Book Review: Composite Materials: Fabrication Handbook #2 by John Wanberg
Published 2010 by Wolfgang Publications
As cars from the 1980s and 1990s become "antique" cars, the more likely they will be car restoration projects. During those years, the use of plastics and "composites" increased dramatically as automobile manufacturers had to produce lighter cars in order to conform to gas mileage requirements. In the future (perhaps not too distant), replacement plastic parts for these cars might be difficult to find. In that case, you may be required to reproduce those items.
In this companion piece to Handbook # 1 which provided information on many of the basic techniques used in making simple composite laminates, Handbook # 2 details more advanced techniques. Both Handbooks were written for anyone wishing to enhance the quality and performance of composite projects by providing hands-on, practical, step-by-step guidance. Both clearly-written text and numerous color photos detail advanced techniques such as vacuum-bagging, trapped-rubber insert molding, inflatable bladder molding, and resin transfer molding.
Along with the first Handbook, this volume gives you all the information you need to start your own projects. The sky's the limit when it comes to fabricating your own parts. You don't have to spend a fortune on special tools and materials and the directions focus on safety as well as final product. Molds can be made of wood, sheet metal, foam, plaster, clay, and many other materials—and this Handbook rates which of these materials would be best for specific projects. Besides the clear "how-tos" there's also a Resource List that provides additional information on materials, suppliers, books, videos, etc.
With so many great photos, it isn't always possible to "match" them with the text, meaning you may have to thumb over a page forward or backward as you go. Still, it's much, much better to have so many reference pictures than to be left wondering what comes next.
About the Author John Wanberg is Assistant Professor of Industrial Design at Metropolitan state College of Denver. He has worked on the design and manufacture of composite products ranging from medical robotic devices to aftermarket car arts and alternatively fueled vehicles.