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VIDEO TUTORIAL

USED IN THIS PROJECT

Although not necessarily an exhaustive list, the following tools and materials, supplied by Easy Composites, were used in this project.

The quantity shown below is the approximate amount used in the project rounded up to the nearest available kit size or quantity.

MATERIALS & CONSUMABLES
Uni-Mould Complete Mould Making Kit Large (3.3sqm) Thumbnail
SK-UM-L-KITUni-Mould Complete Mould Making Kit Large (3.3sqm)£282.00 /kit

Nitrile Gloves - Box of 100 Large Thumbnail
NG-100-LNitrile Gloves - Box of 100 Large£8.95 /pack

Mirka Wet and Dry Combination Pack 10 Sheets Thumbnail
WPFCOMB-10Mirka Wet and Dry Combination Pack 10 Sheets£6.95 /pack

MW1 Wax Additive Solution 250g Thumbnail
ADD-MW-025MW1 Wax Additive Solution 250g£4.95 /pack

Flash/Release Tape (25mm) Thumbnail
FBRT-25Flash/Release Tape (25mm)£7.04 /roll

450g Emulsion Bound Chopped Strand Mat (1000mm) Thumbnail
CSM-EB450[P]450g Emulsion Bound Chopped Strand Mat (1000mm)* /each

100g Emulsion Bound Chopped Strand Mat (1000mm) Thumbnail
CSM-EB100100g Emulsion Bound Chopped Strand Mat (1000mm)£2.75 /linear metre

UT1 Uni-Mould Tooling Resin 5kg Thumbnail
UT1-5UT1 Uni-Mould Tooling Resin 5kg£29.50 /pack

UC1 Uni-Mould Coupling Coat 1kg Thumbnail
UC1-1UC1 Uni-Mould Coupling Coat 1kg£13.68 /pack

UG1 Uni-Mould Tooling Gelcoat 1kg Thumbnail
UG1-1UG1 Uni-Mould Tooling Gelcoat 1kg£15.75 /pack

Miracle Gloss Mould Release Wax 100g Thumbnail
MRW-8-100Miracle Gloss Mould Release Wax 100g£6.50 /tin

CR1 Easy-Lease Chemical Release Agent 500ml Thumbnail
CR1-05CR1 Easy-Lease Chemical Release Agent 500ml£16.50 /pack

Soft Filleting and Filling Wax 650g Thumbnail
FILLWAX-660Soft Filleting and Filling Wax 650g£9.87 /pack

Fluted Signboard 4-Pack 610 x 610mm Thumbnail
FSB-03Fluted Signboard 4-Pack 610 x 610mm£8.55 /pack

Total £0.00
TOOLS & EQUIPMENT
Plastic Finned Roller with Handle 50mm Thumbnail
RO-PF-50Plastic Finned Roller with Handle 50mm£5.45 /each

Composites Laminating Brush 2" (50mm) Carton of 10 Thumbnail
BR-LAM-2-10Composites Laminating Brush 2" (50mm) Carton of 10£7.33 /pack

10kg High Capacity Digital Scales Thumbnail
SCALE10KG10kg High Capacity Digital Scales£11.63 /each

5L White Plastic Mixing Bucket with Lid Thumbnail
PMB-W-55L White Plastic Mixing Bucket with Lid£1.50 /each

1L Plastic Mixing Bucket with Lid Thumbnail
PMB-W-11L Plastic Mixing Bucket with Lid£0.60 /each

Catalyst Dispenser Bottle Thumbnail
CD-SMCatalyst Dispenser Bottle£7.65 /each

Total £0.00

VIDEO TUTORIAL

How to Make a Mould for a Carbon Fibre Bonnet (or Similar Panel)

In this example we make a carbon fibre car bonnet/hood but the exact same process could be used to make a roof, boot/trunk, wings or doors. In this case we used an original panel from a modern Fiat 500. However, any finished pattern could be used at this stage if you have not got an original to copy or your design is unique


TUTORIAL BREAKDOWN

Preparing the bonnet/hood

1. Preparing the bonnet/hood

Ideally choose a panel in good condition with minimal paint blemishes or defects on the surface. The better the quality of the panel now, the better quality the mould surface will be and less need for repairs and polishing later.

Remove any parts that are not to be moulded - such as the bonnet latch. Create templates for and create the mould flanges. Gaps around the flanges can be filled using filleting wax to get a sealed gap and smooth transition to the flange.

