Manufacture of a Matrix of Fiberglass

The matrix is necessary to make a copy identical to the original, two (or more) completely identical copies of any part of the body. Let’s consider features of process of creation of a matrix on an example of an automobile bumper.
This operation is simple, quite feasible with their own hands practically at home. If the matrix is only needed for a single use, then it can be done even with a model made of conventional plasticine. But if the form is used several times, then it is necessary to make it exactly according to the technology with observance of all rules and taking into account the nuances.


Required materials and tools:

– Plasticine for technical purposes (this will not react with polyester resin and will not soften when heated)
– Teflon polishes for the car (in the role of separator)
– Polyester resin
– Aluminum powder or aerosil (thickener)
– Steklomat (300 the first layer, 600 – for the others)
– Sandpaper
– The Bulgarian.


Process Features

In the case of a bumper, the matrix is made of several parts and fastened with flanges. It is this body element has a rather complicated shape, with a turn inwards. Therefore, it is divided into several assembly parts. For the flange formwork, a piece of plasticine about 70 mm is molded and fastened along the contour of the connector. For example, we take a simple bumper.

First, a separating layer is applied to the surface of the element. Its role will play Teflon polish. This is done three times. And after each application, the layer of polish must be carefully dried. On this depends how easily the details of the matrix will depart from the model itself at the end of the process.

Then we proceed to prepare a mixture of polyester resin and thickener. It is better to do this in two containers. And in the second make the consistency denser. It will be needed to apply to the corners of the bumper. Then the contents of the first container cover the inner side of the part. A more dense composition is laid in the form of strips on the angular, concave places. The polymerization of the model will take some time.

After curing and drying the resin, laid the bottom layer of the glass mat. It is executed from the 300 mark for a more precise repetition of all outlines. Dry this layer should not less than a day. After that, it is polished with coarse-grained sandpaper. If you notice frozen air bubbles in the layer, then they must either be ground, or uncovered and covered with plasticine.

The main thickness will be created by glass mint mark 600. There must be at least three layers, and in places of edges – an additional one for reinforcement. The thickness of all of them will be no less than 4 mm.

Then it’s time to make the missing additional parts of the bumper. To do this, it must be turned over, removed the formwork from flanges, rinsed with kerosene and covered with a separating compound three times with drying of each layer. At these places, we carefully apply the glass mat. To avoid deformation of fiberglass, the structure can be reinforced with a wooden frame.

At this stage, before fixing the die, fixing holes are often made. The edge of the bumper needs to be leveled. Here comes the time to work as a Bulgarian. Do not forget about the protection, because when pruning dust will fly out of the glass, which cannot be inhaled, and if it gets on the skin it causes not very pleasant sensations and itching.

Finally, the matrix can be carefully removed from the model. The residues of the separating layer are easily removed with kerosene or white spirits. The front side can be trimmed with sandpaper.

Now the roughing matrix is ready for use.

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