Aircraft Composites

Using resins in composite construction

There are several resins types that can be used with composites. Generally, use the one that your aircraft kit manufacturer advises. Some examples are: vinyl-ester, polyester and epoxy resins. Epoxy being more expensive, will not react on most materials used in aircraft construction. But it might have a negative effect on your body, epoxies can be toxic.

Polyester resin dissolves some foam like materials as easily as warm water melts sugar. It hardens quickly when mixed when MEKP catalyst is added in the right amount by weight.

Vinyl Ester Resin

Vinyl-ester is a relatively newcomer and is mainly used because of the aggressive allergic problems some people experienced with the other epoxy resins.

The right choice of resin also depends on the application. If you are building fuel tanks then polyester resin might not be the best choice as it will slowly be dissolved by the alcohol in the fuel. Either use vinyl-ester resins, aluminum tanks or stay away from fuels with alcohol.

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