Applying release agents

2. Applying release agents

To ensure the best possible chance of a successful release, it is wise to use 2 release agents at this point. First EasyLease is applied to the bonnet with 5 layers being applied. Secondly this is backed up with 2 layers of mould release wax

Making the outer skin mould

3. Making the outer skin mould

The mould for the outer skin is then made using the Uni-Mould Mould Making System. The lay up for this mould is standard for the Uni-Mould system and consists of Tooling gelcoat backed up with coupling coat and 100gsm CSM, finally finished with the Tooling resin and 4 layers of 450gsm CSM to add the backing strength to the mould

The Outer skin mould is left to fully cure before turning over the whole mould to make a start on the Inner Frame Mould.

Preparing inner frame

4. Preparing inner frame

The flange barrier material is now removed, exposing the flange of the bonnet skin mould. The Filleting wax around the outside of the flange is trimmed and neatened to ensure the same good seal between the Outer skin mould and the bonnet itself. The holes and slots on the frame underside are sealed over with Release Tape to keep the resin out and produce a smooth neat finished mould.

The entire bonnet underside is then coated in release agent just as the outer skin, with extra care taken to ensure the new flange is properly coated in release agent,

Making the mould for the inner frame

5. Making the mould for the inner frame

The mould making process for the inner frame is identical to that of the Outer Skin. Once complete, the mould is allowed to cure fully before it can be trimmed and demoulded.

Demoulding and trimming the moulds

6. Demoulding and trimming the moulds

Mark around the outer edge of the flange with a marker pen as a cutting guide. The rough edges are then cut off using a jigsaw to reveal the neat edges of the mould. Using a chisel or demoulding tool, carefully pry between the upper and lower moulds to open up a small gap, Carefully widen this gap and separate and demould the Outer Skin Mould and Inner Frame Mould from the Original bonnet.

Once demoulded, any rough edges can be tidied and the wax removed prior to inspecting the moulds for damage.

Repairing the mould damage

7. Repairing the mould damage

A small patch has been damaged and will need a gel coat repair. Using tools and sandpaper, the damaged material was removed and prepared for repair. A small batch of Tooling Gel Coat is mixed up with some MW1 Wax Additive Solution to avoid a tacky surface finish.

Once cured, the repair was carefully sanded flush with the surrounding area before being polished back to a high gloss.

Sanding and polishing the mould

8. Sanding and polishing the mould

To get a very high quality professional finish, the mould was sanded and then polished. The mould surface has very fine print through from the mould process and some small marks and blemishes from the imperfections on the original bonnet. The imperfections were removed by wet sanding the surface working through the grits from coarse to fine. It was then machine polished to give the high gloss finish.


DISCUSSION (11)

Please share any questions or comments you may have about this video tutorial.


Stefan Baier
How many bonnets could be made with one mould?
Easy CompositesMatt
There wouldn't really be any limit Stefan. Realistically, accidental damage to the mould is more likely to limit its lifespan than anything else but certainly we'd expect to be making hundreds of parts using a mould like this and if treated well it could be several hundred.

Jim Tyson
I don't understand why you don't use PVA mold release spray?
Easy CompositesMatt
It's very rare you'll see PVA used these days to be honest. I guess the main reason is the swirls or satin finish (or both) that it leaves on the mould (or component) surface. That all needs to be flatted and polished out. Wax and chemical release agent (or, really, just either of these on their own) are more reliable and leave a better finish.

DavidGP
Why is the Uni-Mould Tooling Resin 'filled'? What is the reason for that?
Easy CompositesMatt
It's filled to reduce shrinkage. A typical polyester laminating resin cannot be used to laminate 4+ layers of CMS all in one go because it would shrink badly and distort the mould. The filled resin used in the tooling mould system is very low shrink and designed to be applied all in one go. This speeds the process up greatly. It also makes the moulds suitable for higher temperature use as well, if needed.

Lesley B
What is the weight difference between the carbon bonnet and the steel please?
Easy CompositesMatt
The original steel bonnet was 20kg, our carbon fibre one was just 3kg, so 17kgs lighter.

ExistancelsPain
How would you install nuts into the inside of the mold for the hinge mechanism?
Easy CompositesMatt
You can use pre-made fixings which have a nut or stud on a load spreading plate which you can bond or laminate into place. You can make them yourself of you can buy them off the shelf from us. The main brand on the market is called Big Head Fasteners.

cegla cegla
Could you explain different between coupling resin and resin used later on to build up layers?
Easy CompositesMatt
The purpose of the coupling resin is to enhance the bond between the gelcoat and the tooling resin as well as providing a resin to wet out the 100g CSM to prevent print through.

