Fun With Carbon Fiber

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

  1. 100mpg

    100mpg Self Imposed Exile

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    What is the aluminum powder for? :ear
  2. beechum1

    beechum1 Grimace Soup

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    I used exclusively the products I mentioned before. The Adtech ES201pc surface coat, then the powdered cotton for a good mechanical bond directly on the mold surface. A layer of cloth and caposil in the hard turns, then lam 1/2" thick with the epoxy resin and CSM. I would let the surface coat tack, about an hour depending on weather, then let the layer of cloth tack, about a day because of the resin we used, then do the entire rest of the layup at once. It was messy though. We lost maybe a quart or less of resin to the ground

    My experience was very narrow in that I used the same process for the years I made molds. So much that, when I go to make new molds for my new project ill make them with the same mats I used before. It'll cost about 4x as much to make them but they'll last and they'll be strong.

    The molds I made, a few times we retired some, we tested them. We threw them, jumped on them, drove on them and they held up with the exception of the scratches you'd expect from the concrete floor they were abused on.
  3. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    The aluminum powder makes the surface of the epoxy harder, and adds color.
  4. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    That's right. I forgot that you posted about that process before. Epoxy does make some strong molds, and at .5", that should pretty much take anything that you could throw at it.
  5. 100mpg

    100mpg Self Imposed Exile

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    product idea, shoulder and knee armor protection?
    Or I like the idea of a dish to throw your keys or change into. Make one look like a pumpkin and use it as a Halloween dish? :D
  6. PaulGir

    PaulGir Adventurer

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    Bottles like that are invariably polyethylene (PE) resin will not stick to it.Same for Polypropylene.The resin will saturate the paper label and pull it off.
  7. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    I have thought about making armor, specifically a version of a pressure suit. That coule be a fun project. I took the bowl to work and use it as a candy bowl.

    Suprisingly the resin didn't pull the label off. Must have been the wax and PVA.
  8. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Time has been a slim comodity lately, but I have managed to get some work done in the shop.

    I mounted the final test version of the exhaust shroud. So far it is holding up very well.
    [​IMG]

    Then it was time to finish up the BMW X 650 chain guard mold.

    I applied the gelcoat to the back side of the mold after I had removed the flanges from the previous side.
    [​IMG]

    Then I layed it up with mostly fiberglass and finished with some carbon fiber scraps that I had laying around to add a bit of strength.
    [​IMG]

    After the second side set up over night, I drilled the bolt holes, and trimmed the top flange.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next, I pulled the whole mold off the mount. Here you can see the original chain guard in both parts of the mold.
    [​IMG]

    I pulled off all the plastic flanges and seperated the mold halves.
    [​IMG]


    Next came the job of trimming the ragged edges of the mold. The mold is pretty thick (averag 1/8th" thick), so the cutting was slow with the Dremel and the dust was going everywhere. I can't imagine not wearing a respirator and protective eye wear.

    Here is the still dirty mold, but trimmed.
    [​IMG]

    Scrubbed the mold in the sink to remove the PVA and clay. The epoxy "gelcoat" is very hard and the abrasive scrubby did not harm it in the least.

    Here is the clean mold bolted together, ready to be waxed, PVAd and layed up to make a part.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The shape of this mold is fairly complex, and to be honest, I'm probably a little over my head with this one. Or, I suppose that it could be said that this part probably isn't even composite friendly, but you know me. Why not give it a shot and learn a thing or two. That's why I do all this stuff anyway.

    I spent a good part of a couple of days trying to figure out how best to lay the fabric in the mold for the finished part. I finally decided that it would be best to lay it up with multiple pieces in order for the fabric to lay in the contours of the mold. I used pieces of aluminum foil to create templates.

    Here the four individual pieces of foil are placed in the mold to ensure full fabric coverage.
    [​IMG]

    Here are the four pieces layed flat.
    [​IMG]

    Next I traced the foil templates onto poster board in order to create rigid templates.
    [​IMG]

    Then I used these templates to cut out the carbon and glass fiber with a rotary cutter. BTW, a rotary cutter and cutting mat work much faster and is much easier than using scissors. I'll never go back.
    [​IMG]

    If you have a 90 degree angle, the rotarty cutter only partially cuts that junction, so you have to finish the cut with a razor knife.
    [​IMG]

    This part is made up of 6 layers. Actually the part is much thicker in most places due to overlap, but this is good because the part needs to be strong. Erik crashes a lot.

