Not every tuning lover can afford to order original interior elements or body kit in a specialized company. But this is not always and necessary - a car can be made unique on its own by mastering the technologies for manufacturing various parts from fiberglass.
DIY fiberglass is made of polyester resin, which is applied to the mold before polymerization and reinforced with fiberglass or fabric woven from it.
Naturally, garage tuning masters should not try to compete with professionals from companies specializing in this. But the manufacture of parts of small fiberglass, such as body kits or interior parts, is within the power of many. It is best to start with small minor details of a simple outline, which during subsequent installation will not require high precision mating. Subsequently, the acquired experience will make it possible to undertake the production of more complex elements.
The most time-consuming moment is the manufacture of discs. The future part of the interior or cladding will exactly repeat its shape, therefore, from the very beginning, care must be taken to maintain symmetry, clean surfaces and the correctness of each line.
It is important to make the right choice of material for the disc. Large parts with a large radius of curvature, for example, bumpers, are preferably made on a foam base, which can then not be removed. Smaller parts are sometimes made on a blank of clay or clay. Wood is often used, and if the initial processing of wooden blanks seems complicated, then their fine grinding with an emery cloth is not difficult.
It should be decided at the same stage how the glued product will be removed. If the shape of the part allows, you can simply remove it from the blank. Sometimes you can cut or cut fiberglass with your own hands and separate the halves. In any case, to separate the plastic from the disc, it must be lubricated before gluing with any waxy substances.
The epoxy or polyester resin used for gluing a fiberglass product becomes plastic only after a hardener is added to it. The components are mixed in accordance with the instructions.
Previously, fiberglass with your own hands is calcined on an open fire or hot stove. After the heated fabric stops smoking, you need to stop burning: now the paraffin and other protective substances have evaporated and nothing prevents the resin from filling the space between the threads.
A properly made resin cures completely in about a couple of days. After the crust ceases to stick to the fingers, it can be separated from the disc. When pasting on the obtained part, the external surface will turn out to be non-smooth, therefore, additional mechanical processing is required. Fiberglass with your own hands can be easily processed with sandpaper, cut with a knife or drill.
When it is necessary to obtain fiberglass parts with special strength, the mold with the impregnated fiberglass fabric laid is subjected to evacuation for the duration of polymerization: it is placed in a plastic elastic bag, from which air is then pumped out. Under the influence of atmospheric pressure of the resin, the layers of fiberglass are compacted and due to this the density of the obtained materials is achieved. Thus, fiberglass, made with his own hands, becomes stronger and will last much longer.
When working with an exclusive sample, the blank is cut out of polystyrene foam, which is previously glued to the car. Naturally, the mold is not removed after polymerisation of the resin.