How many layers of fiberglass makes strong armor? Anyone?
How many layers of fiberglass makes strong armor? Anyone?
Last edited by Egon Spengler; Sep 29, 2010 at 10:20 PM.
define strong? want it to bounce off bullets? or just not break when you wear it?
Bullets bouncing off it would be cool, but I'm just looking for durable costume strength
I usually do 2 layers of resin (without fiberglass) on the outside. then 1 or 2 layers with fiberglass on the inside.
however there are various different fiberglass weaves all have different strengths.
some examples can be found here:
I myself use 160gr /m2 (sorry for using metric system)
yeah this will add enough strengh to your armor. I have build a helmet with that method and its really hard.
2 layers on the outside first, then one inside and then one with fiberglass.
That was enough to make it really solid.
Also i would suggest to use Fiberglass cloth and not fiberglass matting.
the mat likes to fall into single hairs.
im a roving woven fan myself for the kurgan helmets...
Fiberglass comes by oz/ft^2. That said, 20 0z/ft^2 is strong enough. You can have 2 layers of 10 oz cloth, but 3 layers os 6oz is better, and you're in for a treat is you laminate 4 layers of 5oz cloth.
If you are going to use all cloth, use epoxy. If you are cheap and go with all polyester, you need to use matt to hold the resin, and a layer of cloth to finish. Note: You want the cloth layer on the outside of the laminate, next to your body, so you don't risk spinters.
It is best to swatch practice laminating for desired thickness/weight, and go with what feels best.
Thanks guys. I've just been using normal fiberglass mat and resin. It's turning out pretty well so far. Here's a pic!
I honestly don't know exactly how many layers are on this yet. In some places there may be 4? I honestly didn't keep track to well.
I usually put one layer of gel coat and 2 of resin with 300 gr/m2 fiberglass, just in the case you have a mold.
In your case, without a mold, I think two or three layers will be enough. I maybe put a just-resin-with-charge (and catalyst) last layer to hide the texture of the fiberglass. My two cents
Ah, that will smooth it out nicely huh? The resin and only catalyst? What do you mean resin with charge though? Thanks!
Hope it helps!
PD: Sorry about language; spanish guy!
@Egon Spengler Search online for fiberglass fillers for more info but most people around here are familiar with fillers like milled glass fibers, micro glass bubbles, calcium carbonate (carbonato calcico), etc.
I get mine at FreemanSupply.com - Mold Making, Casting Resin, & Foundry Materials
Part of laying up fiberglass and getting maximum strength is to use the right amount of resin. Very often I see people just glop on as much resin as they can, and while that certainly makes for a heavier part, it doesn't necessarily make it stronger.
Ideally, you want to apply just enough resin to completely wet the glass cloth, but not so much that the resin forms a smooth coat. This is hard to describe without pictures...but when all is said and done, you should still be able to feel (when dry, of course!) the texture of the glass cloth. It takes some practice, and is a little harder to do with some of the intricate shapes found in costume armor, but it really does make a difference in the strength, flexibility and overall weight of the finished piece.
I find one layer is more than enough, if you tear up the fiber and let the edges overlap.
Note: the fiber cloth I'm using is around 3-5mm thick
i usually use about 2 layers of matting with a good thick coating of resin on the outside
I can get you some Flex Foam17 - it's greaaat stuff.
But for fiberglassing, I use bondo glass... Take some bondo filler, mix it with the fiberglass resin til it's like a syrup, and then use the bondo hardener cure the mixture. great strength, lighter weight, picks up detail for the foam-latex molds- just gotta make damn sure you're wearing a respirator LoL
^^ That stuff is affectionately referred to as "Rondo" in the Pepakura-into-costume circles. It really is a great mixture, and I've actually taken to using a variation of it when I do composite repairs on aircraft interior panels at work. So much easier to spread than straight filler!
110% agreement on the respirator - should wear one when working with ANY polyester, isocyanate (like Smooth-On resins) or strong epoxy product anyway.
Yes - No joke, I almost ended back up in the hospital after breaking the vessels in my ocular cavities from coughing so hard. The resin was trying to cure in my lungs - apparently that's NOT a good thing - who knew. Was in a rush, poured a coin, didn't think of it - BAD idea...
Last night, or the night before, it was dark out, and as I was pouring the resin, I actually saw, against the non-lit area of the shop, the fumes coming off of the resin. Holy crap.
Hey guys, glad i found this thread as i'm about to delve the murky waters of fiberglassing some of my amassing pep models When you say 2 coats of resin on the outside, do you let first dry then apply again or let it part dry? Same for the matting, do you have to do it all at once or can you apply fiberglass to fiberglass once it's hard? I'm curious as to whether it won't bond and thus be prone to coming away with use?
Many Thanks! Paul.
Got a Halo helmet pepped(Mjolnir Mk6 HD, which was easier to pep than I expected) and I've finally gotten back to work on my Iron Man helmet (which has been kicking my butt - those cheek details *SUCK*, and why the frak are there tiny little 3D structures INSIDE THE EYES?!? Screw that, I'm leaving the eyes as open as I possibly can).
I'm sorry to bring back an old thread, but I just found it. I used to build custom subwoofer boxes for car audio, and this might sound weird, but we actually used thick fleece. Since we didn't build the boxes from molds, we used the fleece as a base, with matting on the inside. One layer of each produced a sub box strong enough for me (weighing in at 220 lbs.) to stand on the box without issue. Then smooth with bondo.