    The first layer which is the facing layer is 2x2 high density 3k carbon fabric from Solar Composites. This carbon is very nice, and very high quality. When you look at it compared to the discount stuff that I have been using from US Composites, it's very easily to tell the difference. The second layer is the US Composites 2x2 twill CF. Third and fourth layers are 2x2 twill 8.5oz fiberglass, and the last two layers are more of the discount 2x2 5.7oz carbon.

    Here we can see the fabric and vacumm bagging materials ready for action. You can also see the vacumm bag that I made for this project.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Finally the mold was waxed, PVAd, and layed up. After all the layers had been placed into the mold, I sealed it up in the vacumm bag and placed it under the heat lamps for a little cure help (cold temps).
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'll post more when I pull the part and trim it up.
  9. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    :lurk

    Jim :brow
  10. kirkster70

    kirkster70 moto junkie

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    You are doing some fine work. Thanks for the inspiration. :clap
  11. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Thanks, kirkster! If you've never given composites a try, don't wait. It's a lot of fun, and I suppose that one could make very useful things. :D
  12. xradipo

    xradipo Adventurer

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    Any of you have try to make a carbon-klevar fuel tank?
    I would like to made a small side fuel tank for my bike, 2/3 liters.
    I'm a little bit scared on the attachement point tank/rear frame.
    How this attachement point have to be done on the tank? :norton
    Have got any tested/trusted solution?
    Thanks
    X
  13. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Hi xradipo!

    Creating attachment points and actually attaching the tank to the bike probably wouldn't be too hard. The biggest challenge that you might face with this kind of project would be protecting the composite from the fuel. There are so many additives in fuel today, primarily ethanol which tends to eat at a lot of materials including poly and epoxy composites. There are coatings that you can put in a tank, but from what I understand, these coating only last for so long. One option would be to build the tank around a flexible fuel bladder that is made to withstand fuel.

    Let me know if you have any further questions. I'm sure that Google would bring up a lot of results for you today as well.

    Have a great weekend!
  14. xradipo

    xradipo Adventurer

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    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:HyphenationZone>14</w:HyphenationZone> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--> Hi Therivermonster,
    there is a specific product for this.
    This product is a particular "gum" for protecting the composite from the fuel.
    A friend of mine has already used it for a cafe race tank and it works fine, durable and liable.
    The product is
    http://www.tankerite.com/catalogo-o...lypage.pbv.v3.tpl&product_id=14&category_id=6
    (Sorry the site is available only in Italian)

    I have seen side aluminium tank but never a side fiber tank.
    The tanks made by my friend are all front tank, and the fitment is easy he normally glue,
    with epoxy+hardner, some aluminium bracket to the tank but I’m not sure this would work for a side hanging tank!

    Any suggestion or experience on how to made the attaching point would be appreciate.


    Thanks X

    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Tabella normale"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]-->Have a good week end you too.
  15. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Thank you for the link to that tank coating product. I'll have to look into that.

    Whenever you mate aluminum with carbon fiber you create another problem known as galvanic corrosion. What happens is that the carbon acts like a cathode, and the metal acts like an anode causing the aluminum to corrode away. You can try to get by this by isolating the carbon from the metal hardware with glass fibers, or Kevlar.

    You probably wouldn't have to worry too much about this because you can use carbon to make most kinds of bracketry and fittings.
  16. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    Carbon Fiber is not affected by either Gas, or ethanol. Kevlar unfortunately can be. As far as fuel coatings.... Rather than needing to make a protective barrier, Just make the inside two to four layers with this....

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/EPOXY-RESIN...596?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item484603f45c

    I use this in gas app's. Then use what ever other resin systems you want on the outer layers.
  17. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Hey Earling! It's been a little while, eh? I was following the 800GS beak extension build, but it kin of fizzled out. Are you moving forward with that project? Any new projects coming up?

    Thanks for that link! Poly Products really does it all, don't they?
  18. beechum1

    beechum1 Grimace Soup

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    ~50USD per tank... wow. Gotta be a better more local solution....
  19. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    Yeppers.....
    Several other projects are cooking right now. Posted a new video.... " winterization of polymers"...:D Links to my you tube channel is on my CF FB page.... High Desert Carbon Works. The beak is still going to happen, I just have too many projects at this time. You might find the video interesting though....:freaky
  20. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Winterization of composites, eh? That does sound interesting. I'll be sure to check it out tonight.