducktape first then glassing it ,another way is to make a plaster mould using your abs hull.make a box put the hull in upside down then seal the edges round the hull and the base of the box and fill the box with plaster you will need frames in the boat to stop the plaster squashing it in etc.its worth a try maybe?.better still ditch the abs and build a balsa model of the same hull then glass it.that would be my way!!.im not familiar with the hull but if you take measurements and use frames to get the correct shape you could easyly build a balsa replica of it!!.maybe there are plans available of the frames etc .
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Old 10-08-2006, 12:33 PM
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Default RE: Can ABS plastic be covered with fiberglass

Fill your hull with clay to stop the plaster from squashing the hull, then make a plaster mold.

Don M.
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Old 10-08-2006, 01:48 PM
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Default RE: Can ABS plastic be covered with fiberglass

I don't think he wanted more hulls, I think he just wants to reinforce the hull.
I just used my experience to note what happened to the ABS hull I had.

Theoretically, he could put the frames into the hull, rough up the exterior with course sand paper and glass the outside. If he wanted to do the inside of the hull and save the exterior finish. Then he runs the higher risk of the hull warping before he gets a chance to resize the frames and fit them inside.

Overall, most kits are well designed, and do not need any additional reinforcement other than placing the provided frames and bulkheads. His kit should build up into a nice boat. However if he decides to reinforce the hull, there are risks.[&o]
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Old 10-08-2006, 04:39 PM
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Default RE: Can ABS plastic be covered with fiberglass

abs is rubbish a waste of money in my opinion,either wood or glass thats the way to go.good tip on the clay also thats a good idea .once the mould is made you can smooth it out a bit also and fill any small air holes left.a tip to stop air holes is shake the box and try to get the air out a little.a small vibrator also works dont know where you,ll find one of them .we used to use a vibrating table when making plaster mouldings.the wifes washing machine on spin would also work!!!.
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Old 10-08-2006, 10:25 PM
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Default RE: Can ABS plastic be covered with fiberglass

If you are going to fiberglass an ABS hull DON'T use polyester resin. Polyester resin will melt the ABS, use epoxy resin.
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Old 10-09-2006, 03:06 AM
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Default RE: Can ABS plastic be covered with fiberglass

err i meant use it to cover a balsa hull not the abs hull!!.but if you still want to cover that cheap hull with glass uses epoxy!!
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Old 10-10-2006, 11:25 AM
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Default RE: Can ABS plastic be covered with fiberglass

Yes you can apply fiberglass to a plastic hull, but as Umi mentioned there are two issues to deal with. I applied a fiberglass hull to a USS Arizonia that I used as a target for my combat ships. I applied a the resin to a section of the interior hull to see what effects that it applied to the plastic. Unfortunately, I never seem to use the same stuff twice, so I can not tell you what brand or type of resin I used. I then applied a thin glass layer with thin layer of resin to reduce the thermal reaction.
But one thing to consider in your project, if your original hull is not up to standards, then applying the fiberglass with just give you a thicker substandard hull. You best bet would be as Umi discribed, make a cast and alter the mold. Faster and more accurate.
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Old 10-12-2006, 09:55 PM
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Default RE: Can ABS plastic be covered with fiberglass

You can make a mold from this with fiberglass IF you first cover this with a good thick layer of PVA. Use a good spraygun to apply a few layers of PVA until the entire surface is covered. Then let that dry overnight. The PVA will act as a barrier coat and prevent the gel you use to make the mold from melting the ABS. Heat could still be a problem, but if you let the gel cure fully then apply thin glass layers that cure fully before the next, you should not see temperatures above warm to the touch.

That said, you are going through alot of work to get a fiberglass hull that is probably not needed. If you were talking about a go fast planning hull I would say OK, but for a model of the African Queen, you are talking about a slow moving boat that is not going to be stressed out enough to worry about the hull being weakened and damaged by use. The ABS will last forever if the boat is not dropped or stressed beyond the normal operation of it.
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Old 10-12-2006, 11:38 PM
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Default RE: Can ABS plastic be covered with fiberglass

What happened to Randy, did we scare him off?
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Old 10-13-2006, 05:40 AM
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Default RE: Can ABS plastic be covered with fiberglass

looks like it!!.
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Old 10-13-2006, 04:56 PM
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Default RE: Can ABS plastic be covered with fiberglass

There are many problems when you try to build a "nice" model boat, I have built in the last year a Dumas 33" pt, Crockett, and Shelly foss, all about 50% to 70% complete, I enjoy building the hulls, but because one or more things on each is not just right I have gave them away and I want to get the right boat next time, I am looking at the African Queen, a relook at the Crockett and the1/20 scale pt.

If I could make a new hull with epoxy resin and fiberglass cloth using the abs hull it puts more weight towards the Queen. M aby the others later. Thanks, Randy.
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Old 10-14-2006, 05:05 AM
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Default RE: Can ABS plastic be covered with fiberglass

maybe you should finnish one boat before moving on to the next? just an idea!!.giving up on a boat because your having problems sounds like your expecting things to just be perfect and building boats just isnt like that.you need to stick at it and if somethings not right put it right dont just ditch it and start on something new or you will never finnish anything and learn nothing!!.this works for more than just modeling also lifes not easy most of us need to work hard at things we dont give up at the first sign of a problem.hope im not been too harsh here but too many times i see guys giving up on things when they get tough.
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Old 10-14-2006, 09:05 AM
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Default RE: Can ABS plastic be covered with fiberglass

I belive your advise is good, thank you.

Do you know of any problems to look out for when making an epoxy hull from an abs mould, or better asked any certian process I should use. The release agent is also of interest. Thanks, Randy.
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Old 10-14-2006, 10:17 AM
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Default RE: Can ABS plastic be covered with fiberglass

to be honest mate ive never tried it i usually build from scratch and use balsa then cover the thing with fibre glass.as said previously for this boat its not needed the abs will be fine for a slow boat.its different when you build a fast boat then you will need it to be pretty strong for when you crash it .
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