Release Films and Peel Ply

Seems like there are a lot of options regarding peel ply and release films. What are the correct applications? Pros and cons of different types? Thanks in advance.

generally speaking… peel ply will give you a more even surface, helps toward 2nd bonding, protects surfaces during trim/drill.

many different types… some better for one process than another.

kinda of a lot of variables in this question, so I couldn’t really give you a definitive answer. I’d say what are you thinking?

It just seems like there is a lot of cross-over between the two. Some people use one or the other, some use both. I’m doing CF/epoxy infusion, I’ve read a lot of material on the subject and I’m still not clear on the correct use of these. I’ve also noticed that there isn’t much consistency when it comes to info on suppliers’ websites.

Each has their own advantage.

What exactly are you making, the size and shape of the parts sometimes also play a factor. If you post a picture of what you are trying to do exactly it may help others chime in.

I guess there is some cross over? They server pretty different purposes, especially in infusion.

A peel ply will allow vacuum to flow and as such, also resin. It also sorta acts like a release in the way it allows you to remove the PP from the part after it’s cured… like I always put peel ply over the part, especially where the spiral wrap, flow media, and resin inlet/outlet lines touch the part. The entire part doesn’t necessarily need to be covered in peel ply but, it does make for a more even surface finish. There are also many types of peel ply, some do not work well for infusion from my experience; they stick too much and are hard or impossible to remove.

a release film will not conduct vacuum as it’s generally some sort of plastic sheet. The release film is specifically to form a barrier between two piece of material, so they do not bond together. Some are perforated, so resin/vacuum can go through… i think these are generally not used in infusion but, sureley soe one would say they use it in that way. A perf release film really is for prepreg, or wet layup, where you are using a bleed system. Meaning that you are making a part and then intentionally sucking excess resin out of the laminate. Generally this is not the case with an infusion.

it sounds like you’re have a more specific question or scenario in your head than the question your asking? I’m giving you just a general answer but, as stated in the previous post, if you can give more information on the exact situation you’re working with, pictures help, then we could probably give you more tailored advice.

With this stuff the devil is in the details. A small change can make a big difference.

I appreciate the response. There are so many different products and techniques, I just like to hear what combinations are successful for everybody else. For instance, sammymatik, you mentioned having trouble with some peel plies, what product do you prefer to use with infusion?

I’ll be the guy that says I use perf release film for infusions. Makes getting the bloody flow mesh off only a royal pain in the ass compared to the full blown haemorrhoids of peel ply on its on.

Seriously though, most peel plies are not any fun at all with infusion. Even the silicone coated stuff can be super tough to remove. Some are better than others (I find the white stuff with the red pinstripes the absolute worst), but all in all removing the consumables after infusion is a horrible experience.

Perforated release films with more holes (the red stuff not the blue stuff) works great. The clear ‘bread wrap’ is the best for infusion as it’s got a lot of holes very close together, but with all the release films you want to make sure you minimise any overlaps or creases, as these will affect the resin penetration into the laminate and can leave you with dry spots.

Thanks, Hanaldo. So you use both peel ply and a perf release film?

Only if the panel needs any secondary bonding, or if it’s just a laminate that I want a peel ply finish on. I like the peel ply finish, it feels more professional than without.

However I do often only use a perf release film.

For infusion, I use the brown ptfe coated peel ply… I can’t think of the name of it… I usually just take scrap pieces from work, never actually bought it.

this stuff:

This stuff comes off no problem. When I use a pp or nylon peel ply, it ends up sticking way too much and is sooooo hard to pull off. I think it gets pushed into the fabric maybe?

The brown stuff is like gold but, also expensive as well.

AVT also sells a peel ply called bleeder lease B , much easier to release as it it ptfe coated. The surface will need further sanding for a secondary bond because of the ptfe . Release film is not necessary with this product, but can be used if you like.

I used perforated film between the peel ply and flow media. There is a good chance that I will lose some skin off my fingers by the time I strip out the peel ply and flow media from a boat hull or deck, if I don’t use perforated film. :slight_smile:

There is a 100% chance that you will lose some skin off your fingers regardless of if you use a perf release film or not. There is a good chance that you will get down to the bone if you don’t use a perf release film :laugh:

Damn it I hate infusion. If only I didn’t love it so much.

In all seriousness though, a pair of Kevlar gloves are a grand idea when removing infusion consumables. I cut myself across the palm of my hand so badly that I needed 7 stitches once.

lol … maybe we should build smaller stuff. That’s less peel ply to remove.

you can use pa-66 in 85 GSM. Works fine with our clients.

I’ll second the use of perf film between the flow media and the laminate - especially with peel ply! Only issue is with cored or thick laminates where things need to be throttled to make sure it fills.

Also used a double layer of peel ply sometimes if the part needs to be protected for a while during trimming and fitting - though it is sometimes hard to be sure you are just getting one layer when peeling.

Airtech Econolease (light blue) works as well as anything I have tried short of a PTFE coated porous cloth. PTFE release “peel-ply” is available from Taconic (7025) and Airtech (Release Ease 234TFP) and probably others. It works great in strips under feed lines or EnkaFusion.