Fun With Carbon Fiber

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by therivermonster, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the link. That looks like some good stuff.

    After all the research that I have done, I am very stoked about making molds out of epoxy. Sure, it is a bit more expensive, but if it is easier to do, doesn't take as long as poly molds, and will last longer with better quality than I am sold.

    I'm excited to see how this home brew epoxy gel coat has layed up. I'll pull the bowl mold tonight and post pictures. I think for giggles I'll layup at least one bowl in CF in this mold. Might as well do it with respect to totally testing the mold.
  2. 100mpg

    100mpg Self Imposed Exile

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    :lurk
    Tap Tap Tap....Its tonight. Hurry up I have to go to work in 90 minutes! :D
  3. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    I've been working on releasing the mold for about an hour now and so far its no joy. Sorry 100. :cry

    I might have to break out the Dremel tomorrow and trim halfway around the bowl and see if it wants to come off there.

    Crappy!!
  4. 100mpg

    100mpg Self Imposed Exile

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    :eek1 that sucks. Hope it is ok. I'm going to work so you can take your time now. :lol3
    Plenty of time tomorrow.
  5. mtbbker

    mtbbker MtbBiker

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    I have used Mirror Glaze wax before as release agent, with avg results:-( Then I tried RAM wax, with great results. The point I am trying yo make is, experiment and try a few products first:-) It pays in the long run!!!


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  6. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Well I hope that you had a good night at work. Thanks for standing watch!

    I used Mirror Glaze wax for the bowl experiment. I am very surprised how well the epoxy stuck to a smooth, shiney, waxed bowl. Crazy!
  7. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Sometimes they say, "well, they broke the mold with that one". I say hogwash. Just break the damn plug (bowl). And that's just what I did. I did a little tap tap tap on the bowl with a hammer and it broke up just fine.

    I'll have to say that the results are just what I was looking for. There is NOT one air bubble. The surface is as shiney as the bowl, and has taken every detail of it perfectly. The surface is hard, and appears to be very durable.

    Here is the trimmed up bowl.
    [​IMG]

    And some of the detail in the bottom.
    [​IMG]

    I think that I'll get my wax on with this bowl and lay up a bowl in CF. I'll be in touch. :D
  8. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    Look in the second picture..... you can see where the small indentations ...corners....have been pulled by the epoxy. Each little ripple....depression.....letter...etc... will effectively double the surface area, creating a tremendous sticking power, that will make it very hard to separate. You can try to blow compressed air in between the layup, and the mould... That usually helps. This is why it was hard to separate. Just FYI.....:freaky
  9. beechum1

    beechum1 Grimace Soup

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    I may have mentioned this before, but wince were around to it again....

    I used Adtech ES201PC surface coat. It was simply the strongest most resilient I've ever used. You should have an air compressor with a spray attachment to get out the air bubbles. It is self leveling, but the surface tension is such that it meeda help. Alternatively, a sharp object ill pop the bubble. I then sprinkled a layer of powdered cotton as a mechanical bond enhancer . After the surface coat tacked, I'd begin layup. first layer was cloth. 6 or 7 oz would be adequate. I wanted a surely reinforced surface. After that was 1/4" of epoxy resin and 1,5oz CSM.

    These were our production mold with >500 pulls before reparations.

    The release that we used, and that I'm using now is Frekote NC-770. the molds are sealed first with Frekote FMS. 10 applications each on a new or repaired mold. Green wax on the edges and an inch in on the "bottom" of the mold.

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  10. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    It was certainly hard to pull, this one. Compressed air, PVA, and propper mold release wedges would have probably helped out a lot. At any rate, the experiment was a success in my book, and now I have an excuse to lay up a nice fancy carbon fiber bowl. :D

    One thing about being a noob at composites work is that you really have to try what products and techniques work for you. This does cost a little bit of time and money, but I think it's worth it. It helps a lot when you have a great groop of people that can recommend products for you cause a lot of this stuff isn't the cheapest.

    Thanks, guys!
  11. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    This bowl mold was made simply to see how the epoxy surface coat worked, but of course it was calling my name to make a part out of it, so that's what I did.

    This time around, I just mixed some Cabosil with the epoxy in order to thicken it, and hoping all the time that the mixture would stay reasonably clear.

    Here the first top coat has been applied. It wasn't looking very clear. :cry
    [​IMG]

    Then I had a bringht idea. Why not use some left over moto stickers and arrange them in the layup somehow. So I did.

    These are the sacrificial stickers. Thanks ADV and TT.
    [​IMG]

    I simply stuck them to the tacky first layer of top coat, then brushed the second layer of top coat into the mold.
    [​IMG]

    When the second layer of top coat had cured to a very tacky state, I layed in 5 pieces of CF.
    [​IMG]

    The next day I popped it out of the mold and this is what we have. There are some bubbles under the stickers, but otherwise the look is cool. The top coat isn't compleately clear, but I kind of dig the cloudy look.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next I trimmed the bowl with the Dremel, sanded the inside a little bit, then added a second coat of epoxy.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After the epoxy had cured, I lightly sanded again, then masked off a design in the bowl. I'm not graphic designer, let me tell you.:evil
    [​IMG]

    Then hit it with some orange rattle can paint, followed by rattle can clear. Now we have a finished bowl. I don't really dig the paint job, and I messed it up in a couple of areas, but like always, this is an experiment. I could probably use this one though. Is rattle can clear food safe? It would be kindof fun to use this as a camp bowl. By the way, this thing is super strong. I'm pretty sure that you could drive up onto it with the wheel of your car and it wouldn't break (I might have to give that a try).
    [​IMG]

    More to come soon. Hopefully I'll get back to making moto parts. Actually, AdventureErik gave me the chain guard off of his X 650 to try and replicate. The design is tricky, and it'll have to be a two part mold, but it should be another great experiment.

