White Papers & Brochures


About Reinforcements

The physical properties of composites are fiber dominant. This means that when the resin and fiber are combined, their performance remains most like the individual fiber properties. Test data shows that the fibrous reinforcement is the component carrying the majority of the load. For this reason, fabric selection is critical when designing composite structures.
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About Resins

Composites are a combination of fiber reinforcements and resin. The physical properties of composites are fiber dominate, meaning that the performance of finished parts is most directly related to that of the reinforcement. So what role does a resin play? This article will answer that and provide a basic understanding of the resin options available at Fibre Glast.
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Casting and Molding: Urethanes vs. Composites

Casting urethanes are versatile materials that can be used alone, with one another, or even with composites. From flexible molds to durable, impact-resistant parts, our selection of urethanes provides a wide range of properties for a variety of uses.
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ChromaGlast™ Paint vs. Gel Coat

The purpose of this article is to compare and explain the types of applications where gel coat or ChromaGlastTM Paint would be used. If you are interested in troubleshooting your gel coat or ChromaGlastTM application, please see either our Gel Coat Troubleshooting article or ChromaGlastTM Troubleshooting article.
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ChromaGlast™ Troubleshooting Guide

The attached document is a reprint of the PPG book A Guide to Identifying and Solving Common Paint Problems. The book was originally printed in 1993, and was out of print prior to the 2017 launch of ChromaGlastTM Premium Paint for Fiberglass and Composites. This book with photos does an excellent job of describing and troubleshooting typical problems with paint applications.
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Composite Laminate Cutting

Cutting composites is uniquely difficult when compared to cutting wood, metal, or other more traditional building materials. There are a several reasons for this, but there are three primary factors which impact tool selection when cutting laminates.
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Duratec Clear Hi-Gloss Gel Coat Additive

Get a superior finish, add quality, and save time and labor for your composite parts. Blend #1040-B Hi-Gloss Additive with gel coats for repairs, or upgrade the surface of molds or parts.
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Duratec Gray Surfacing Primer

This is an all in one coat! Duratec Polyester Surfacing Primer provides rapid coat build-up and a smooth surface with high gloss. Use it with composite plugs and patterns, and to prime a growing number of wood products-including furniture, musical instruments, and architectural applications.
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Fundamentals of Fiberglass

Composites are materials made up of individual components, whose combined physical strength exceeds the properties of either of them individually. In the case of composite laminates, there are two basic elements involved: fibrous reinforcement (such as Fiberglass or Carbon Fiber) and resin. These two elements are not meant to be used exclusively--they are meant to be combined. In doing so, they bond mechanically and chemically to form a hard, laminate part that cannot be reformed.
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Gel Coat Application Guide

Gel coat is the most common surface coating used in the fabrication and repair of fiberglass reinforced products. Gel Coat is a specially formulated two-part polyester resin that is designed to be the first layer of resin applied in a mold when making a polyester or vinyl ester composite part. It is intended to create an opaque surface which will completely block glass pattern show-through. Polyester resins in general, and specifically gel coats, are naturally UV resistant, and properly cured parts can be submerged in water. Most boats are made using gel coat with polyester resin and fiberglass.
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Gel Coat Troubleshooting Guide

A proper gel coat application can often mean the difference between the look of a professionally fabricated part, and an amateurish attempt. Gel coating is one of, if not the most common problem area when working with composites, and can be a struggle for even experienced fabricators.
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Getting Started in Composites

The exciting thing about composites is that an ordinary person can make things that they have never been able to make before, such as bathtubs, a boat, or a motorcycle! Race car bodies, canoes, airplanes, model aircraft, jet skis, boats, sculptures as well as traditional industrial molding and model making have taken on a new dimension as fiberglass becomes less of a mystery, easier to use, and easier to buy!
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Guidelines for Sandwich Core Materials

The rising demand for new materials with higher strength to weight ratios has created a dramatic growth in sandwich composite technology. Sandwich construction employs a lightweight core that has a flexural strength and flexural modulus far exceeding that of the skin laminates alone.
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Introduction to Urethane Casting Resins

