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building a custom res

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So basically I'd like to make my own reservoir. My question is about material. I could go with acrylic, but I was wondering if I could use fiberglass. Using resin, I could have completely custom shaped red fit specific for my case (h440). Any concerns with going this route?
If nobody has an answer or idea about this, I can always just try it out and run a loop on its own just to see the results but wanted some input first.
H440
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H440
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post #2 of 5
Fiberglass / Resin are typically non-reactive once cured, and can be very strong. It is also very temperature stable. I cannot think of any reason it wouldn't work, if built properly, especially if only used with distilled water. I have often wondered why we don't see more case mods done with fiberglass.

I think I would use Marine Grade materials though... they work for boats, should work for a res. just be careful... smile.gif

(I have repaired windshield washer reservoirs and automotive radiator overflow reservoirs with fiberglass before... successfully and long term.)
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post #3 of 5
Fiber glass works fine, treat it.
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post #4 of 5
We are actually doing our plastic unit right now in class so I might be able to provide a bit of input.

There are 2 basic types of fiberglass resins that you will most likely be buying, either polyester or epoxy.

They have different physical properties which leads to the difference in price between the two (As shown by this chart of thermoset plastics)



Here's some info straight from the text book.

Polyester (The cheaper one)

Characteristics:
low cost (workhorse of the thermosets)
high performance engineering plastics
compounds contain organic, inorganic reinforcing fibers, and fillers
molding compounds have superior heat resistance

Properties:
high heat deflection temperature
excellent moldability with dimensional stability
limited to black or brown
good electrical properties and flame resistance
good water and chemical resistance

Uses:
bonding, impregnating materials
usually formulated to provide special properties

Epoxy (The more expensive one)

Properties:
extremely low shrinkage during polymerization
variety of combinations of epoxy resins and reinforcements provides a wide latitude of properties in molded parts
excellent electrical, thermal, and chemical resistance
excellent adhesions in structural applications (one or two part systems)
hard, rigid, relatively brittle
excellent dimensional stability over a broad temperature range to 450°F (fiber-reinforced to 500°F for brief periods)

Uses:
appliance
automotive
marine
industrial paints
coatings and decorative top coats
industrial switchgear
semiconductor encapsulation
printed circuit boards
aerospace components

Both types of fiber glass could be used for reservoirs. Large chemical storage vats for toxic chemicals are often made out of fiberglass, they shouldn't have any issue holding water or weak pc antifreeze (the few fluids I looked at were mostly water with mild additives, non-toxic)

The only issues that arise would be in manufacturing it. You'd need to make it quite thick to ensure that it wouldn't break or crack since fiber glass parts can be quite brittle. You'd also be finishing and probably painting the outside since fiberglass looks ugly as sin unfinished. Bondo, sanding, glazing putty, sanding, repeat, repeat repeat, etc. then primer and paint once you are happy with it, would be pretty labor intensive, but would turn out really nice if done well.

Also are you going to try to make it a single formed piece? It's possible, you could make a negative out of foam or wax, or what ever then fiberglass over it. Then you'd use a chemical or heat to get rid of your negative material and leave your fiberglass a hollow shell. I see a problem with this, the inside of your reservoir would be pretty nasty even after you clean it out, It would be unfinished fiberglass, there could be strands or other debris that breaks off and clogs your pumps or radiators over time.

You could always make it a two piece design, either cutting the reservoir in half or molding in 2 pieces at the start, but then you'd have to worry about sealing the two halves together and making them water tight, not as easy to do with fiberglass as it is to do with acrylic. You could make your design so the part line is above the water line, maybe some kind of cool rain drop system, would be plausible.

Also making seals around your hoses hookups with fiberglass will be challenging as well.

You could look into making a diy vacuum forming machine, you'd be able to make a 2 piece reservoir really easy that way with what ever kind of plastic you decide, clear would be an option as well.
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
I already have the resin, its the polyester resin from bondo brand. My idea was doing a two part for that exact reason of the inside being so abrasive. And for sealing it, I was thinking of just running a bead of uncured resin to seal it and I can run a final coat on the outside to complete the full seal. Also having the two pieces would allow me to adhere an extra small piece of acrylic on the inside for tapping the threads for the fittings and a fill port. And yes, the layers of exterior work will take some labor time but that's OK with me. What I do usually make some form of a shell such as my custom console for my last truck. Built the shape out of the "great stuff" foam. And just sanded out the excess. Looks like I'll be throwing around some design tonight on paper and see if anything clicks with my case.
Thanks for all that info.
H440
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H440
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Samsung 840 evo  swiftech h220-x ACOOL UT60 360mm  Windows 7 64 
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Samsung 24"  cm storm quickfire rapid Corsair RM850 NZXT H440 
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logitech g500 custom pad  tek'nmotion yb-100A custom home built desk  
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