I always like learning. Hence why I started this blog. If you poke around on our Resources page, and visit the companies websites, or sign up for their mailings lists, you will keep up with whenever they may have something going on. This particular seminar was put on by Composites One at a place called Ralf S. Alberts in Montoursville PA. The facility was very nice. First thing I noticed was how clean and organized it was. And it was air conditioned which was amazing since it was well into the 90’s the two days we were there. Makes me dream of having a climate controlled shop one day. Since it was a 2 day workshop, day one was actually a day of a lot of hands on and demos of infusions, along with making a mold with an epoxy tooling dough. This stuff was pretty neat at the mold we used for the demo was completed by noon! Granted the plug was 100% prepped and ready to go, from the time the first epoxy tooling surface coat was on, till the last layers were on was about 3 hours. Pretty impressive stuff. We also got to tinker with pre-pregs which was a first for me to actually touch and lay onto an actual mold. Towards the end of the day, all the sample parts and molds were either left as is, or put in an oven as necessary to demold the next day. Since it was a hands on day I didn’t quite take many pictures so I apologize for that.
Day two we got to demold everything from the previous day. Some stuff turned out good. Some not so much. But thats the main point of being there. To learn. It was a little bit more of a presentation day, as we now looked into some of the materials properties more closely. When doing a hands on workshop like this, it almost has to be done backwards as the parts need to cure over night. But you can easily think back to the previous day and start connecting the dots. We got into a bunch of core materials, specifically for infusions. Soric is one I’m very familiar with myself. There were some internal flow medias and foam core samples as well that were a little bit more new to myself. All of which have their place. Some of which will help with the infusions of very large parts, or very thick parts, or parts that need to be as light, but strong as possible. Below is a picture of a test panel where the speed and infusability (is that a word?) were compared. There was also a smaller test with some of the foam cores tested.
All in all it was a fun 2 days. It was right up the alley of the beginner to novice composite person. There were people from all different industries there. Some just getting into it. A teacher looking to gain knowledge for his shop class, a couple wanting to build off road tow behind campers, a family that builds carbon fiber kayaks, a group of guys that work for a very large composites company that makes stuff for 18 wheelers and trains, a guy that makes smaller boats with a crew of 4 guys, and some others I didn’t quite get a chance to chat with. If you want to keep up to date with events we will be attending, please shoot us an email to TheCompositesBlog@hotmail.com and we will put you on the list. Thanks for reading!