Fibre Glast casting resins are designed to be poured into open or closed molds, without reinforcement, to make short-run parts, prototypes, molds or tools. Urethanes are polymers with a wide range of properties, strengths, and uses, from custom elastic machine parts and pliable molds to hard plastic prototypes, coating and lenses.
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Mold Construction Guide

What is "molding"? Molding has been used for years to form metal products like car body panels, home appliances, and industrial fixtures. Metal stamping dies are cumbersome and cost thousands of dollars to produce. Most often, only larger companies can afford to build, operate and maintain these tools. Composite materials offer a cost effective way for anyone to make even large production runs of identical parts in molds they can produce themselves.
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Molding Fiberglass

Composites offer tremendous possibilities for part fabrication once a few basic concepts are understood. The key lies in understanding the different materials available, their applications, and the best ways to handle them.
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Moldless Composite Construction

Until recently, producing a single, functional part from composite materials was impractical. Much of the problem was due to the rough and wavy surface that usually resulted when these materials were not used inside a mold. Also, non-artistic builders find it intimidating to sculpt the shapes freehand. Finally, many resin materials are formulated to be used inside a mold and do not work properly when exposed to air. Consequently, someone wanting to build a single part or prototype, even the plug for a mold, would often be discouraged and turn away from composites before even getting started!
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Plug Construction Guide

The first step in the fiberglass mold-building process is to create a plug. A plug is the form which is to be duplicated and is usually a representation of the finished part. This can be an actual part or a mock-up of a part. When planning for the plug and mold, many factors must be taken into consideration, especially surface finish, draft angles, undercuts, and method of production. A composite mold that is going to be used for vacuum bagging, vacuum infusion or closed-molding processes will require large flanges.
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Plug Surface Preparation & Mold Surface Maintenance

The majority of current composite applications focus on molding for rapid part reproduction and maximization of the material properties themselves. Regardless of the type of mold used, female cavity or male plug, the mold surface is critical. This white paper describes the techniques necessary to achieve a Class 'A' mold surface finish as well as the steps required to maintain it.
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Safety in Composites

The two components of composite work (reinforcement and resins) always require attention to safety. Reinforcements will tend to provide a problem when cutting. The small fibers will travel through the air, so care must be taken to avoid breathing these fibers. Often a dust mask is satisfactory, but a respirator offers more complete protection.
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Setting Up a Composite Shop

Over the past fifty years, Fibre Glast Developments has supplied thousands of new customers with materials they had never seen, and taught them to use them successfully. However, we rarely discuss the lessons we have learned about organizing the composite shop itself. One of the most challenging hurdles a fabricator will face is just "how" to begin. This includes setting up their first composites shop.
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Step-by-Step Guide to Fast Set Urethane Resins

4113 Fast Set Tooling/Prototyping Urethane Resin can be cast and de-molded quickly to make durable prototypes, molds and tools. During production, the 2,600-cps liquid, about as viscous as honey, is easy to handle and reproduces fine details well. It shrinks minimally while curing, and the finished parts are dimensionally stable and very heat resistant.
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Step One Mold Polish

Generally used to remove wet sanding scratches (600-1000 grit) from mold surfaces. Removes wax and styrene buildup from mold surfaces
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Step Two Mold Polish

Water-based fast-cut compound and polish for composites and other surfaces. Generally used to remove fine scratches from mold and part surfaces. Great for polishing molds, parts, and painted surfaces.
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Submit Your Photos & Videos

Fibre Glast wants to share photos or videos of your composite project with thousands of customers and fans. Whether it's a groundbreaking university prototype, a great car modification, a unique fiberglass design or an upgraded R/C vehicle, we'd love to see it, promote it and give you credit. Our customers amaze us, and each other, with their craftsmanship in projects built in laboratories and home garages.
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The Ultimate Fiberglass Repair Guide

