Basic Vacuum Bagging Set-Up
Basics of Vacuum Bagging
Vacuuming bagging is a technique used to create mechanical pressure on a laminate during its curing cycle. During vacuum bagging, layers of reinforcement and resin are laid-up by hand before being sealed in an air-tight environment. It is then attached to a vacuum source, which pulls the air from the bag and creates the desired pressure. Why would you want to use this technique? Well, vacuum serves several functions.
•Vacuum bagging removes trapped air between layers.
•Vacuum bagging compacts fiber layers, making for more efficient remission of force between fiber bundles.
•The force created during the process prevents shifting of fiber orientation during your cure.
•Vacuum bagging will reduce humidity within the product
•Ultimately, it will optimize the fiber to resin ratio in the composite part.
Vacuum Bagging Setup
The Following diagram highlights the basic vacuum bagging setup.
Films, Peel Ply, and Tapes
The first materials you must consider are the films, peel ply and tapes. When choosing these for your vacuum bagging project, it’s important to consider the following:
•What is the size and shape of your part?
•Does it have a deep cavity or sharp corner?
•What temperature range is your lay-up?
These will all factor into the decision making process for your film.
For individual product information, check out the Fibre Glast Films, Peel Ply and Tapes Store Page.
Fittings and Tools
Next, you will want to look at your vacuum fittings. These are used to create air-tight connections between your part and your vacuum source. Without connections that are leak-proof, your vacuum bagging projects will be dead in the water.
During this time, you may also wish to look though vacuum bagging Tools. These tools are important for setting up and monitoring your vacuum bagging system. From air detection to basic cutting implements, each of these ads a degree of convenience and efficiency to your project that will save you both time and money.
Finally, you will need a vacuum pump for your vacuum bagging system (we imagine it would be hard to get your project started without one of these.) Fabricators have two options when it comes to this; a vacuum pump or a vacuum generator that is used in combination with an air source. In order to determine which is correct for your project, consider the following
•Basic size of pump and part
•Rate of air displacement in cubic feet per minute (or CFM)
•Ultimate pressure, measured in inches of mercury (or Hg)
For information on individual pumps, check our listings via the Fibre Glast Vacuum Pump Store Page.
For betting understanding of these factors and the vacuum bagging process, we offer a white paper on Vacuum Bagging Equipment and Techniques. To get a better picture of the process of vacuum bagging, check out our YouTube video tutorial below.
Interested in starting up a vacuum bagging project? Let us know your opinions in the comments below. Be sure to check out our Facebook and reach out to us on Twitter @FibreGlast for more news in the world of composites.