Category Archives: Composite Fabrication

Merit Badge

By Tom Dragone, PhD

In Epoxyworks #38, we published an article featuring two projects that met the requirements for the Boy Scout’s Composite Merit Badge. Here, Tom Dragone tells us about two more projects completed by scouts in Troop 7369 from Chantilly, Virginia.

In 2006, the Boy Scouts of America created the Composite Materials merit badge for scouts to earn, to help them learn about the importance of composite materials and encourage them to consider careers in this field. Being an aerospace composites engineer as well as an active scouting advisor, I saw this as a natural opportunity to share my interest and experience in composite materials with the scouts in my troop. I developed a set of projects to help the scouts learn about composite materials and share them in the hope of getting more young men interested in this exciting field. Continue reading

carbon fiber air scoop

Carbon Skinning

Why reinforce with carbon fiber?

By Don Gutzmer

Carbon fiber has very high strength-to-weight ratios and higher stiffness compared to many other reinforcing fabrics. These special properties make it ideal for applications in aerospace, automotive, military, and even sporting goods. When combined with a WEST SYSTEM Epoxy it can be used to build high-end composite parts. Continue reading

FIBERwave PAVILION

By Alphonso Peluso and his Spring 2014 IIT Architecture Students Joseph Bertucci, Cecilia Campos, Dijon Dunmore, Xinyun Huang, Jared James, Ryan Kim, Dakotah Lucas, Jeffrey McQuiston, Nick Rienstra, Teresita Pineda, John Seaman & Jeffrey Wigen

The FIBERwave PAVILION was designed and built as part of a student-based design research studio. Carbon fiber was used because when coated with epoxy it can become as hard as steel, and added layers enhance its strength. It offers designers great control over structural properties and is incredibly lightweight. Continue reading

Drumming In Circles

By Tom Pawlak

Epoxyworks 39

Cover Photo: A variety of drums made by Technical Advisor Tom Pawlak.

In 1991, during testimony before the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging, Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart stated:

”Typically, people gather to drum in drum ‘circles’ with others from the surrounding community. The drum circle offers equality because there is no head or tail. It includes people of all ages. The main objective is to share rhythm and get in tune with each other and themselves. To form a group consciousness. To entrain and resonate. By entrainment, I mean that a new voice, a collective voice, emerges from the group as they drum together.”

I recently joined a group of mostly old guys who meet a couple of weekends a year to experience nature and the great outdoors. We all come from a diverse cut in society yet we all get along so well. One reason is we Continue reading

Strings under sail

Strings Centerboard Adjustment

By Greg Bull

Strings, as unique as the man who designed it, continues to be a work in progress for us at GBI. In Jan Gougeon’s first year of sailing Strings, he noticed the boat felt sticky at times. He thought it might be the centerboards jibing too much and the solution might be locking them straight. The center boards work as jibing boards by having two high spots on each side of a centerboard head creating the pivot point to get the boards to change angle, or jibe. The actual pressure from the boat going through the water and wanting to slide sideways gets the boards to jibe. Continue reading

588 Miles Per Gallon

By The Students of Goshen High School’s Engineering Design & Development Class

We are a group of students from Goshen High School in northern Indiana and for the past six years we’ve had the opportunity to design, build and test high mileage prototype vehicles in a class called Engineering Design and Development. Year to year this program serves about 30 students aged 15 to 18. We begin with little to no background in an automotive or engineering technology background, and through the course of this program learn many new skills. Continue reading

Build What You Can’t Buy

By J.R. Watson

Do you sometimes need a replacement part for your boat, home or recreational vehicle and find out its no longer available? Discontinued. Source unknown. Can’t be found. Maybe the price borders on insanity or, you need a part that simply does not exist and never did.

“Okay,” you say, “I need it, can’t get it, my only option is to make it.”

As soon as you reach this decision, two thoughts pass through your mind. “How will I make it?” and “What materials shall I use?” You may have a third question like, “Am I the only one that has these problems?” Continue reading

Testing for Damage Tolerance

By Jeff Wright

Ted Moores and his company, Bear Mountain Boats, build wood epoxy strip plank canoes, manufacture kits and publish books on building strip plank canoes and kayaks. This method of construction provides a very light yet stiff structure and also enables the hull shape to have compound curves. Moores has 30 years of experience and his designs have logged many safe miles. He understands the forces boats are subjected to when paddled on the water and during transportation. Continue reading

Building Composite Tubes

With WEST SYSTEM and braided fibers

By Captain J.R. Watson

Tubes are used on boats for hard tops, T-tops, Biminis, dodgers, bows, bow and stern pulpits, rails, canoe and kayak paddle shafts, boat hooks, and so on. Composite tubes built with epoxy and reinforcing fibers offer advantages over metal in terms of light weight, custom shapes and sizes, and corrosion resistance. Composite tubes can be faired and painted to produce a seamless appearance to match the boat, or left to show the carbon fiber. I’ve been experimenting with approaches to building a variety of composite tubes. Following are some things I’ve tried (some that worked and some that did not) that you may find of value if you want to produce composite tubes yourself. Continue reading