Fun With Carbon Fiber

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

  1. P B G

    P B G Long timer

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    I can try to find video - picture shows the basics of the machine... I really want one of these in house.

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    Cool bit of tech, as anyone who has done lay ups knows, getting the material to have the fiber orientation, thickness, and saturation you want can be tricky.

    The process we utilize the positive plug gets destroyed on every part (rarely they are removed without destruction) Since the internal dimensions mirror loaded soft tissue, the rigid plaster plug usually just gets chiseled out with a pneumatic hammer leaving the laminated bit.

    We laminate exclusively over PVA bags, which are preformed, we dampen them, stretch them over our models, and let them dry a bit with a heat gun, gets everything to lay smoothly.
    #41
  2. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    I cut a swatch of the CF from the fabric that was delivered today. This is the first time that I have ever seen carbon fiber in the fabric form in person. It is really interesting stuff, especially the way it acts when you pull on it from the corners. I think that the fabric looks really nice. This is the discount 2x2 twill from US Composites.
    Here's the little swatch I made.
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    Things have been a litte bit busy lately, but I did manage to make a bit of progress on the mini fairing plug. I think that the bondo work is done (I hope).
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    I picked up a rattle can of high fill primer, so I am hoping to just use the primer and some glazing putty to finish it up. One problem that I am having is the hot glue is coming through in some spots, and it just doesn't sand away. I'll have to figure out how to handle this issue. Let me know if you have any ideas.
    Here the plug has been sprayed with one coat of high fill primer.
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    When I get all the supplies that UPS delivered today into the shop tomorrow, I'll try to take some pictures.
    Now I need to figure out how to manage these rolls of cloth. Hmmm....
    #42
  3. stumpy-ktm

    stumpy-ktm Adventurer

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    monster , i apply the pva by using a damp clothe to wipe on the pve , i just pour some pva on the mold and then use the cloth to smear it all over ....keeping it thin ....

    as for the socket weaving machine ..... holy shit !!!! the fit of that socket would be sweet ...my socket is carbon fibre as well layed up in the usual method ....hopefully very soon i will not have to use a socket ever again , i am looking into osseo-intergration .... ramming a titanium rod up my femur.... and leaving a bit sticking out so i can attach my knee directly back to my skeleton !!!! ...

    oh and yes this is my first project ever with fibre glass and carbon fibre
    #43
  4. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    I see that HF does have some dust collection options. Maybe as money allows I'll check these options out. Until then the Rigid vacuum will have to work.
    #44
  5. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    The weaving machine is crazy cool. Talk about getting a custom fit. Not to mention the fact that manufacturing must save a tone on materials due to very low waste. Very cool.

    PVA bags, eh - very intersting. Kindof like those silicone vacuum bags that are fit to the part.
    #45
  6. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    That's pretty crazy for being your first project. I love how you just dove right into it with great results. :clap
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  7. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    Awesome..... You got started, which is the step that most never achieve. I would like to offer a few assessments. I would not get hung up on the hierarchy of the composites world....ie. you need to learn to crawl before you walk....etc. I have been in the room with several very skilled guys that shared that philosophy, and whilst there is nothing wrong with their end products, I do not agree with them navigating the road how to get there. Dap your hands and go with it. You will make several mistakes....either way....I can assure you, regardless of how you proceed. The beauty of using the pink foam from the hardware store is that is sand able, and strong. When I used bondo, I always seemed to spend waaaaaaayyyyy to much time on sculpting, and sanding. On your next project try the foam, and if you need a fine finish, then give it a layer of epoxy, which will sort of auto level and give you a smooth finish to use the medium as a plug. All that said, the most important part here is you are now inside....... Have a great time.....Lot's of people will watch your thread, and decide to go ahead as well, so you are doing a great thing by posting it.....:freaky:freaky:clap:clap
    #47
  8. stumpy-ktm

    stumpy-ktm Adventurer

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    cheers for the comments , like a lot of guys said just jump on in and start .... you will make mistakes ... i did ... and so long as you know why , then you learn ... my first fibreglass ones , i over catalysed the resin ... took ages for the mix to go off and wasnt very strong , i added way less next time about 2%-4% and it was hard and cured in 30 mins or so , better finish .... i am going to keep making parts for my ktm and stuff its enjoyable and stops me sitting on my fat ass watching tv or looking at waaaaaay too much porn .
    cheers
    #48
  9. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    The man himself, ladies and gentleman!! Thanks for popping in here ebrabaek!

