While the previous post the work happened over 4-5 days in this post the work was done in about 5-6 hours. Even with the extra slow hardener (West Systems) the team has to work very quickly.
The technique is referred to as “Wet Preg”. All the cloth is precut, wetted in a bath then run between two rollers saturating the fabric and squeezing out the excess resin. The cloth is then layed out between 2 thin sheets of plastic, this allows the cloth to be handled, cut and trimmed as needed. To apply the cloth the plastic is removed from one side then the cloth is laid by hand and formed into place. Once in position the top layer of plastic is removed. Once the lay up including coring is completed the entire structure is vacuum bagged which squeezes all the layers together and pulls out any air and excess resin. The technique was first developed in New Zealand and is now a fairly common technique.
Below: Paul laying down a strip of Wet Preg carbon cloth into one of the ribs. The plastic film has been removed from the underside of the cloth but not the topside……yet.
The center “beam”. This channel is hollow for solar and light wiring.
Wetting out the Corcell® coring.
Below: You can see the excess epoxy being pulled up into the bleed cloth. Pauls says the pressure is approximately 9 pounds per square inch, over a ton of pressure on this structure.