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Looking for a Material

07/27/2011 12:58 AM

I am searching for information about a material, that looks like and has the physical appearance of fiberglass, but feels more like a hard plastic with slightly more 'give' than I would attribute to fiberglass. If you have seen this stuff you would probably recognize it by my description even if you don't know the name of it. I personally have only seen it in passing, and can't remember exactly what was made from it. Possibly in marine applications, and maybe as a small box that held a bar of soap. I have only seen it in two colors. One is an orange'ish' color with striations of a lighter version of the base color. The other base color is a light green like the colors in Irish Spring soap. I don't know if this material is hot pressed into shape, or if it is poured. If it is poured, then I am wondering how the color striations form. It looks like it would have excellent tensile strength properties. If you have the information, I would like to know 'what it is called', where I can get it, and how it is 'worked'. Thanks.

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Pathfinder Tags: fiberglass plastic
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#1

Re: Looking for a material

07/27/2011 1:49 AM

Extruded/pultruded PVC/PP/PE? PVC would be fairly "hard"; PP and PE would be softer. These are just guesses.

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#2

Re: Looking for a material

07/27/2011 6:57 AM

Most likely one of the many types of Garolite. They are either epoxy or phenolic laminates of fiber glass or fibers of cotton. The off green you describe sounds like G-10 the orange most likely LE. Can be acquired at most supply houses that stock raw materials. McMaster Carr and MSC are two that come to mind. Worked with carbide tooling.

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#3

Re: Looking For a Material

07/27/2011 12:32 PM

Your description leaves much to be desired.

You might look at sheet molding compound, a more or less generic term for Glass fibers impregnated with some type of (mostly) B-staged thermoset resin.

Sheet moulding compound - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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#4

Re: Looking For a Material

07/27/2011 1:13 PM
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#5

Re: Looking For a Material

07/27/2011 1:27 PM

To me, your description resembles structural foam molding. See this link for general information.

http://www.creativetechniques.com/about/structural-foam-molding-manufacturer/

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Looking For a Material

07/27/2011 1:39 PM

I agree. Your description is expanded structural foam, a low pressure plastic injection molding process.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Looking For a Material

07/27/2011 5:46 PM

I'll go along with you guys on that.

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#8
In reply to #5

Re: Looking For a Material

07/27/2011 8:36 PM

YES! That's the stuff. Thanks to all for your help.

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#9
In reply to #5

Re: Looking For a Material

07/27/2011 10:47 PM

Looks like a GA to me, too

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#10

Re: Looking for a Material

07/28/2011 1:53 AM

Greenish is probably garolite. Orange is probably phenolic.

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#11

Re: Looking for a Material

07/28/2011 5:38 AM

High density polypropylene?

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#12
In reply to #10

Re: Looking for a Material

07/28/2011 7:58 AM

Can either garolite or phenolic be sprayed on much like standard fiberglass resins using chopped fiberglass as reinforcing? That is can it be formed into shapes using this process. What I have read leads me to believe it is made in a continuous form on fiberlass cloth.

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#13

Re: Looking for a Material

07/28/2011 8:17 AM

In the early 80's, we made a lot of parts from Phenolic material, which can be had in many different formulations, depending on what you want to do with it. It is non-metalic but machinable.

http://www.sdplastics.com/phenolic.html

this is a good explanation site.

I specifically remember using a lot of the light green and tan material, and we made rocket guidance housings and gimble blocks out of it.

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#14

Re: Looking for a Material

07/28/2011 8:33 AM

What are the applications for this material???

That would really help...

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Looking for a Material

07/28/2011 12:11 PM

Phenolic and Garolite are high temp resistant, very rigid, and mechanically stable. Often used for fixturing (think PCB bed of nails testing, soldering fixturing, etc.), housings, bearing linings, electrical insulators, etc. Can be machined, ground, sanded, etc. Think of phenolic as being similar to an epoxy resin with a paper or linen or other fabric filler in layers. Phenolic often has a "wood grain" appearance due to its color and the fabric layers used. It can be ground and polished to a glossy, attractive finish. Garolite usually has a "flour" filler added to the resin instead of the fabric, resulting in a more homogeneous appearance. Both are often overlooked by inexperienced engineers because they are thermoset materials (i.e., does not lend itself to high quantity injection molding like most thermoplastics) and are typically not used in very high quantity applications due to the type of processing required, but each has its place.

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#16
In reply to #14

Re: Looking for a Material

07/28/2011 12:27 PM

I was contemplating making a small desposable tool from it, if I could figure out how easy/difficult it would be to use this particular material.

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: Looking for a Material

07/28/2011 12:38 PM

Structural foam still requires an injection molder and hard tooling. So, if you plan to make thousands of them, it might be the way to go. Perhaps multi-cavity tooling. You are probably looking at $100,000.00 to get started. And foam molding comes with it's own set of processing problems. I've done it in the past, but it can be tricky.

You might consider a contract manufacturer. You buy the tool and pay him so much per part to mold them.

There's also rapid prototyping to look into.

Give us more details.

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