    #49
  10. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Stumpy, did you use epoxy or poly to make your leg fairings? I'm thinking poly, right?

    "waaaaaaay too much porn" :rofl

    Speaking of resin, how far does a gallon of epoxy resin go when messing around with little projects like I am doing right now?

    I have also ordered a gallon of the
    Silmar 249 clear poly "surfboard" resin from US Composites. I am interested to see how different this stuff is to work with.
    #50
  11. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    It is truly fantastic to see you realize want you want. Welcome to the dark side.....:lol3. The silmar249 is about as good as, polyester gets. But as with all poly's when you have a glossy top coat, it is so hard that it tends to spider crack when you hit the pieces, against trees and other evil object's in your path.....:D So keep the top coat to a minimum. Other than that it holds up fantastic to UV radiation. Several pieces I made for the thumper ,years ago are still every bit as clear as when they were made. Mind you.....I live in the desert southwest.... Plenty of sunshine here. Drawback, It tends to gell a little faster and all at once..... Caught me by surprise. So make a test batch, before the get go. It is my choice of poly when I need uhhhhmmmm.... polyester. Most of the pieces made to the thumper are done with 249, as indicated from the FB page.....some have been re coated with Polymer products 1618, which is on e of the best polumers on the market, as a general blend....imho.
    #51
  12. P B G

    P B G Long timer

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    Fit is actually determined by the shape of the plug, but strength with weight reduction - sure. reduction in waste - definite, surface finish much more even, if you check out your socket you'll see waves in the lay up where they had to stretch the weave.

    Osseo Integration I'm not sure if we'll see so much anytime soon, its pretty prevelent in dental implants, but they fail with an unacceptable rate if the end result is losing more leg, for instance if your leg implant failed and shattered the femur, do you end up a hip disarticulation?
    #52
  13. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Yes, the dark side. Someday my DR will be a dark as your DRZ!:evil

    I really want the experience of both epoxy and poly resins, so that is why I picked it up. Also, I'll be able to use it with chopped strand mat to make molds with. I'll test to see how quickly it sets before I get ready to do a layup.
    #53
  14. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    I brought home the gear that UPS dropped off...

    Here we have the PVA, paste wax, lots o buckets, and some nice stirring sticks.
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    The Polymer Products MAX CLR-HP epoxy resin. It's supposed to be super clear.
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    2x2 8 oz fiberglass twill fabric. I think that this stuff looks pretty cool in cloth form, but I bet it doesn't look much like that once it's wetted down. I guess we'll find out.
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    2x2 5.7 oz cf twill fabric. Very cool stuff.
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    Here is the Harbor Freight 4x36 belt and disc sander. It arrived in great shape, went together well out of the box, and grinds on some 3/4" plywood like butter. I had read about problems with stalling and tracking, but didn't have problmes with either. The tracking was spot on. I am very pleased for what I paid for it.
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    More to come tomorrow. I have the day off!!:clap
    #54
  15. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Today I finally, for the first time in my life had the chance to play with epoxy resin, carbon fiber, and fiberglass. Mostly everything went OK.

    Here's the mini fairing plug nicely sanded and ready for resin. I hot glued it to a little can to make sorf of a stand.
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    Here's the plug mounted up and ready for a coat of resin. I was nervous about mixing the resin for the first time.:eek1
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    No worries though. Just pour 60 grams of resin, and 30 grams of hardner and mix it up. (This ended up being way too much resin for one coat over the plug)
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    After the resin is mixed throughly (at least two minutes) pour it into another cup. The reason for pouring the mixed resin into another cup is to make sure that only mixed resin is being applied to the part. If you were to apply the resin out of the original mixing cup, you may end up applying some unmixed resin or hardner. This is bad because it won't cure and will leave tacky spots.
    It's really hard to keep bubbles out of the mix.
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    Then simply brush the resin on. It layed down nice and flat (for a little while :cry).
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    I had extra resin so I cut out my little swatch of carbon fiber and layed it up on the plastic that was protecting my work bench from the resin. We'll see how that turns out.
    By the way, a little resin goes a long way, which is really nice because it cost a LOT OF MONEY. It will take me a while to figure out how much to mix up for different projects.
    One thing that you can do to predict how much resin to mix is to weigh all the fabric that you plan on using for the part, figure out what a thrid of that weight would be, then mix up that number. Why you ask? A ratio of 1:3 resin:fabric by weight is supposed to yeild the strongest parts.
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    I poured the rest of the resin in a little puddle. It should be interesting to see what it's like when it hardens up.
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    This is my little shop/garage. It's small, but it does the trick. My DR hangs out with me while I work.:freaky
    Now it's time to go run some errands.
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    I was away for about an hour, and when I got back I found that the resin had fisheyed badly on all the sloped surfaces. Noooooooooo!
    The shop temp is about 78 F, with the part and resin being the same temp. The resin hadn't really set much (a little) but not as much as I would have thought. I know for a fact that I did mix the resin/hardner 2 to 1.
    I'm not sure why this happened, so if anyone has any ideas, please, please let me know.[​IMG]

