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Crucial to the lamination plan of composite parts, the chemical barrier reduces the occurrence of two problems: the retraction of glass fibres (print-through) and blistering – in this case, when the product is in contact with water, such as boat hulls, swimming pools and spas.
Marcos Brambilla, Technical Manager of Dilutec, explains that the chemical barrier can be made by laminating a layer consisting of resin, preferably vinyl ester resin, and fibreglass, known as the skin coat method. However, he says there is simpler technology capable of improving the efficiency of the production process: the application of a special gelcoat, which is also made of vinyl ester resin, as the ColorgelChemical Barrier, produced by Dilutec.
Available in black, blue and green, the Colorgel Cheminal Barrier is described as easy to apply and allows for rapid curing, characteristics that make it a more attractive alternative than the skin coat. “It should be applied with a wet film thickness ranging from 0.4 to 0.6 mm on top of the finish gelcoat, once it is touch dry,” he says.
Brambilla recommends the application of Colorgel Chemical Barrier with a pistol or gelcoat machine, to ensure the uniformity of the layer thickness, which does not occur when rollers or brushes are used. “Composite moulders should also pay attention to other issues, such as controlling the quantity and quality of the peroxide used.”
Especially recommended for parts that come into contact with water, the chemical barrier is also indicated to other composite artifacts, including moulds. “The barrier ensures the reinforcement of the thermal and mechanical properties.”
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