Acceptable Fiberglass Suppliers for Aircraft Construction

HomeBuiltAirplanes.com

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes.com:

Yellowhammer

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
515
Location
Born In Alabama, reside: Louisiana (unfortunately)
Greetings Friends,

I have a question about a manufacturer / supplier (outside of ACS) of Fiberglass fabrics.

The manufacturer / supplier is U.S. Composites.

I like the fact that they supply fabric in 50 inch widths. They also sell a Biaxial fabric along with fiberglass tapes from 1 inch to 12 inches in width.


My question is do we have to buy our fiberglass from A.C.S. to be on the safe side, or can we use suppliers such as U.S. Composites for items not provided for by A.C. S.?

I just do not want to make a mistake and I know you all would provide sound advice.

Thank you all in advance for your kindness and help. I truly appreciate all of you!

Sincerely and Respectfully,

Yellowhammer
 

Attachments

Vigilant1

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 24, 2011
Messages
6,026
Location
US
I recall that Mark Calder (HBA username "planebuilder"), designer of the Wren and the Robin project, said that he used U.S. Composites as a source of at least sone materials. Their epoxy is inexpensive. I don't remember Mark saying anything specific about their reinforcement fabric.
 
Last edited:

Yellowhammer

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
515
Location
Born In Alabama, reside: Louisiana (unfortunately)
I have bought glass from them and am planning an epoxy purchase to support tooling that is ahead. Why not use it for parts? Several reasons, but the main ones are I am unwilling to qualify another resin system and Tg is too low for my comfort.

Billski


Thank you for your reply Billski. I don't plan on using any of their epoxy as I strictly use Aeropoxy (structural and lay up epoxies).

Sincerely,

Yellowhammer
 

cblink.007

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2014
Messages
632
Location
Maryland, USA
We have purchased from Fiberglass Supply (shop.fiberglasssupply.com) and direct from VectorPly (www.vectorply.com). We get our laminating & structural resins direct from PTM&W (PTM&W | Rapid Prototyping and Urethane Tooling Resins) and mold tooling resins and materials from FibreGlast Developments (www.fibreglast.com)

The PTM&W folks are great to work with; FibreGlast has amazing customer service, as does VectorPly and Fiberglass Supply
 

Yellowhammer

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
515
Location
Born In Alabama, reside: Louisiana (unfortunately)
We have purchased from Fiberglass Supply (shop.fiberglasssupply.com) and direct from VectorPly (www.vectorply.com). We get our laminating & structural resins direct from PTM&W (PTM&W | Rapid Prototyping and Urethane Tooling Resins) and mold tooling resins and materials from FibreGlast Developments (www.fibreglast.com)

The PTM&W folks are great to work with; FibreGlast has amazing customer service, as does VectorPly and Fiberglass Supply

Thank you for pointing me in the proper direction sir You are a gentleman.

Yellowhammer
 

Bille Floyd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2019
Messages
448
Thank you for your reply Billski. I don't plan on using any of their epoxy as I strictly use Aeropoxy (structural and lay up epoxies).

Sincerely,

Yellowhammer
Main reason i like it :
The AEROPOXY systems will cure completely at room temperature, or can be given an elevated temperature cure. AEROPOXY contains no MDA (a known liver toxin and carcinogen) and meets or exceeds current OSHA requirements for safe use. It satisfies all structural, pot life and wet-out characteristics according to tests by Rutan Aircraft Factory, and RAF recommended its use for all homebuilt aircraft applications.

Second, is they make a hardener that is water tolerable ; use that one
for PFP molds , which there Is-No faster way to mold a small part , with
really good accuracy. Yes i got a Cold beer that says i will take on
anyone , with their conventional molding process ; for that one ! :)

Third and very important, is after initial cure at room temp, the part can be
de-molded , remove the peepPly, then a secondary bond can be made to it
afterward ; and you still get a mechanical
as well as a molecular bond, with only two hours of post cure @ 144F.

The stuff is Great !!

Bille
 
Last edited:

Fireflyer228

Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 17, 2020
Messages
24
Location
Oregon, USA
A presenter at an EAA composite workshop today kept mentioning Rock West (www.rockwestcomposites.com)

No affiliation, but I’m also looking to buy some mold making materials, strand mat fiberglass, carbon fiber fabric and epoxy for resin infusion.

Thanks for the great info and links in this thread. The timing is perfect

Side question: do you use different epoxy for engine cowlings due to thermal stresses?

