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    Materials, tools and more

    Materials, tools and more

    Materials Required for Fiberglass Project:

    When undertaking a fiberglass project, the specific materials needed may vary, but typically the following items will be required:

    1. Gelcoat: Gelcoat is a specialized resin that is applied as the outer layer to provide a smooth and glossy finish. It contains a higher concentration of thixotrope, allowing it to be applied in a single continuous film without running or sagging. Approximately 600g of gelcoat covers one square meter.

    2. Lay-up Resin: Lay-up resin is a thinner resin used for applying fiberglass matting. The ratio is typically one kilogram of resin per square meter of 450gsm fiberglass mat.

    3. Catalyst: Catalyst, also known as hardener, is mixed with both the gelcoat and lay-up resin to initiate the curing process. Generally, 2% of catalyst by weight is added to the resin (e.g., 20cc of catalyst per kilogram of resin). In hot weather, a smaller amount (1%) can be used with resin to prevent rapid curing. It is important to mix only the required amount of resin at a time and work quickly on hot days to avoid premature curing.

    Note: Catalyst and resin are corrosive and irritating to the skin. Protective clothing, gloves, and goggles should be worn while handling them. In case of contact with the skin or eyes, immediate washing or rinsing with water is necessary.

    1. Pigment: Pigment paste is used to color the resin. The recommended ratio is not more than one part pigment to ten parts resin by weight (e.g., 100g of pigment per kilogram of resin). For denser pigments like black, a lower ratio may be sufficient. Pigment should be added before mixing in the catalyst.

    2. Release Agents: Release agents are used to prevent the laminating materials from sticking to the molds. Conventional waxes or polishes should be avoided as they contain additives that can bond with the resin.

    3. Glassfiber: There is a wide variety of glassfiber materials available, with chopped strand mat being the most popular choice. Select the appropriate type and weight of glassfiber mat based on your project requirements.

    4. Barrier Creams: Barrier and cleansing creams provide protection for the skin when handling glassfiber materials. It is recommended to use them in conjunction with rubber gloves.

    5. Acetone: Acetone is used for cleaning brushes and removing resin. However, it should not be used on the skin. Acetone is highly flammable and should be kept away from sparks and naked flames.

    Important Safety Considerations:

    • Fiberglass materials are unsuitable for children. Ensure a well-ventilated working area with a temperature of approximately 20 degrees Celsius.
    • Wear appropriate protective clothing, including gloves and goggles, to minimize contact with chemicals and glassfiber materials.

    Equipment Required:

    The tools and accessories needed for a fiberglass project may vary, but here are some commonly used items:

    1. Mixing Containers: Use cups and buckets made from a suitable plastic that will not be attacked by resin when mixing the materials.

    2. Brushes and Rollers: Select brushes and rollers specifically designed for fiberglass work. Conventional decorating rollers are not suitable as their adhesives can be affected by resin.

    3. Metal Rollers: Metal rollers are used for rolling out air pockets in the resin and fiberglass layers, ensuring a smooth and even application.

    4. Catalyst Dispenser: For safety purposes, use a specially designed dispenser for the catalyst to avoid direct contact with eyes or skin.

    5. Rubber Gloves: Wear rubber gloves along with barrier creams to protect hands from glassfiber materials and chemicals.


    Working with fiberglass requires the right materials and equipment to achieve successful results. By understanding the specific materials needed.