Some setbacks of late

I’ve not gone away or given up on the blog, but have had a bunch of setbacks recently with this composites journey, so I thought I’d get them out here and move on.

Wrongness 1
Firstly, my compressor died (all-in-one motor and pump unit seized). The replacement part isn’t due until tomorrow.

Wrongness 2
The moulds I made for the fuel tank are wrong. I did two things that went wrong:

  • I made a part of the mould with a 180 degree return. No worries, I thought – I’ll just fill the back of the return with expanding foam, then I’ll have a nice sensible surface to envelope-bag against. Nothing like it. Two things broke – firstly putting it under vac meant the trapped gas in the foam needed somewhere to go, so I struggled to get a full vac
  • The return was in essence being crushed by atmospheric pressure, and the mould flange cracked
  • Wrongness 3
    I can’t vac-bag a mould with a 180 degree return – every time you turn it over, the cloth moves about. I need to rethink the way I’ve moulded this part.

    Wrongness 4
    My plan to infuse the transmission tunnel as three separate thin cosmetic parts, and then put the moulds back together and do the remainder of the infusions failed. I’m using a new release agent, and it’s excellent but there way no way I could get the backing materials off the mould with out popping the part out. Then I noticed that I’d got a lot of voids on a sharp return which would have meant a lot of chipping out and filling.

    Wrongness 5
    The tunnel top mould that I had to polish didn’t fare terribly well. The edges on the tunnel top that turn down into the tunnel sides (or up rather, on the mould) chipped a bit under the polishing disk.

    So, get well programme is:

    1. fix the compressor
    2. scrap the tank moulds and make new ones
    3. scrap the transmission tunnel moulds
    4. cut out the seat squabs and footwells, and make a single composite tub

    Feed the attention-whore