D-dog Jackson
So how much less strong is carbon fiber if you don’t give it the vacuum and heat cure treatment?
Easy CompositesMatt
Certain strength properties, like tensile strength, are 90% determined by the fibre and so there's not much difference between different laminating/cure processes in terms of their effect on tensile strength. Other properties, like inter-laminar shear are more affected by the resin system and void content and you might see as much as a 20-30% difference in this property between a hand lay, no post cure laminate vs a resin infused then post cured laminate.

Paulina de Luca
Why do my parts warp when out in direct sunlight, or when interior gets too hot for interior parts..?
Easy CompositesMatt
It's likely that your parts need a 'post cure' in an oven to cure them fully. The reason is that epoxy is not fully cured at room temperature for quite some time. Doing a 'post cure' at elevated temperature forces the resin to fully cure and also helps improve the heat distortion temperature. Once a post cure is done, the part is unlikely to soften and warp in the sun again unless the part is exposed to temperatures which exceed the Tg (maximum temperature) of the resin you're using.

Harrison Mast
How long did the process of the mold take??? Would love to lean but maybe start with little parts first...
Easy CompositesMatt
About a day per mould half, including curing time.

DavidGP
At 14:31 wouldn't the wax leave an unwanted large void between upper and lower mold after it's been removed?
Easy CompositesMatt
No because the 'wax' is only there to extend the edges of the mould. Once the component is demoulded it will be trimmed back to the original component line.

JoshHefnerX
How thick were the finished molds? At what point do you add reinforcement to the molds so they aren't flexing under their own weight? Also, how much if any, shrinkage is happening to the molds as they cure?
Easy CompositesMatt
There is almost no measurable shrinkage. The Uni-Mould system is a specialist very low shrinkage system. No extra reinforcement was added other than that shown in the video.

LEAVE A COMMENT OR QUESTION

Note: Your name will be abbreviated and your email address will only be used to email you the answer directly

USED IN THIS PROJECT

Although not necessarily an exhaustive list, the following tools and materials, supplied by Easy Composites, were used in this project.

The quantity shown below is the approximate amount used in the project rounded up to the nearest available kit size or quantity.

MATERIALS & CONSUMABLES
Uni-Mould Complete Mould Making Kit Large (3.3sqm) Thumbnail
SK-UM-L-KITUni-Mould Complete Mould Making Kit Large (3.3sqm)£282.00 /kit

Nitrile Gloves - Box of 100 Large Thumbnail
NG-100-LNitrile Gloves - Box of 100 Large£8.95 /pack

Mirka Wet and Dry Combination Pack 10 Sheets Thumbnail
WPFCOMB-10Mirka Wet and Dry Combination Pack 10 Sheets£6.95 /pack

MW1 Wax Additive Solution 250g Thumbnail
ADD-MW-025MW1 Wax Additive Solution 250g£4.95 /pack

Flash/Release Tape (25mm) Thumbnail
FBRT-25Flash/Release Tape (25mm)£7.04 /roll

450g Emulsion Bound Chopped Strand Mat (1000mm) Thumbnail
CSM-EB450[P]450g Emulsion Bound Chopped Strand Mat (1000mm)* /each

100g Emulsion Bound Chopped Strand Mat (1000mm) Thumbnail
CSM-EB100100g Emulsion Bound Chopped Strand Mat (1000mm)£2.75 /linear metre

UT1 Uni-Mould Tooling Resin 5kg Thumbnail
UT1-5UT1 Uni-Mould Tooling Resin 5kg£29.50 /pack

UC1 Uni-Mould Coupling Coat 1kg Thumbnail
UC1-1UC1 Uni-Mould Coupling Coat 1kg£13.68 /pack

UG1 Uni-Mould Tooling Gelcoat 1kg Thumbnail
UG1-1UG1 Uni-Mould Tooling Gelcoat 1kg£15.75 /pack

Miracle Gloss Mould Release Wax 100g Thumbnail
MRW-8-100Miracle Gloss Mould Release Wax 100g£6.50 /tin

CR1 Easy-Lease Chemical Release Agent 500ml Thumbnail
CR1-05CR1 Easy-Lease Chemical Release Agent 500ml£16.50 /pack

Soft Filleting and Filling Wax 650g Thumbnail
FILLWAX-660Soft Filleting and Filling Wax 650g£9.87 /pack

Fluted Signboard 4-Pack 610 x 610mm Thumbnail
FSB-03Fluted Signboard 4-Pack 610 x 610mm£8.55 /pack

Total £0.00
TOOLS & EQUIPMENT
Plastic Finned Roller with Handle 50mm Thumbnail
RO-PF-50Plastic Finned Roller with Handle 50mm£5.45 /each

