An infusion went wrong

So, I was finally ready to infuse the transmission tunnel top, after deciding on a compromise. The compromise was to not spray the part with clear gel-coat first, even though I had some scratches in the mould. [1]. I reasoned that the scratches will leave a positive on the part, and that can be flatted off with some wet-and-dry and a little polishing.

IMG_0137.JPGSo, I laid up the part (one layer of 350 facing cloth, and one layer of 200 backing), found to my surprise that I got the bag to seal first time, and set about infusing the part.


This is the first time I’ve had a stuck infusion, and as I think about it, it was a culmination of a bunch of factors all adding up together to cause issues. The factors were:


  • IMG_0138.JPGI decided to infuse along the short side and go up the full length of the part, rather than infuse across the shortest distance (I’m running low on infusion spiral)
  • it was 10C in the shed when I was mixing the resin, and I thought “It’ll be OK – it means I can use quick catalyst and it won’t go off all that fast”. I ignored the gloopy sensations.
  • I was feeling impatient, and thought I could get away with quick resin, allowing 10 mins for degassing because it was cold
  • my oven is out of action: it’s in pieces while I make it bigger for the transmission tunnel. I thought I had enough kingspan for the job, and I was short by one roof baton length. This is now bought and sitting in the boot of my car. This again was an incentive to go for the quick catalyst
  • when I was mixing it, it felt more viscous than normal, which should have been a warning that stuff was about to go wrong.
  • when I infused it, it got stuck half way along the part and the resin went off in the pot.


So, I think the resin being too viscous meant it didn’t march along the part quick enough before it started to go off. If I’d used slow resin the infusion could have ran at the snails pace it was going at and it wouldn’t have been a problem. What’s more, I could have warmed the resin up (with the slow catalyst) and it still wouldn’t have been a problem. For the handbrake bracket, I actually had the resin at 40C to ensure it wetted the part out properly. So, this evening I will finish the oven, take the half-part out of the mould, salvage the cloth I can which I’ll keep for backing layers, and have another crack at it.

[1] My compressor has died, and the replacement part (£160 if I can wait for a machine-mart VAT free weekend)


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