Saturday, February 12, 2011

Kevlar: Day 1

This is kevlar cloth, the bulletproof upgrade from fiberglass. The photographer asked me to do my best Vanna-pose.
Today we practiced our technique with an 8-foot length. The first step is to mix epoxy resin and hardener and roll it onto the surface. Next, stick the kevlar along a pre-marked line and smooth it onto the surface using a plastic squeegee. It's important to do a good job the first time because fixing mistakes is really difficult.

Darren, who just arrived from Australia to meet his new catamaran Cool Cat, is helping us, but it looks more like he's measuring me for a nice kevlar dress.

Once the kevlar is smoothed out, Dick goes over the surface again rolling on the epoxy so the fabric is soaked through. You have to mix just the right amount of epoxy and work efficiently because once the hardener is mixed into the epoxy, the hardening process begins. If it's warm, it "goes off" more quickly. This epoxy has some white pigment mixed in also. It will be the only time since the pigment isn't essential to a good outcome.

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