“We take an existing swimming pool that’s got a cement-based material on it and then we prepare the surface and spray fiberglass lining into the interior of the swimming pool,” said Gibson. The topcoat is approximately 1,000 micrometers thick and differs from conventional fiberglass methods such as hand lay up because the micro glass reinforcement is incorporated into the resin matrix and sprayed as a homogeneous mass.

Gibson says the biggest challenge was that the materials he needed for the process didn’t exist. “In conjunction with resin scientists and manufacturers, I developed materials that are not off-the-shelf to produce the materials specifically for this application. That was the biggest challenge, that there were no materials that existed historically,” he said.

According to Gibson, the collaboration with the manufacturers was not easy, saying a difference in philosophy proved to be a challenge. “You’re talking to resin manufacturers that are not familiar with field work but rather with a fabrication environment and controlled conditions,” he says. “So you try to talk to them about field work, but they don’t really know what that is. So we keep on using their vernacular and talking about parts. But there’s no such part in what we were doing, so they keep on talking about parts and not knowing what the challenges are in designing resin materials for field work.”

Gibson had to answer their skepticism with concrete evidence as a result of the field work. He addressed such problems as off-the-shelf resins undercuring in the presence of oxygen and yellowing in sunlight. “I consistently heard the objection ‘You’ll never use vinyl-ester resin and maintain color in the presence of sunlight,’ but we made it work,” he says.

It has taken Gibson about four years to tweak the product to proper curing, but he did it. Now, his next challenge is to market the process. “It’s in the infancy stage of approaching other individuals,” he said. “I’m trying to sell it to them not only as a business opportunity but also to increase exposure of the industry as a whole.”