What is Vacuum Bagging?
Vacuum bagging is an increasingly popular way to ensure that resin-coated components remain in place until they are cured. It provides much more control over the outcomes in applying resin and making even more complicated coating tasks much more manageable. As a result, it has increased in popularity, quickly becoming one of the most trusted ways to seal materials.
The process uses atmospheric pressure to seal it and put pressure on the laminate, which helps remove trapped air, pressurizes fiber layers, and prevents any shifting from occurring.
For a long time, vacuum bagging materials were inaccessible to most builders, as they required complex setups and sophisticated conditions in order to be effective.
But today, it's much more accessible and affordable, allowing even regular builders to enjoy the same benefits and gain much more control over the outcomes.
A vacuum bag for fiberglass and other advanced materials make lamination a breeze. Its effectiveness makes it an option that's sure to be used by even more builders in the coming years.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Vacuum Bagging
Just as with any process, using vacuum bagging in composites has its strengths and weaknesses. And it's essential to understand both if you're going to make an informed decision about whether you need it.
With that in mind, let's look at some of the biggest advantages and disadvantages it can offer.
One of the biggest benefits of using composite vacuum bags is its ability to make manufacturing large-size parts much easier. For instance, it can be useful in the aerospace industry, where large components have to withstand a lot of pressure, so removing air gaps and pressurizing the fibers is essential.
Another big benefit of using vacuum bag supplies is the unique way that it functions. Since pressure is applied evenly in all areas, the consolidation is much more consistent.
Finally, with the technology becoming more widely available, it's becoming much more affordable as well.
While vacuum bagging is an excellent method for consolidation, it's not the only one. And compared to approaches like autoclaving, vacuum bagging can sometimes have somewhat lower pressure, which can reduce the quality of the end result.
Another significant disadvantage is the waste that the process creates. Each time, the vacuum bag and other fabrics have to be thrown away, which is quite wasteful compared to some of the other methods.
How to Use Vacuum Bagging?
Even though vacuum bagging fiberglass can be challenging, the steps involved in the process are actually pretty straightforward.
First, you'll need to place the part of the material that needs to be consolidated on a molding tool. Then, the peel ply and a breather fabric are applied to keep everything in place and allow the air bubbles to escape.
Then, the vacuum bag is applied on top and sealed at the edges. Once the bag is sealed, the vacuum pump can be attached and activated, removing all of the air.
The part is then cured, the vacuum pump is disconnected, and all of the bags and fabrics are removed.
Vacuum Bagging Equipment
The vacuum bagging process is relatively simple, but you may be wondering what kind of equipment you'll need to execute it the right way.
First, you'll need a vacuum pump, which will be instrumental in sucking out the air and creating the actual vacuum on which this entire method is based.
Then, you'll need the vacuum bagging materials that will help seal the part and ensure that the air can escape. This includes the release fabric, which will not bond with the surface and allow the excess resin to release as well.
The perforated film helps maintain the pressure and keep the laminate and the resin in place throughout the entire process.
Then, you'll need the vacuum bag, which is basically an airtight bag that needs to fit over the entire part you want to coat.
Finally, with the help of a plumbing system, you will be able to safely remove excess air and reduce pressure while the resin cures and becomes ready.
Why Choose Us for Your Vacuum Bagging Needs
Finding vacuum bagging supplies isn't always easy. The process can seem complicated, and there are many moving parts that need to come together if you're going to develop an effective process.
At Plastic Materials, we can meet all of your vacuum bagging supply needs, offering a wide range of products, including a vacuum bag for carbon fiber, sealant tapes, and other essential equipment.
We've been in business for more than fifty years and can answer any questions you might have, helping you find the best approach in your situation.
If you want to learn more about our selection of products or have questions about what you should choose, we're here to help. Contact us and let's find an option that delivers the results you expect.