Fiberglass mat versus Fiberglass cloth - 2CoolFishing
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Old 05-20-2008, 04:22 PM
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Fiberglass mat versus Fiberglass cloth

Hey folks,

What is the difference between mat and cloth?

Thanks in advance,
Big Boy
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Old 05-20-2008, 04:31 PM
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Cloth is usually woven together and the layers can be at different angles to each other, ie +/- 45 etc.. Mat is individual random strands of glass held together with a binder. Both have their place. What is the application?
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Old 05-20-2008, 05:09 PM
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We will be patching small holes this weekend and covering up several old rod holders holes.

Thanks,

Big Boy
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:04 PM
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if you have access to the bottom side of the hole, I would use a peice of tin and bondo-glass, its bondo with fiberglass strand in it, it works pretty good, but if you are a perfectionist I would use the mat and epoxy it into place.
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Old 05-20-2008, 10:01 PM
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Tape off the bottom of the hole ,use fiberglass resin and choped mat mixed together to make a putty,
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Old 05-21-2008, 07:56 AM
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Mat builds up more bulk and does not print through as bad when used right under the gel coat.
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Old 05-21-2008, 08:52 AM
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If applied correctly, one is just as strong as the other. What you need to look at is the application. Woven cloth, is designed for flat or slow radius applications. By this I mean, it is harder to do 90 degree turns with woven cloth. Mat is better suited for conforming to contours. If you have something, like a mold, you would want to start with mat. You will lay down multi layers of either one though. There are 2 other products that can also be used. On is called “Woven Roven” it is like woven cloth but, it is BIG. Each strand is about the diameter of a pencil. It is used to create a strong thick structure. There is another product of the same material but, it only has strands going one direction. “I can’t remember if it is the weave or the weft.” But, the pencil size strands run all in the same direction and, are held in place with light string. This product will give you a ridged effect.



A few tips that may help you are,


  • don’t over saturate the cloth. Get it wet but, don’t cover it with resin. Resin is week, your strength comes from the wet cloth. If you have to much resin, the cloth or mat will float on the resin and make a week bond.
  • Make sure you get all the air out! Air is not your friend. Spend the money and buy rollers if, you are using mat and get a good squeegee for installing cloth. From your explanation, doesn’t sound like you need roven.
  • Mix slow batches of resin. Don’t rush yourself. Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to work the product before it gets hard.
  • Wear proper safety gear. The resin you are going to be working with has styrene in it. Styrene is used to thin the resin to a workable thickness. Styrene is highly carcinogenic! Wear gloves when dealing with it and wear good air filters. Make sure you work in a well ventilated area. Wear good dust protection when sanding also. The dust from fiberglass can be just as dangerous as asbestos.
  • After you laminate your patches “laminate is the first pass. It is when you lay down the cloth and saturate with resin” you will have a rough looking patch. I recommend you buy a product called “surfacing agent.” It is a styrene & paraffin wax combination that will make sanding much easier. What you do is, after the lamination is set up “doesn’t have to be dry just tacky” mix up a small batch of resin to brush over the patches. Before you add the catalyst, add a bit of surfacing agent. I use about 10cc to a pint of resin. Brush it on and let it get hard. This will keep your sand paper from loading up. The fiberglass will dust off as you sand.
  • once you have sanded the patches and patched any air pockets. You will do a filler coat. Mix up another batch just like you did before and add the surfacing agent again. You will need about the same amount as before. This time, add enough catalyst that your resin will gel in about 15 to 20 minuets. With 50% memk, I used 10cc’s for a pint in the summer time. You will brush this on like before and allow to get hard and, then sand to a polish.
  • use a natural bristle brush. They are cheap and give the best result!


If you have any questions, feel free to pm me.

God Bless
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Old 05-22-2008, 08:53 AM
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Thanks for all the input. I am heading to Waco to do some minor repairs. Mostly small chips, gouges and fill in a few small to medium holes on the cap and counsel. My brother is doing the work he use to fiberglass alot on airplanes and is very good, but has never worked with gelocoat.

I am taking with me...

Gelcoat, Styren, Acetone, Marinetex, fiberglass resign, mat, cloth, tape, sand paper, block, gloves, goggles, mask, brushes, ect.

If I am missing anything I can not get in a small town please let me know...

Thanks again,
Big Boy
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