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Cd 01-04-2011 08:55 PM

Eco-friendly fiberglass resin ??
So is there such a thing as an eco-friendly fiberglass resin ??

( Had to ask. :) )

And what would be an alternative to using fiberglass resin that is not so toxic ?

RobertSmalls 01-04-2011 09:43 PM

Epoxy resin is a much lower VOC, much less toxic alternative to polyester resin. It's also compatible with styrofoams, which polyester resin is not. I've used it successfully.

Cd 01-04-2011 09:53 PM

And masterfully too I must add.

RobertSmalls 01-04-2011 10:14 PM


Thank you, and I like my work too, but it's quick and dirty, instead of masterful. I could spend a bit more time and get a smoother mold and a better surface finish. I could also vacuum bag things and get lighter composites.

I'm sure you've seen 3-Wheeler's fiberglass boat tail and motorcycle fairings. He has many tips to share on working with fiberglass.

I forgot to mention that I get my epoxy and glass cloth from, and they're a great source for such things.

sid 01-05-2011 12:43 AM

I also prefer epoxy resin and have used over 15 gallons of it over the years on many projects. I prefer West Systems epoxy. It is expensive, but I get better results than with the other epoxies I've tried. I've used it successfully with wood, fiberglass, Kevlar, and carbon fiber.

George Tyler 02-05-2011 02:55 AM

I have been thinking of the resin that is used for casts these days, it used water as a catalyst. with polyester it is the catalyst that is really bad.

skyl4rk 02-05-2011 07:42 AM

I'm not sure what eco-friendly means in terms of using a chemical product like polyester or epoxy resin.

From the user point of view, probably the most eco-friendly thing that you can do is to learn to use as little adhesive as possible and still get the job done. Avoid coating surfaces with epoxy and use as little glass as much as possible. Having said that, glass and epoxy is an amazing building material.

I get my boatbuilding epoxy from, it is cheap and a high quality product.

Ryland 02-05-2011 01:11 PM

I've used Raka epoxy as well, I like using thin ply wood with epoxy and fiberglass coating the outside, it makes for a strong sandwitch that is pretty cheap to build.

dcb 02-05-2011 06:55 PM

you might think about some organic building materials/methods, I thought there were some japanese ww2 planes made from bamboo and silk, non structural compund curves are pretty easy in paper mache, I don't know the environmental impact of white glue but it works as fuelproofing in model airplanes as well as a good binder and is dirt cheap. Just thinking out loud here, I'm sure there a million options though some associated learning curve/trial and error.


Cd 02-05-2011 09:40 PM

Thanks for thinking ' outside the box ' on that last post.
I just watched a show on an exotic top secret flying wing aircraft from WW2 called the Horten 229 .
Most of the aircraft was made from wood, and compound curves were done using thin sheets of flexible wood paneling , with bolts and wood glue holding it together.
Simple wood putty can also be used to form smooth edges and curves.
Balsa wood is extremely light.

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