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Old 08-31-2011, 08:18 AM
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Fiberglass and micro balloons

Hi guys... haven't been here for a while...but I know you guys know the answers...

I have a '53 ford truck

it has a fiberglass hood /fenders (doghouse)that tilts forward fenders and all. The outside is gel coated and very smooth.. the inside is typical rough fiberglass with mat showing and a very rough surface. I want the inside to be as nice as the outside (or close)


I've been told you can add glass bubbles (microspheres or micro ballons) to the resin... apply it and sand it much easier than the rough mat surface.

I've been told that glass bubbles can be used to do this with very little finish work (compared to brushing on resin and sanding forever) My questions :


does anyone know about using glass bubbles to fiberglass ?

how should it be applied and finished ?? brushed ?? sprayed ??

for a 100 sq. ft. application... what quantity would be needed ??

what base resin should be used ??

and any other information you can offer would be greatly appreciated. I can send pictures of the application if needed...



I know this brain trust has the answer



thanks

John

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Old 08-31-2011, 08:41 AM
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I never heard anything about any bubbles... I would just use truck bed liner under there... You can also have it painted to match the outside... I have seen this done on a lot of trucks... Look's very nice when done right..
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:01 AM
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Micro balloons are just a very fine filler for resins. You just add the micro balloons to the resin before catalyzing, or adding hardener in the case of epoxy, and apply the well stirred mixture. It will run, best done in a horizontal position.
Here is a link.
http://www.tapplastics.com/shop/product.php?pid=46&

Tap plastics is a good source for fiberglass supplies, also.
http://www.tapplastics.com/
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:10 AM
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You can use something like evercoat rage or marson platinum filler, apply that and some sanding and you are done. some of the liteweight fillers already have the micro baloons already in them..

Sam
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I have tried most all of it and now do what is known to work..
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:08 PM
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I would just use plastic filler. The Platinum is what I use. It is actually a polyester resin with filler material... the same thing you are trying to invent.... and is thoroughly tested by the industry. You homemade filler may surprise you with some unforseen problem.

Be sure to sand the underside with a heavy grit to ensure the adhesion.
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:44 PM
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I really don't think plastic filler would be the way to go on the inside of fenders,,, One good hit from a rock off the tires will remind you why you shouldn't have... Yes It's the easiest way to get it right,,, But it can come back later and bite you and the a**..
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:57 PM
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There is no way I would be spreading filler on the inside of that front end, holy crap what a work out that would be!

What I would do is using a 5" orbital "da" sand it with 80 grit to flatten it out some. Cutting the tops of those fiberglass strands off will have no effect what so ever on the structual integrety of the piece. After smoothing it out a little I would spray Polyester primer and sand that flat. The polyester primer is like "spray bondo" and WILL fill a lot. You could literally tape a quarter onto a fender and bury it!

But as Randy pointed out, under the fenders would not be a good idea, it will look lie crap in no time.

But smoothing it out like you were going to paint it, then use a nice spray in bed liner then paint over that would give you a much nicer, even finish than the ugly fiberglass chopper gun did.

Brian
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Old 08-31-2011, 03:42 PM
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You can buy Micro Balloons from places like Aircraft Spruce or Wicks Aircraft Supply. They can be mixed with either epoxy or fiberglass resin. You add the balloons to the desired consistency you want and apply. If you don't want any runs you can add as much balloons as needed and just trowel the mix on. Yes it does sand easier than just epoxy or fiberglass resin and will remain somewhat flexible. Home built aircraft builders use it all the time for making smooth fillets and such. It's great stuff to work with, but wear a good respirator when handling it the balloons are really microscopic glass spheres and will wreck havoc with your lungs if inhaled..

Vince
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Old 08-31-2011, 06:49 PM
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You can also add some fumed silica (Carbosil or aerosil) to your glass bubble mix, or you could use some Phenolic Micro Balloons which have a better sag/run resistance than glass bubbles and they are even a bit easier to sand, finally you could add some fumed silica to make it really sag/run resistant.

I've been building hovercrafts since I was 14 (www.zbcreations.com ) and phenolic micro balloons, fumed silica, and epoxy is my preferred light weight easy to sand non structural filler.

In the picture below you can see the brown spots. We did a skim coat or two of the filler mixture over the glass and foam to get a fill in the glass weave and imperfections and get nice smooth finish.


I've always bought my epoxy, fillers, glass, etc from raka and US composites

www.raka.com

&

http://www.uscomposites.com/
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneMoreTime
You can use something like evercoat rage or marson platinum filler, apply that and some sanding and you are done. some of the liteweight fillers already have the micro baloons already in them..

Sam
love the marson platinum. I used to get that stuff for $24 a gallon if you can believe that.
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:16 PM
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west systems has epoxy resin and a host of fillers to do different jobs. epoxy will be your best bet on cured polyester as it will adhere better. myself it i wanted it smooth i would do as brian said and knock it down then use spi epoxy to fill with. bondo sucks for this type of job.
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