Kenneth
 

Yellowhammer

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
515
Location
Born In Alabama, reside: Louisiana (unfortunately)
Greetings Friends,

I wanted to update you all on what I have recently discovered. After Cblink.007 mentioned he had used VectorPly I immediately researched their operation.

I discovered that the make a plethora of fiberglass and carbon fiber cloth's for the aerospace industry.

I contacted their sales manager for the Central region of the United States, His name is Doug Latchapelle.

I could not have spoken to a finer person. He has helped me tremendously. Even though I am doing a small application he has taken the time to help me and for that I am truly grateful. He said If I would send him some pictures with an overview of what I want to accomplish that he would send it to their engineering department so they could determine the best application with the lightest result.

I am also going to send him my build manual for this particular section where I want to add strength to help them get a solid grasp of everything.

I am so excited about getting his help I can hardly stand it In addition, I also discovered that VectorPly is located in my beloved home state of Alabama.

VectorPly manufactures a Tri Axial and a Quad Axial cloth that is applied in one layup with the desired orientations already incorporated in the glass. A considerable amount of time can be saved with just one application versus three to four layups not to mention all of the cutting to get the bias of 0, 45, -45, and 90. correct will be eliminated.

Doug also said that Aeropoxy was a superior Epoxy system.

Thanks again Cblink.007! You have no idea how much you have helped me. I only hope I can return the favor someday.

Sincerely and Respectfully

Yellowhammer
 

Marc Zeitlin

Exalted Grand Poobah
Joined
Dec 11, 2015
Messages
895
Location
Tehachapi, CA
VectorPly manufactures a Tri Axial and a Quad Axial cloth that is applied in one layup with the desired orientations already incorporated in the glass. A considerable amount of time can be saved with just one application versus three to four layups not to mention all of the cutting to get the bias of 0, 45, -45, and 90. correct will be eliminated.
_IF_ the ply orientations of the tri-axial and/or quad axial stitched cloth meets your requirements, and _IF_ you're vacuum bagging everything, then these materials can be extremely useful. But if you're NOT vacuum bagging (and I don't recall your particular project plan) then these cloths will be EXTREMELY heavy, as they have a LOT of interstitial space in them due to the non-woven quality of the multiple plies. They will retain a LOT of epoxy, without bagging.

If you are bagging, then you're good to go (as long as you bag correctly, which many people don't - they think that holding a vacuum, even if it's leaky, is all that's needed. If you have a leak in the bag, then you're merely ensuring that you will draw air through your layup as it cures).
 

wanttobuild

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2015
Messages
745
Location
kuttawa, ky
Alternatively, one could use a vacuum pot. A very accurate way of clamping. This method will test your skills with leak proof connections. You don't need a vacuum pump. Vacuum pump will mask a leak, just as Marc helpfully pointed out. Get a brake bleeding tool to create the neg pressure. Use a tested accurate gauge.
 

bmcj

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Messages
13,733
Location
Fresno, California
I discovered that the make a plethora of fiberglass and carbon fiber cloth's for the aerospace industry.
That tells you two things...

1) Their stuff is good for structural use.

2) Their stuff is used in a very controlled environment that may call for very specific processes such as portion control, precise matrix lay and alignment, specific curing conditions (temperature and environment), or as Marc Z stated, tight vacuum bagging requirements. You need to make sure that you can duplicate their processes to get their results, or you need to know how to derate your structural calculations to allow for the controlled measures that you are not able to duplicate (in other words, how much extra factor of safety you need to build in).
 

TLAR

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2020
Messages
244
One thing about the vacuum pot, you should be able to hold 20#For 20minutes.
Easily. Reliably.
 

Vigilant1

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 24, 2011
Messages
6,026
Location
US
With a Break Bleeding Tool
The standard atmosphere on earth is 14.7 psi at sea level. You can't get 20 psi of vacuum on this planet under normal atmospheric conditions (e.g. not underwater, etc.) with a brake bleeding tool or a $1 million cryogenic vacuum pump.

Maybe you meant a vacuum of 20” of Hg?
 
Last edited:

TLAR

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2020
Messages
244
Oh Yes! Silly little me. Yep 14.7. Thank you soooooo much for catching my little slip of the pressure gauge! Soooo nice to have folks like you to catch little me in a misstatement! Such a value to the HBA community!
 

BJC

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2013
Messages
12,877
Location
97FL, Florida, USA
Oh Yes! Silly little me. Yep 14.7. Thank you soooooo much for catching my little slip of the pressure gauge! Soooo nice to have folks like you to catch little me in a misstatement! Such a value to the HBA community!
There are many readers of this forum without a science background. It is important to correct errors in posts.


BJC
 
Top