Resin Infused Skateboard Using Carbon Fibre, Flax and Bio Resin

Hi welcome to another Easy Composites video. Today we are going be looking at quite a fun project. We are going to be making this longtail skateboard using some of the more environmentally friendly sustainable materials available from Easy
Composites. To make the board we will be using a resin infusion process. The resin we will be using will be our CLV formulation of the SuperSap Bio Resin. SuperSap is much more environmentally friendly than most epoxy resins. That is because a lot of the ingredients that are used are plant based and they also use much greener manufacturing methods. Sticking with the green theme we are going to be using Biotex Flax as part of the reinforcement in the skateboard. This is an entirely natural fibre that can
be laminated or infused in just the same way that carbon or glass can. Then to cap off the eco project we are going to be recycling broken shipping pallets and using theme as the core materials in this
pintail longboard. So the first thing that I did was cut these
strips of wood from the shipping pallet on the table saw. These will stack to make a core very similar to that of a snowboard. By gluing the pieces together with dots of
hot melt glue I have left a gap between the pieces that will allow the resin to flow from one side to the other, which is necessary for resin infusion. Without the gap the resin would only properly flow over the top side of the moulding, leaving the mould face of the reinforcement still
partially dry. So there we have it. We have upcycled a piece of old pallet wood into a vertically laminated infusion ready longboard core. A longboard like this has curves in two directions. You have got the camber curve in this direction and then you have got the curve for the concave in this direction. So we have got a compound curve, so we need to create a mould that will produce this shape. As I am doing this project as a one off the
mould only needs to be temporary. The camber profile is formed by bending a piece of OSB board over a block and screwing it down to a stiff base board. Next I am marking on the centre line. This is where the moulding surface will be
attached to the camber board. The mould surface is glued along the line
with hot melt glue. The material I am using is sign makers foamed PVC board. This is very inexpensive and has good surface finish and it is very easy to work with. To flex the PVC board into a concave profile is simply a case of using shims to wedge the side of the mould surface away from the camber board. As the centre of the PVC sheet is firmly glued down it is forced into a double curvature. As with all new moulds we will need to apply 6 coats of Easy-Lease to ensure that we get an easy separation of the part from the mould. This is done is the normal way of applying
a thin film and waiting for 15 minutes between coats and then finally 1 hour before use. Before starting a layup it is often good practice to apply the vacuum bagging gum tape to the mould. This ensures that there are no stray fibres
under the tape that would compromise the seal. We want this board to look really cool so
we are going to detail the flax with some undirectional carbon fibre. Then we are going to stencil our name and graphic onto the fabric directly with spray paint. A very light application of FusionFix is all
that is required to secure the spread to ribbon in place. The stenciling is done with simple paper template
and standard acrylic spray paint. This gives the potato sack look that I was
after. Of course here is where your imagination is the only limit. So that is going to be the first layer of
reinforcement into the mould so we will lay that up now then continue with the rest of the stack. This wouldn’t be an Easy Composites video without some carbon fibre so we’ve got the flax on the surface of the mould here so that’s going to give us some damping properties, contribute to the strength of the board and also give us that great aesthetic. Then we are going to follow that with unidrectional carbon fibre. Which is going to give us strength down this plane. Then we are going to follow that with a +/- 45° biax which will give us some tortional stiffness. This is our none crimp UD carbon fibre tape this has nearly all of the reinforcement running down its length. Essentially when you are thinking in terms
of fibre orientation a simple way of looking at it is like the grain of wood. So if all of the fibres are running in this
direction they will also be the strongest in that direction. This direction it won’t have much strength
at all but in this instance that is going to give us strength down the length of the board between the trucks. The layup itself is probably the easiest part of the whole project. Simply lay the material into the mould ensuring that it is properly aligned and positioned. This is a +/- 45° biaxial cloth. Essentially it is like having 2 undirectional
materials sat on top of one another at 45° and as now we have got the grain running in this direction and this direction it is going give us some torsional stiffness on the board. So that is one side of the laminate done so then we have got our pallet wood core which places in like so. Now we are going to use the vacuum to actually bend this down to the tool later so we don’t actually have to worry too much about this. In nearly all circumstances with a core you are looking to balance a laminate either side of it so we are just going to repeat the exact same layup in reverse. So that is all of the materials into the mould to make the board itself and we are going to continue now with the vacuum bagging consumables that then allow us to do the resin infusion process. Now we have lots of other videos on resin
infusion so it is worth checking those out if you want a bit more information. On this project I am just going to get on
with it. This is a completely conventional resin infusion
stack. We have peel-ply, infusion mesh and then the
spiral. The mesh under the vacuum connector is cut
away to act as a resin break. As this is a very simple mould there is only a need for a few small pleats to accommodate the layup stack. As with all vacuum bagging operations great care must be taken to ensure that the vacuum bag is completely sealed to the mould, as even the smallest leak can have disastrous consequences to the end result. With the bag sealed we are now ready to pull the vacuum on it making sure that is goes down neatly and properly. Before the bag fully tightens the vacuum should be closed to allow time to ensure that the materials are properly aligned and that the vacuum bag does not get pinched into the core materials as they are pulling down. A leak flow indicator is really useful to
show that a bag is well sealed in advance of a drop test. Now we are going to accurately weigh out and thoroughly mix the bio resin. SuperSap CLV in common with nearly all epoxies, requires accurate weighing and thorough mixing to ensure that it will cure properly. You can see here how infusing with natural fibres and bio resin is much the same as conventional resin and reinforcements. You should also be able to see how the gaps in the core material are allowing the resin to pass from the upper side where the mesh is to the mould face. Once the resin has fully infused through the part, the vacuum line can be clamped off with a line clamp. Followed shortly after by the resin feed side. That is the infusion completed so we have just got to wait for it now so we are going to leave it at room temperature to fully cure. This is now fully cured so all we have got left to do is demould it and trim. You can see that the infusion has gone really well. We are still left with the infusion mesh and peel-ply to remove so I am going to get on with that now. So now all I have left to do is use a cardboard template to mark out the profile before trimming. The blade that I am using in the jigsaw here is a conventional, fine tooth wood blade which made very light work of the cut. To smooth the profile and add the front wheel wells, I used Permagrit sanding blocks and files before finally finishing with 120 grit sandpaper. With the edges finished it is now time to get the trucks lined up. Obviously it is pretty important that these are lined up straight, so just using a straight edge and marking up with a marker pen. Drilling the deck itself just using conventional high speed steel drill. Just take your time so it doesn’t burst through too much and then clean up any swarf with a knife. I am just preparing the grip paper here for
installation cutting it into stripes. Before anyone says anything those are old shears that I am using. Again just using a straight edge to ensure that it is lined up and then installing the grip tape as you would any other skateboard. So these are the final touches to complete the board. The last detail on the grip tape and attach and the trucks. So that is our project complete. Of course this video was never really about making a skateboard. It was intended to show you just how easy it is to process these more environmentally friendly materials. There are so many ways
that you could use these materials. Whether you are looking to reduce the environmental impact of your project, or you just want to take advantage of their unique appearance. You can find lots more information on the
full range of Biotex reinforcements and our unique formulation of the SuperSap Resin on the Easy Composites website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *