Friday, November 21, 2008

Done Baking

Here's the main plate. This is viewed from the top and looks much like the surface of the last piece. However, when we turn it over, we'll see a different finish.

Unfortunately, there are a couple of defects on the bottom. Most obvious, a corner got folded over, apparently while placing the layup in the vacuum bag.

While not visible in the pictures, a close observation shows the defect visible
through the top layer as a triangular corner which is lower than the rest of the plate.

There is also a stray fiber that got caught - which is strictly a cosmet
ic defect. But there are also some depressions in the bottom - apparently the table had some defects in its surface which I didn't detect.

All of t
his leads me to consider a different approach for the next time. Rather than using a bag on a table, I'm going to try laying a piece of plate glass on the table. This should provide a smooth lower surface. The layout w/ peelplys and breathers will be laid on this. Then a lay piece of bagging material over this and seal its edges to the table with a special caulk-like tape. This will avoid the difficulty of sliding the layup into the bag.

Having said this, the majority of this plate looks good, and should make some fine dropouts.

All up this plate weighs 310 grams - so 40 grams of epoxy was squeezed out in the vacuum. That said, my ideal weight was 250 grams and my realistic expectation was 290 grams. So we're just a bit pudgy. It seems clear that I started with too much epoxy to hit my targets. Also, I need to check my pressure next time to make sure that I'm pulling as much as I think (possibility of excess leakage in the bag). Nonetheless, this plate came in with a lower epoxy weight than the last plate so we're making progress. And there doesn't appear to be so much epoxy as to reduce the strength of the plate.

More later.

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