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Making Carbon Fiber/Fiberglass parts

Making Carbon Fiber/Fiberglass parts

Old 03-20-2002, 03:34 AM
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Default Making Carbon Fiber/Fiberglass parts

I loev messign with fiberglass and carbon fiber. I think 2 pasrt resins are the coolest!!!. Just find it neat that 2 liquids combine to form a solid. SO i am considering making parts.

I was wondering abotu temperatures. Is there a resins i shoudl use if i am makign parts taht will be exposed to high temperatures? I have seen carbon fiber headcovers advertised in automotive mags What resins do they use to make those. And is there anythign other than a high temp resins required to make parts that will see high temps? Willi need special gelcote and such?
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Old 03-20-2002, 08:52 AM
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Epoxy's and phenolics will both work great...However, if you want that cool look of the carbon fiber or graphite parts, you know the clear sheen of the resin with the woven black fabric embedded, you're going to want to go with epoxy. The best way to cure these and obtain best results is at elevated temperatures between 250*F and 350*F under pressure(3-5 atmospheres) for at least 2 hours. Anything less will not yield maximum strength, durability or exposure to direct sunlight. Most two-part epoxies will work fine. Just try to avoid the quick-set stuff. You'll be hating life.

If you don't have an autoclave(ya right, who does ), your oven will work fine(I'm not suggesting this, but I have done it before). Just be very careful, make sure it is very well ventilated and thouroughly cleaned before the next time to cook in it. Epoxies will outgas while curing(it is also an exothermic reaction) You don't want any drippings on the heating elements either. It will stink something awful.

Anyway, if you're making flat parts, like dash panels for instance, aluminum plates work great. Make sure they are thouroughly greased and waxed(at least 3 coats of wax) or you can buy an agent called "mold release." Otherwise the parts won't come off. Two aluminum plates with the composite part sandwiched in between will worg great with a little bit of weight on top. Ideal resin content is between 30-40%. --Easily obtained with parts thouroughly wetted and under pressure. Also keep in mind that f/glass will yield parts appx 0.010" thick per layer while carbon fiber will make parts at appx 0.005" thick. So you'll need more plies than you may be used to.

Molded complex-shapes are a lot trickier and are very difficult to get good results without vaccuum bagging and autoclaving(like valve covers or curved parts) but it can be done!

Good luck!

Last edited by Baja Daze; 03-20-2002 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 03-20-2002, 11:14 AM
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One important thing I forgot to mention:

Care should be excercised with both carbon fiber and graphite parts when installing. Both will promote galvanic corrosion with aluminum or cheap grade ferrous fasteners and mounting surfaces. They must be electrically isolated when installed.
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Old 03-20-2002, 01:31 PM
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i was thinking i might do some dash panels and some valves covers. The valve cover will of course be much more difficult. As for the stove idea good idea but i would;t even want to eat anythign cooked in it again. Maybe i can find one that is beign thrown out or soemthing and use it JUST for making parts....
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Old 03-20-2002, 02:21 PM
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Sounds cool! I'd be interested in seeing how they turn out.

Tip for Puder's friends:
Lock your ovens when you go on vacation.
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Old 03-20-2002, 03:50 PM
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I do carbon fiber with water clear surf board resin. I work on large pieces of plate glass...works great. Done gel colors in between layers so you can letter them etc.

I have not done work in molds.

I do not use heat of any kind...maybe it would be better but it would take a hell of an oven!! I do use pressure and ways to keep uniform thicknesses. Lots of stuff on the net on "how to."

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Old 03-20-2002, 04:17 PM
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i ahve worked with cloth and resisn before. I am wondering if ther eisa special resign i shoudl use if teh parts are goign to be exposed to high heat. Also is there a resin i shoudl use for the head covers? I need something that is resistant to heat and won't react with hot oil.
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Old 03-21-2002, 11:47 AM
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Check www.masterbond.com. They have a 450 degree epoxy called EP45HT.
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Old 03-22-2002, 06:57 AM
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Check out www.fibreglast.com. Weird spelling on the name, but lots of good info. I've used their stuff for making bumpers, hoods and trunk lids.

Craig
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