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Old 04-19-2013, 06:14 PM   #94
JagLite OP
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Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Anchorage Alaska
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Question Take the heat?

Originally Posted by TheWall View Post
You certainly make it all look easy! Very nicely done, and a great write-up, too.

+1 on West System epoxy. IIRC, it is one of two brands of epoxy that have pumps that you can use to meter the two components, which is a lot simpler than trying to weigh out precise measurements like you need to do with most other brands While sensitivity to both resins and glass dust varies with individuals, I've never really minded working with it. Even better, I've always thought the material itself was pretty straightforward to work with, at least in my (limited) experience. Unlike metal work, for example, if you mess up with fiberglass, it's pretty simple to sand it down and try again (especially if you are building up over foam plugs or molds, as they can be sanded down and reworked, too).

Regardless, I really like the engine protectors on your build. I had never thought of doing anything like that. Out of curiosity, how well do you think they will hold up to the heat of the running engine? I was under the impression that room temperature cure epoxies/polyesters/vinylesters weren't particularly tolerant of high temps, and while that part of the engine should be much cooler than the exhaust manifold or cylinder heads, I would still think it might get hot enough to at least soften the epoxy some.

I used WEST System exclusively for years building my sailboat but the local fiberglass supplier gave a much better price on System Three products and I find it as easy to work with and easier to mix due to the 2:1 mix ratio.
I have never weighed my mixing, I use measuring spoons for tiny batches and measuring cups for larger batches.
I used the pumps with WEST but I was usually making larger batches than the projects I do now.

Now, as to heat, that remains to be seen...

As the epoxy heats up (by the engine heat) it will get a little softer (rubbery) and then when the engine cools, the epoxy will re-harden and will not get soft again until it is brought to a higher temperature. Typical post-curing. I think...

Since there is an airgap between the engine and the covers the thickness of the Velcro it shouldn't get as hot as the engine cases which are probably about oil temperature.
My belief (and hope) is that it will act like high temp paint that is heat cured through heat cycles.
Or, maybe they will just melt and I can sell them on eBay as art sculptures... as Salvador Dalli "Soft Covers".
(see: Soft Watch at the Moment of First Explosion)

This, like life in general, is an experiment.
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