Saturday, 20 November 2010

Beam Baking

I am using a similar arrangement as before, but with an additional 60W bulb. 6 in total. Could really have done with 7 to speed up the process and produce some extra heat.

Bearing in mind that there is 60/70Kg of resin and glass in the beams, it is going to be a slow process to heat them up to 50C. There are 25 plus layers of carbon and glass in places, and the heat is going to take a long time to reach everywhere.

I wanted the hot air to be able to circulate all around the beam, hence the side struts to lift up the cardboard.

Cardboard creation. Unfortunately the heat loss from this was too much, and I had to add a lot of blankets and some old rugs to keep the heat in. Coud have done with another bulb, but would exceed my dimmer switch wattage rating..

Initially the heat distribution was rather poor. The hot air was trapped underneath the beam by the sides of the ladder,  and was not getting up to the top surface well (15C difference between top and bottom). I had to add 2 small hot air/cool blower fans (8.99 GBP - Amazon!)  in at each end to circulate the air better.

Finally getting up to temp after about 36 hours! The light bulb method is v slow for a big heavy part like this, but on the other hand you do not have to worry about it all going ballistic and frying the thing while you are away.  I think the maximum heat you can get from this arrangement with no heat losses would probably be about 60C, which would not do any damage.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Postcuring daggerboard and rudder

I thought it would be a good to idea to postcure the daggerboard and rudder parts for extra strength, as they are not going to be exposed to much  heat  when in position. It is not strictly neccessary, as I have not been using slow hardener on these parts. The beams on the otherhand I will have to postcure as I used slow hardener on the multiple layers of carbon UD.
 I am reasonably happy with the foil shape. although it has taken more filler/fairing mix than I had hoped for. I used a template CNC cut from the daggerboard DXF file  for the final shaping. Strictly speaking I think I should have postcured before filling and fairing. Hope all the filler does not shrink and crack off!

The heat source. 5 x 60W light bulbs plus dimmer switch. I  have found this to be very controllable.

Heat source under the board. The bottom edge of the board did get a bit hotter than the top, but on the whole the heat rising up from below was quite well distributed., about 5C difference between top and bottom. 

Rather crude cardboard oven. But it did the trick OK ( with a bit of additional room heating to cover the heat loss from the cardboard) . It is suprising how long a large piece like this takes to heat up. (and cool down!) You begin to think that you are not giving it enough heat, but in reality most of it it is being absorbed by the board for the first  few hours or so. After that you can begin to actual get the temp up a bit. As the board has a wooden core, I did not want to get it too hot. In the end it had about 24hours at about 45C. (Cure for the resin I am using is 50C for 16 hours.) Hopefully this will be about equivalent.

Oven No:2 for the rudder/sleeve/gudgeons/composite chainplates/bowpole/forestay backet fitting. A smaller volume to heat up, should be a bit quicker hopefully.