    I mixed up another batch of resin and painted it again. It helped a little.
    After this I set it out in the sun for a bit which helped the curing process along nicely. The temp of the part reached more then 100 F. Hopefully sanding will take care of the orange peel texture.
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    I had time to spare and I really wanted to actually lay something up, so I spied this little spray bottle. My first victim!!:evil
    I dove right in and waxed it with a couple coats Partall #2 wax, then applied two coats of PVA with a blue paper shop towel. The PVA seemed easy enough to apply. Hopefully I got enough on the bottle.
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    I cut some 2x2 twill 8.5 oz glass to not too specific sizes...
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    Then I layed the first coat of epoxy onto the spray bottle and got to work gently mesaging the fiberglass into place. There is a little ridge on the bottle that was quite hard to get the glass to conform to, but in all fairness I wasn't letting the coats of epoxy get tacky at all which would have made sticking the glass to ridge a little bit easier. We'll see how it turns out.
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    Here it is all layed up. The thing has like 10 layers of glass on it. It's neat how you can see how thick the glass and resin is because the glass becomes transparent. I'd say that it's a good 1/16th of an inch thick.:wink: Anyone wanna make any bets if the spray bottle will part with the glass when it hardens? I'm pretty interested to see if it will. I'm giving it 50/50 on this one.
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    Anyhow, that's all for now. We'er off to drive the Jeep on a section of the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route this weekend. A couple of buddies and myself did the trip this summer, and I really want to get back out there for a little end of the season camping hurah. We plan on doing section two, and some of seciton three.
    Check out the RR in my sig if you want to know more about the trip.
    #55
  16. zoomzu

    zoomzu Been here awhile

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    Unfortunately it looks like my paint job, lots of orange peel. :huh now that you're learning and getting experience, when you get a got idea of how it works you can help me overlay my fairing. :deal
    #56
  17. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    The spray bottle layup had been sitting for about an hour when I went back into the shop. I put a glove on and touched the surface of the resin and fiberglass. It was nice and sticky. Very stick! I immediately though to myself, "I bet some carbon fiber fabric would stick to this really well right about now". Well guess what, out came the roll of carbon fiber!!!:evil
    I cut myself a nice little piece.
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    It was as simple as stickn a sticker on. Not that this is a tough shape for the fabric to conform to, but the principle still applies. Sticky resin really sticks.
    After masaging the fabric into place I brushed a little fresh resin onto the fabric to make a solid bond. LOVE CARBON FIBER!! :raabia
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    I trimmed it a little bit to neaten things up. We'll let it sit for a while now.
    When we get back from the WABDR trip, I'll (try) to pull the composite from the bottle. If that works, I'll trim it up, then I'll run over it with the Jeep to see how strong it is.
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    Here's the back side. Not so neat.
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    OK. More later...
    #57
  18. stumpy-ktm

    stumpy-ktm Adventurer

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    hey buddy , i think your using too much hardener .... i do a 2-4% of the volume of resin , i also use polyester resin ... so if i make up 500ml it is only 10ml of hardener .....when i was using too much hardener i was getting same results as u ......
    cheers blair
    #58
  19. klx_dude

    klx_dude Been here awhile

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    If your using gte spray bottle as a mold you didn't say anything about putting on mould release agent ?

    Sent from my GT-I9300T using Tapatalk 2
    #59
  20. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    We'll fix up your ferrings no problem. Nothing like a KLR with carbon fiber on it!! :evil
    #60