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Old 04-21-2011, 01:23 PM   #56
His Dudeness, El Duderino
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Torrance, CA

^^ Awesome, thanks for the very thorough write-up. That's a good "composites 101" course for anyone who's interested. The bumpers look great and they do lend a certain Bauhaus-ish simplicity to the look of the 240, which is appropriate given the Scandinavian design aesthetic of clean lines, radiused bends, flat surfaces, etc. It works well.

Your pictures got me thinking, maybe a similar technique would work to make glass or carbon "skinny" bumpers from '83 and later. I have a set to experiment with so I can leave the Commandos on the car if it fails. Hmm...another sub-project to add to the long list! The skinny bumpers may be small enough to warrant making female molds off of them, and then laying up a dimensionally-identical copy inside of that. I met a t-bricker at Western Meet (ilikepinkcrayons) who is making a 'glass coffin hood using this technique. Not sure if he has posted anything about that though.

For what it's worth I do have a few years experience with composites so I don't see why I shouldn't try making some Volvo parts. The pic below is a "super mileage vehicle" that I helped build in college. The complete monocoque chassis/fairing weighed about 12 lb without any running gear, IIRC. The one in the pic came out the nicest but I helped make 3 cars the same a male mold, layup a fiberglass female mold off of that, then vacuum-bag wet layup a few layers of carbon fiber with nomex honeycomb for stiffness in the lower chassis portion. I can attest to the sensitivity of resin set-up time varying with temperature and also with mixture proportions. When vacuum bagging, it sucks to find the first half of your part curing before you're even done laying up the second half!

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