Composites offer numerous advantages over conventional building materials. One advantage that might not be obvious is the ease and durability of repairs. Because many lack the knowledge to repair composite parts and molds, damaged items are often replaced; for those that have a beginner's understanding, the process may seem intimidating at first. Fear not, composite parts are often easier to repair than parts made from traditional materials. In this article we will provide a basic understanding of composite repairs, as well as detailed steps and considerations to follow for both structural and cosmetic repairs.
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Using Fairing and Filling Compounds

Fairing and filling compounds are designed to repair and shape finished composite parts while retaining as much of the original piece strength as possible. The versatile compounds can be used for filling, adhering, building, shaping and finishing composites and other materials.
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Using Glitterflake

Fibre Glast Glitterflakes are .015" metallized polyesters flakes typically used with a clear gel coat. We recommend our #180 Clear Gel Coat which is an ISO/NPG marine gel coat with excellent weathering properties and a high gloss suitable for glitterflake.
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Vacuum Bagging Equipment & Techniques for Room-Temp Applications

Vacuum bagging is a technique employed to create mechanical pressure on a laminate during its cure cycle. Pressurizing a composite lamination serves several functions. First, it removes trapped air between layers. Second, it compacts the fiber layers for efficient force transmission among fiber bundles and prevents shifting of fiber orientation during cure. Third, it reduces humidity. Finally, and most important, the vacuum bagging technique optimizes the fiber-to-resin ratio in the composite part. These advantages have for years enabled aerospace and racing industries to maximize the physical properties of advanced composite materials such as carbon, aramid, and epoxy.
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Vacuum Infusion Complete Guide

The Vacuum Infusion Process (VIP) is a technique that uses vacuum pressure to drive resin into a laminate. Dry materials are laid into the mold and the vacuum is applied before resin is introduced. Once a complete vacuum is achieved, resin is literally sucked into the laminate via carefully placed tubing. This process is aided by an assortment of supplies and materials.
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What Are Prepegs?

"Prepreg" is the common term for a reinforcing fabric which has been pre-impregnated with a resin system. This resin system (typically epoxy) already includes the proper curing agent. As a result, the prepreg is ready to lay into the mold without the addition of any more resin. In order for the laminate to cure, it is necessary to use a combination of pressure and heat.
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What are Unidirectional Carbon Fiber Fabrics?

Unidirectional carbon fiber fabric is a type of carbon reinforcement that is non-woven and features all fibers running in a single, parallel direction. With this style of fabric, there are no gaps between fibers, and those fibers lay flat. There is no cross-section weave that divides the fiber strength in half with another direction. This allows for the concentrated density of fibers that provide maximum longitudinal tensile potential--greater than any other weave of fabric. For comparison, this is 3 times the longitudinal tensile strength of structural steel at one-fifth of the weight density.
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What is Carbon Fiber Used For?

Carbon fiber is made from organic polymers, which consist of long strings of molecules held together by carbon atoms. Most carbon fibers (about 90%) are made from the polyacrylonitrile (PAN) process. A small amount (about 10%) are manufactured from rayon or the petroleum pitch process.
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What do I need for my Composite Project?

How many times has this happened to you: You're ready to begin your composite project and no sooner than you get started you realize you don't have the right mixing supplies? Or maybe you finish waxing your mold only to realize you don't have any PVA. In order to make sure your project is a success-and make sure you don't waste valuable time and money-compiling a complete list of materials needed for the job is a vital step to any project.
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Videos


Composite Mold Making

Plug Construction & Advanced Fiberglass Mold Making. A complete demonstration of the plug design, construction, and the process of building a large polyester mold of an SAE Supermileage Racer. This project illustrates the development of a full-scale plug in an environment similar to a home garage.
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How to Mold Fiberglass & Composites

A Step-By-Step Guide To Molding Fiberglass. A simple introduction to fiberglass mold construction; explained using a model aircraft cowling. From plug, to mold, to finished fiberglass part.
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How to Vacuum Bag Fiberglass & Composites