Composites Laminating Brush 2" (50mm) Carton of 10 Thumbnail
BR-LAM-2-10Composites Laminating Brush 2" (50mm) Carton of 10£7.33 /pack

10kg High Capacity Digital Scales Thumbnail
SCALE10KG10kg High Capacity Digital Scales£11.63 /each

5L White Plastic Mixing Bucket with Lid Thumbnail
PMB-W-55L White Plastic Mixing Bucket with Lid£1.50 /each

1L Plastic Mixing Bucket with Lid Thumbnail
PMB-W-11L Plastic Mixing Bucket with Lid£0.60 /each

Catalyst Dispenser Bottle Thumbnail
CD-SMCatalyst Dispenser Bottle£7.65 /each

Total £0.00

DISCUSSION (11)

Please share any questions or comments you may have about this video tutorial.


Stefan Baier
How many bonnets could be made with one mould?
Easy CompositesMatt
There wouldn't really be any limit Stefan. Realistically, accidental damage to the mould is more likely to limit its lifespan than anything else but certainly we'd expect to be making hundreds of parts using a mould like this and if treated well it could be several hundred.

Jim Tyson
I don't understand why you don't use PVA mold release spray?
Easy CompositesMatt
It's very rare you'll see PVA used these days to be honest. I guess the main reason is the swirls or satin finish (or both) that it leaves on the mould (or component) surface. That all needs to be flatted and polished out. Wax and chemical release agent (or, really, just either of these on their own) are more reliable and leave a better finish.

DavidGP
Why is the Uni-Mould Tooling Resin 'filled'? What is the reason for that?
Easy CompositesMatt
It's filled to reduce shrinkage. A typical polyester laminating resin cannot be used to laminate 4+ layers of CMS all in one go because it would shrink badly and distort the mould. The filled resin used in the tooling mould system is very low shrink and designed to be applied all in one go. This speeds the process up greatly. It also makes the moulds suitable for higher temperature use as well, if needed.

Lesley B
What is the weight difference between the carbon bonnet and the steel please?
Easy CompositesMatt
The original steel bonnet was 20kg, our carbon fibre one was just 3kg, so 17kgs lighter.

ExistancelsPain
How would you install nuts into the inside of the mold for the hinge mechanism?
Easy CompositesMatt
You can use pre-made fixings which have a nut or stud on a load spreading plate which you can bond or laminate into place. You can make them yourself of you can buy them off the shelf from us. The main brand on the market is called Big Head Fasteners.

cegla cegla
Could you explain different between coupling resin and resin used later on to build up layers?
Easy CompositesMatt
The purpose of the coupling resin is to enhance the bond between the gelcoat and the tooling resin as well as providing a resin to wet out the 100g CSM to prevent print through.

D-dog Jackson
So how much less strong is carbon fiber if you don’t give it the vacuum and heat cure treatment?
Easy CompositesMatt
Certain strength properties, like tensile strength, are 90% determined by the fibre and so there's not much difference between different laminating/cure processes in terms of their effect on tensile strength. Other properties, like inter-laminar shear are more affected by the resin system and void content and you might see as much as a 20-30% difference in this property between a hand lay, no post cure laminate vs a resin infused then post cured laminate.

Paulina de Luca
Why do my parts warp when out in direct sunlight, or when interior gets too hot for interior parts..?
Easy CompositesMatt
It's likely that your parts need a 'post cure' in an oven to cure them fully. The reason is that epoxy is not fully cured at room temperature for quite some time. Doing a 'post cure' at elevated temperature forces the resin to fully cure and also helps improve the heat distortion temperature. Once a post cure is done, the part is unlikely to soften and warp in the sun again unless the part is exposed to temperatures which exceed the Tg (maximum temperature) of the resin you're using.

Harrison Mast
How long did the process of the mold take??? Would love to lean but maybe start with little parts first...
Easy CompositesMatt
About a day per mould half, including curing time.

DavidGP
At 14:31 wouldn't the wax leave an unwanted large void between upper and lower mold after it's been removed?
Easy CompositesMatt
No because the 'wax' is only there to extend the edges of the mould. Once the component is demoulded it will be trimmed back to the original component line.

JoshHefnerX
How thick were the finished molds? At what point do you add reinforcement to the molds so they aren't flexing under their own weight? Also, how much if any, shrinkage is happening to the molds as they cure?
Easy CompositesMatt
There is almost no measurable shrinkage. The Uni-Mould system is a specialist very low shrinkage system. No extra reinforcement was added other than that shown in the video.

LEAVE A COMMENT OR QUESTION

Note: Your name will be abbreviated and your email address will only be used to email you the answer directly

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