Fabric and epoxy

Hi, I am keen to try this idea of fabric on a hull, see Tips for Boatbuilders : http://www.clcboats.com/shoptips/fitting_out/fabrics.html

Anyone know about fabrics to recommend or avoid? particularly how they will behave with epoxy and/or varnish (or other clear coats). I can source some cool Hawaiian prints in rayon (and probably cotton). Is the rayon going to melt in epoxy? And I'm hoping this layup will be OK below the waterline.

 regards, Dave


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RE: Fabric and epoxy

 Dave

    I would avoid the rayon as it will not absorb the epoxy as readily as cotton will.

I've not launched my daughters boat yet, which has a decoratve fabric below the waterline, however the fabric is encased in fiberglass and epoxy, so the water can't get to it.

I'll post pics soon.

Andy 

 

 

RE: Fabric and epoxy

Andy,

See Oakumefest2010 pictures for the fabric on my boat. Do some testing. I think the rayon will work if you wet out the wood first, then push the fabric down into the epoxy with a squeege. A nice surprise was how easy the material cut once it started to set leaving a clean edge. While still green, I encapsulted with fiberglass cloth. Watch out for the material trying to separate from the wood as it cures. Squeege and push-pins can help if it starts to rise/bubble.

Lew

RE: Fabric and epoxy

Sorry Andy, ment to address Dave-

Lew

RE: Fabric and epoxy

Dave

  This is my daughter's ch 14 the entire hull is cvered with fabric.  Like lew said be careful  of bubbles.   I found  a few after the epoxy cured tha need to be opened and then epoxy injected under and clamped. I got the glue injectors from a wood working supply house.  good luck with yours and go for it .

RE: Fabric and epoxy

That is cool. My daughter wants zebra stripes.

RE: Fabric and epoxy

Thanks for the tips and encouragement everyone, seeing your examples has got me even more keen to try this. I have found some cotton fabric so I can avoid the rayon.

From the CLC  images it seems the final color will be much darker, it gets a permanant wet look? And I wonder if areas of white cloth might not show through some wood grain / color?

Any suggestions on applying the cloth over the hull. Yacko looks to have started at the keel and worked down to gunwales. The pattern on my cloth would prefer to start at gunwales and meet at keel (probably with an inch or 2 of overlap) but will this be trickier?

   regards, Dave

RE: Fabric and epoxy

Dave that is one piece of fabric about 4 1/2 yds, I first layed the fabric onto the hull and smoothed, then the fiberglass and smoothed it out. Next I folded both layers back about halfway and rolled epoxy onto the hull. I smoothed the fabric and rolled epoxy over the it. next came the glass smoothing it out. Repeat for the stern half of the boat. Then I epoxied the glass as you normaly would. Again be careful about bubbles under the cloth.  Have fun use slow hardener and you'll be fine.

 

RE: Fabric and epoxy

I have a question about sizing used in fabric production and it's compatability with epoxy. Some of the issues with bonding I read here may be the result of chemicals used in the production of the fabric, i.e. the sizing. Should a fabric that is going to be used with epoxy first be maching washed and dryed without fabric softener/perfumes? IF so, more than once? While cotton absorbs epoxy, synthetic fibers are encapsulated. Does this matter if overlaying glass ontop of the fabric? Does the fabric compromise the adheasion of the cloth to the wood?

One advantage of using a synthetic material as a colorful underlay is that you can trim it with a hot knife without damaging the substrate surface.

 Any help is appreciated!

RE: Fabric and epoxy

 

    I did wash the fabric and dry it, we don't use drier sheets. I olny washed it once. It is overlayed with glass and epoxy. I only had 1 spot where there was a problem with adheasion, along the edge where the deck will attach. Fixed it by injecting glue under the fabric and clamped.  I used cotton so i can't answer about synthetics.

Andy

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