Vacuum Bagging & Sandwich Core Construction. A complete demonstration of the plug design, construction, and the process of building a large polyester mold of an SAE Supermileage Racer. This project illustrates the development of a full-scale plug in an environment similar to a home garage.
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Moldless Composite Construction Video

How-To techniques for using fiberglass without a mold. Watch the complete process of building an entire rear trunk assembly for a 1923 T-Bucket Hot Rod!
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R Miller Auto - Vacuum Infusion Using Fibre Glast Materials

In this video R Miller Autobody used Fibre Glast materials in a vacuum infusion application. Vacuum Infusion is a technique that uses vacuum pressure to drive resin into a laminate. Dry materials are laid into the mold and the vacuum pressure is applied before resin is introduced. Once a complete vacuum is achieved, resin is forced into the laminate via vacuum tubing. The vacuum infusion process offers a better fiber-to-resin ratio than hand lay-up or vacuum bagging.
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Resin Infusion and Sandwich Core

Fibre Glast offers a wide selection of Resin Infusion Supplies and Equipment as well as a large variety of Sandwich Core Materials for use in vacuum bagging or resin infusion applications. The vacuum bagging technique is used to improve the resin/reinforcement ratio of a composite laminate by applying vacuum pressure on a composite laminate during the cure cycle. This results in stronger, lighter parts.
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Scion FR-S Tuner Challenge

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Vacuum Bagging Materials

Fibre Glast's Vacuum Bagging Materials are premium products made for use in vacuum bagging applications. Use the vacuum bagging technique to place vacuum pressure on a composite laminate during the cure cycle.
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Vacuum Pumps and Fittings

Fibre Glast offers a wide selection of Vacuum Pumps and Fittings for use in vacuum bagging or resin infusion applications. The vacuum bagging technique is used to improve the resin/reinforcement ratio of a composite laminate by applying vacuum pressure on a composite laminate during the cure cycle. This results in stronger, lighter parts.
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What to Expect When You Buy from Fibre Glast

At Fibre Glast, we package our products professionally to ensure that your purchase arrives in great condition and ready to use. From our first-quality carbon fiber, fiberglass and KEVLAR® fabrics to resins, gel coats, sandwich core and foam -- or even simple tools and supplies -- we take pride in our shipping process that delivers your materials safely and intact. Watch our video below to learn more about our packing and shipping process.
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Photos


Photo Gallery Archive

Fibre Glast customers range from government contractors, racing teams and boat repair shops to individual upgrading R/C kits in their home garage. We support fabricators with decades of experience, and hobbyists just starting out. Take a look through our archived galleries for examples of some of their incredible projects. Get ideas, then get to work.
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Photo Submission

Everything from Rockets to Carbon Fiber Banjos, Fibre Glast Customers have shown that it doesn't matter the application, our materials are up to the job.
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Charts


Catalyst Concentration & Equivalent Measure

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Physical Properties of Laminates

For those of you that like to work with numbers, we have compiled the following chart to illustrate the salient features of various constructions of reinforcements.
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Reinforcement Comparisons

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Useful Weights & Measures

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Viscosity Guidelines

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We've specialized in composite materials for over 50 years, so we've had plenty of time to gather the insight and practical advice that could make the job easier for any fabricator, whether you're a beginner or an expert. The Learning Center has been designed as a go-to educational resource to share that experience.

Should you use carbon fiber, fiberglass, or Kevlar® reinforcement? Compare them here. Troubleshoot surfacing issues and repairs; or learn how to refine vacuum bagging or mold-making techniques. You'll get an in-depth look at a number of topics, with added visual reference and helpful tools that make planning any project go more smoothly, right from the start.

Visit our online catalog for composite materials including carbon fiber, fiberglass, and Kevlar; vacuum bagging supplies; epoxy, polyester, and vinyl ester resin; gel coat, prepregs, mix-and-pour foam, and more.

If you need more assistance, call a Sales Service Representative at 1-800-838-8984, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST Monday - Friday.