Vacuum Bagging is a clamping system used for laminating a wide range of fabrics, core materials and veneers. It offers many advantages over conventional clamping. This process can be used for both repairs and composite construction. It uses atmospheric pressure to deliver firm even clamping. The advantage of vacuum bagging is that the type or quantity of the surface being laminated has no bearing on the clamping pressure or effectiveness of the lamination. Composites are often molded into useful shapes in this manner.
Vacuum bagging minimizes the amount of resin used, as resin by itself adds weight without adding strength. Vacuum bagging requires that the item being laminated be covered with cloth, like hand layups. The item is wrapped with a thin porous film that won't stick to the epoxy (This is the vacuum bagging release film) and a thick layer of absorbent material (This is the breather fabric). Then, the item is inserted into the vacuum bag and the air inside is removed by a vacuum pump. Because the air inside the vacuum bag is removed, the air pressure from the atmosphere outside the bag pushes tightly from all sides, pressing the bag against the breather fabric. Excess epoxy is squeezed out of the cloth, passes through the release film, and is soaked up by the breather. The breather fabric lets air flow away from the tube and out of the bag.
Materials that are essential elements of vacuum bagging include the release fabric, breather fabric, vacuum bag film, vacuum bag sealant etc. These items may all be purchased individually. We also offer a complete vaccuum bagging starter kit that is designed to handle smaller projects up to 13 sq ft, suitable for repairs done at room temp.
Instructions and Troubleshooting
The Vacuum Bag Suction Module consists of an adjustable vacuum source, which uses an electrically (AC) driven vacuum pump. The pump controls and vacuum fitting are mounted on the enclosure. The pump can stand alone or be mounted to a pole.
There are 2 bolts in the bottom of the unit which secure the internal pump for shipping. These should be removed for use and replaced for unit shipment.
1) The suction filter must be screwed onto the vacuum source port.
2) Attach the tubing from the vacuum bag kit to the fitting on the filter. The other end of the tubing will be the vacuum source for the application.
3) Seal the end of the vacuum tubing under the bag seal
4) Attach electrical/power cord to appropriate electrical receptacle (110V, 60 Hz).
5) Turn on the Suction Module by activating the ON switch on the face of the unit.
6) To adjust vacuum, turn the Vacuum Adjust knob clockwise for higher vacuum and counterclockwise for lower vacuum.
Controls and Adjustments
The user interface consists of the following components:
1) Digital readout of vacuum levels from 0-29 in. of Hg.
2) On/Off switch
3) Vacuum level adjustment knob
4) Option Control Switch: Remote (foot control) or manual (continuous)
5) Filter connection port
6) Electrical/Power Cable
7) Breaker (on rear of unit)
Maintenance and Cleaning Instructions
To clean, use only mild detergent, water, and soft cloth. DO NOT immerse the unit in liquid. DO NOT use alcohol or solvents to clean. No cleaning of the inside of the unit is required. The Vacuum Bag Suction Module should be covered and stored off the floor in a dry location. Care should be taken not to drop or unduly jar the unit.
Replacement of the filter is only needed when Fluid has been suctioned into the filter, or flow seems excessively slow. The filter is intended only to protect the vacuum pump from damage due to fluid being suctioned into the pump. For low viscosity fluids, (like water) an in line collection canister with overflow shut-off is suggested.