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Old 15-10-2013, 20:42   #31
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Was the boat built with a good acceptable bonding coat and fiber layer? Old school thinking is if you add this later in its days it's because you had problems that correct methods could not fix. I would want to know how this was all put together. Is it original? Skeptical about this use of glass.
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Old 15-10-2013, 20:55   #32
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Re: fiberglass over steel ??

I have personally seen fiberglass laid on a steel hull. It was stuck on with buckets of 5200 troweled on, cured for a week then saturated with resin. This was an old fishing boat, the owner said he hoped to get a couple more years out of it. Also seen this done to wooden hulled fishing boats. This is for getting a couple more seasons revenue out of a tired old hull, not a normal way to build a boat!
My boat has a plywood cabin top covered with fiberglass that is wrapped over the steel cabin sides; it is not a happy union, I have to grind out rust bubbles periodically. Changing the cabin top to steel is on the upcoming project list.
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Old 15-10-2013, 21:03   #33
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Re: fiberglass over steel ??

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Originally Posted by clockwork orange View Post
Unlike the rest of you I see nothing wrong with the concept of a layer of glass , or preferably, dynel layed in epoxy over properly prepared steel. Steel depends on a coating to survive in a marine environment which is usually an epoxy of some kind. The advantage of introducing a fabric into the mix would be to allow for a thicker, reinforced protective system than any paint system alone, which would take a lot more of the knocks and scrapes of everyday life. The adhesion of 100% solids epoxy to properly prepared, ie, sandblasted steel is excellent so there is little likelyhood of delam and water getting behind it. I would be more concerned with an overly thick paint system without reinforcement.
Of course it would depend on first class workmanship.
The problem with this is that the fibers be it glass or dynel, act as wicks and allow water to penetrate the coating.
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Old 15-10-2013, 21:15   #34
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Re: fiberglass over steel ??

We owned one of the steel frame epoxy and beads over like a concrete boat! It was not a roberts but it was a great boat. never a problem with the hull or deck or house Had a couple of problems with the bow sprit, but that was the wood used, not the hull ! But puting glass mat or layering with glass fiber over steel is just to stupid to even talk about!
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Old 15-10-2013, 21:25   #35
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Re: fiberglass over steel ??

Nonsense, ive built a dozen or so cold molded boats back in the 70s, all sheathed with epoxy and glass or dynel, wicking is a non issue with fabrics where the fibers all run parallel to the surface, it may be a problem with csm where the fiber orientation is random but not with cloth and not with epoxy. A big advantage of sheathind anything with epoxy and cloth is you are using resin with no solvents to evaporate leaving microscopic pinholes which is what happens with paint systems alone, which is why you need multiple coats as well as needing to build thickness.
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Old 15-10-2013, 21:33   #36
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It needs to be original in construction. It is rare that fiberglass is overlayed on steel with success.
Cold molding is fine if it is done right and well.
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Old 15-10-2013, 21:53   #37
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Re: fiberglass over steel ??

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Nonsense, ive built a dozen or so cold molded boats back in the 70s, all sheathed with epoxy and glass or dynel, wicking is a non issue with fabrics where the fibers all run parallel to the surface, it may be a problem with csm where the fiber orientation is random but not with cloth and not with epoxy. A big advantage of sheathind anything with epoxy and cloth is you are using resin with no solvents to evaporate leaving microscopic pinholes which is what happens with paint systems alone, which is why you need multiple coats as well as needing to build thickness.
So your saying that 100% of the fibers run parallel in cloth, there are no stragglers? Its not recommended to wipe steel down before painting for the same reason; you should only blow it off with compressed air. Wood is a lot more forgiving than steel when it comes to the amount of moisture introduced by wicking (you are comparing apples to oranges). Another big advantage when using a proper coating designed for steel like ameron or devoe, is there superior adherence to steel and reduced undercutting when rust does form unlike regular epoxy that would be used with fiberglass. Everyone has there own way of doing things and if you ever own a steel boat by all means cover it with glass. I on the other hand have already dealt with the issues that this causes and highly recommend against it.
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Old 15-10-2013, 21:58   #38
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Re: fiberglass over steel ??

Clockwork,

Bonding fiberglass to steel works great, so long as the bond never changes temperature. Then the difference in the coefficient of thermal expansion for the materials will rip the two apart. Once that happens you are looking at a very short time between bonding failure and corrosion setting in.

It is possible to do this, but the only place I know where it is typical is in the aerospace industry. And even int he incredibly controlled environments of aircraft building there have been a lot of failures.
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Old 15-10-2013, 22:06   #39
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Re: fiberglass over steel ??

According to my friend who is a fiberglass, polyester, vinylester and epoxy expert, it is extremely difficult, if not almost impossible, to get a satisfactory bond between fiberglass layup and steel.
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Old 16-10-2013, 08:14   #40
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Re: fiberglass over steel ??

my steelie owning and building repair guy say sit is fine to place glass over steel. but it makes steel swell and rust more. he sed he is considering glassing his coach house fo reak prevention.
he asks why, if you dislike fg over steel, why then is epoxy paint the best to use on steel. works just fine.
they use red epoxy paint on bridges. it works.
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Old 16-10-2013, 08:46   #41
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Re: fiberglass over steel ??

Tack about and sail away. Like the notorious "Black Velvet", this ruins two drinks.
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Old 16-10-2013, 08:55   #42
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Re: fiberglass over steel ??

You guys will note that I stressed "properly prepared". This is the key to sucess when bonding any material with any adhesive. There are dozens of epoxy formulations available, you do your research before undertaking any large project and select the one that suits your application best, and it is very likely not going to be one that advertises heavily in boating magazines. As an example I spent a 5 year period in the 1990s manufacturing snowboard, when I started this after more than 25 years of boatbuilding I thought I knew something about bonding things, boy did I have a lot to learn about bonding difficult materials, we learned how to bond a sandwich of wood or foam core, glass laminates, polyethelene bases, hardened steel edge, various plastic topsheets etc with epoxy under high pressure and heat to produce a product that had to endure far more abuse than any part of any boat has to. Our first prototypes were built with boat epoxies I had in stock but they were not up to the task at all. Thermal expansion need not be an issue either with the right epoxy and any woven fabric will take it in stride. Of course only a moron would test that by painting the boat a dark color. My point is it is not a dumb idea at all if you are capable of doing careful work. It is just another protective system but a much tougher one than paint alone.
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Old 20-10-2013, 18:26   #43
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Re: fiberglass over steel ??

I agree with your contributors Jimmy...it's either a misnomer for epoxy or you would not touch that with a barge pole.
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Old 20-10-2013, 19:39   #44
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Re: fiberglass over steel ??

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Clockwork,

Bonding fiberglass to steel works great, so long as the bond never changes temperature. Then the difference in the coefficient of thermal expansion for the materials will rip the two apart. Once that happens you are looking at a very short time between bonding failure and corrosion setting in.

It is possible to do this, but the only place I know where it is typical is in the aerospace industry. And even int he incredibly controlled environments of aircraft building there have been a lot of failures.

RIGHT YOU ARE!! I was just about to post this concern before reading yours. Glass and steel do not have the same temperature coefficients and will quickly self destruct at the bond.
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Old 20-10-2013, 20:33   #45
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Re: fiberglass over steel ??

Right on Foggy. Well explained. That was actually the reason I did not use hi-build epoxies for steel repair on my steely. One point : my Co makes these adhesives for aerospace and it's special epoxies that bond composites to aluminium alloys.
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