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High Temp Prop MoldHere is an example of a typical two blade prop mold. The mold pictured is a high temp mold capable of cures up to 350 deg. fahrenheit. Although most resins suitable for propeller making do not have to be cured at such high temperatures it is nice to have this high temp feature. The idea behind this mold was to cure the blade in the mold under heat to give it better structural properties at a higher operating temperature. By using a 250 degree resin the blade was molded to a thinner cross section without the problem of creep. The higher temp resins afford better wetting than room temp resins do on average.  When a resin reaches a warm state the viscosity drops and further enhances wet out.  The problem with getting the resin too warm is you loose your working time. Sometimes it feels more like an art than science. There are too many variables out there for the manufactures to cover every process, so it is up to the fabricator to develop his own processes and materials. When working with metals you don't have to worry about the alloy since it is already created for you, but when working with composites you are creating the alloy so to speak. If the blade was demolded before  post curing you would have to have some way of supporting it to keep it from distorting. With the tolerances being so tight on the pitch this was out of the question. So the decision to cure the propeller in the mold was made. The mold pictured is for a 13 inch propeller at 4 to 3 inches of pitch. Click Here For The Production Process Of A High Temperature Propeller And Mold

Carbon Propellers And MoldSome more propellers with a room temp mold. The three blade has a lot of chord and was developed for a 60 size side exhaust engine. The chord was too much and had to be reworked into a plug for another mold. The nice thing about composite propeller molding is the advantage of making a part and testing it, then changing it to make another mold, so the part sort of goes through this evolution process to arrive at the elusive perfect part, so to speak. Once a mold is made I never change the master part that made it. This enables me to make another mold if the mold wears out or is damaged. The part that comes from the mold is modified to make another mold.

Carbon PropsAnother example of experimentation.

3 Blade MoldTypical three blade composite mold. It's not my intention to sell any props in the near future but I would like to pass along this technology in the form of a video produced by Robins View Productions in the future. I feel that the video medium would be the best choice for conveying this information. Bob Hunt of Robins View Productions produces high quality videos with state of the art editing techniques. Check out his web site by clicking on the hyperlink above.

 

 

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Web site managed by Dan Winship.
Copyright 2002 Winship Models. All rights reserved.
Revised: August 26, 2002.