Career summary

Details for Fiberglass Laminators and Fabricators


Description

Laminate layers of fiberglass on molds to form boat decks and hulls, bodies for golf carts, automobiles, or other products.

Tasks

  • Release air bubbles and smooth seams, using rollers.
  • Spray chopped fiberglass, resins, and catalysts onto prepared molds or dies using pneumatic spray guns with chopper attachments.
  • Select precut fiberglass mats, cloth, and wood-bracing materials as required by projects being assembled.
  • Pat or press layers of saturated mat or cloth into place on molds, using brushes or hands, and smooth out wrinkles and air bubbles with hands or squeegees.
  • Mix catalysts into resins, and saturate cloth and mats with mixtures, using brushes.
  • Bond wood reinforcing strips to decks and cabin structures of watercraft, using resin-saturated fiberglass.
  • Check completed products for conformance to specifications and for defects by measuring with rulers or micrometers, by checking them visually, or by tapping them to detect bubbles or dead spots.
  • Trim excess materials from molds, using hand shears or trimming knives.
  • Repair or modify damaged or defective glass-fiber parts, checking thicknesses, densities, and contours to ensure a close fit after repair.
  • Cure materials by letting them set at room temperature, placing them under heat lamps, or baking them in ovens.
  • Apply layers of plastic resin to mold surfaces prior to placement of fiberglass mats, repeating layers until products have the desired thicknesses and plastics have jelled.
  • Mask off mold areas not to be laminated, using cellophane, wax paper, masking tape, or special sprays containing mold-release substances.
  • Apply lacquers and waxes to mold surfaces to facilitate assembly and removal of laminated parts.
  • Check all dies, templates, and cutout patterns to be used in the manufacturing process to ensure that they conform to dimensional data, photographs, blueprints, samples, or customer specifications.
  • Inspect, clean, and assemble molds before beginning work.
  • Trim cured materials by sawing them with diamond-impregnated cutoff wheels.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Knowledge

  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Skills

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