    Happy Thanksgiving, all! Have a great one and be safe!
  12. 100mpg

    100mpg Self Imposed Exile

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    So the bowl is NOT still in there? Very very smooth!
  13. 100mpg

    100mpg Self Imposed Exile

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    that came out great. I love the fact that you have no product goal, you are just trying it out! If you drive over it, make sure you get video!
  14. beechum1

    beechum1 Grimace Soup

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    Just an FYI, there are several DOW resins that can be mixed with certain ancamides that ARE FDA safe.

    I love the bowl. Hang it up. it's a great piece regardless.
  15. zoomzu

    zoomzu Been here awhile

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    I'm diggin' that bowl. Pretty slick, slick. :wink:
  16. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Moving on...
  17. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Project #5: X650 Chain Guard and Two Part Mold Building Process

    At a little get together with the friends the other day, I scored the chain guard off of Erik's (ADVerik) BMW 650 X.


    Here's the two of them after a nice little toss on the WABDR.
    [​IMG]

    Here is the chain guard.

    I am thinking that it isn't the easiest composite part to be made, but you should have seen the sprocket cover off the X. That thing would test the skill of a seasoned compositer, and it makes this thing look like a piece of cake to make. There are lots of interesting angles. Vacuum pressure will come in handy.
    [​IMG]

    I picked up a big "For Rent" sign at the HD to use to make flanges. The poly plastic material is easy to work with and should work well for this application.
    [​IMG]

    I did my best to mask off all the areas that hot glue would be sticking to, so that I can give the chain guard back to Erik in a fairly reasonable state.

    Here the big hole has been glued shut.
    [​IMG]

    I mounted the part on a chunk of 2x4 in order to make it easier to work with. I just hot glued the guard to the end of the 2x4.
    [​IMG]

    Then I cut and glued the flanges onto the part. After installing the flanges, I faired the joints with clay.

    Front.
    [​IMG]

    Back.
    [​IMG]

    I have never flanged a part like this, so we'll see how it goes. The idea is that I'll lay up this half of the part. Pull the plastic flanging off after the layup has cured. Add mold release to the flange that runs along the spine of the part because this will be the mating flange for the two part mold. Then layup the other side. Once the back side has cured, I'll drill bolt holes in the spine flange, pull the two parts of the mold off the original part, clean them up, then bolth them back together. Next it's time for a wax job, apply PVA, then lay some CF into the mold, then vacuum the part. Easy peasy, right? :evil

    I'll keep you posted...
  18. beechum1

    beechum1 Grimace Soup

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    On the flange use clay to make little bumps or pyramids or shape of your choice on the face. On a mold this size the benefits won't be immediately evident, but you're creating aligning guides. On the other half of the flange they'll line up and long after the holes that you'll drill to secure the flanges to each other have worn out, the bumps will still be there.

    Another idea I always had for flanges but never used: layup side one of the flanges mold (and recurring for each subsequent flange layup), then drill holes in the flange, insert an alum hollow dowel, insert the bolt and "nutsert" also know as dodge inserts, then lay up side two. DO NOT PULL THE FIRST SIDE OFF THE PLUG. DO NOT PULL THE FIRST SIDE OFF THE PLUG. It will NEVER go back on the same way and you will have uneven mold surface.

    I don't have any pics of my old molds. I made the upper fairing for a 04-05 CBR 1000 RR exactly as produced with a seven part mold. Yeah. Seven pieces. The reinforcing on the inside of the plug with 1x1's and glazing bondo at all the joints, plus all other prep took about 60 hours I think it was. The parts were new so all I had to do for the surface was pull the stickers and release. (Frekote).

    Also, if you didn't rough up the inside of the part before gluing it to the 2x4, there's a real chance that when you start to lam, the part will fall off ruining a really good day.
  19. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Thanks again, beech!
  20. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    I wanted to make a little more progress on the mold, so I headed back out to the shop and fired up the tunes.

    Wax and PVA applied.
    [​IMG]

    For the mold, I used 8oz 2x2 twill glass, fiberglass roving (in the cup), home brew epoxy top coat, and plain old epoxy.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    To make the epoxy top coat I use Cabosil, aluminum powder, and epoxy.

    Cabosil.
    [​IMG]

    I mix the Cabosil into the epoxy until the epoxy hangs off the mixing stick about an inch or so.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then I mix in just a little bit of aluminum powder.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After the epoxy top coat was mixed up, I brushed it on.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next, I brushed on a layer of epoxy, and then set the roving first in the corners, and then all over the surface of the mold.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    To finish up this half of the mold/layup, I applied 10 layers of the 8oz fabric.
    [​IMG]

    I'll pull the flanges tomorrow, then layup the second side. Fingers crossed...