Fun With Carbon Fiber

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

  1. SkunkWizard

    SkunkWizard recycle crime scene tape

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    I just bumped into this thread. I dabble in composites in my garage every day.
    About 90 % of the C/F stuff I do gets painted. I did make a few parts for my DR but my specialty is race cars

    I wanted a low fender for the DR so I modified an old Bultaco Pursang fender, made molds and did it with a few plies of C/F and Kevlar
    [​IMG]


    also made case guards with 15 plies Kevlar and 1 ply 8 harness on the outside

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I designed, built the mold and C/F VARTM this tail over the summer
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I recomend the next can of wax you buy for what you are doing Meguiars #8 mold release
    I have many Vacuum pumps, a good starter for the money is one from Harbor Freight http://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result?q=vacuum it's .
    ebay is a source also
    also a good source for supplies http://www.aircraftspruce.com/menus/cm/index.html
    I buy all my Epoxy resin from PTM&W (after searching the best resin systems for many years)
    I've been doing race cars for 12 years after leaving the airlines as a composite tech for 25 years
    I made spare parts and repaired this car since new untill retirement. went with the team for years including the 24 LeMans
    [​IMG]
  2. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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  3. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Skunk, that is some awesome work! I laughed when I saw your blue and CF DR fairing. As you may have seen in one of my previous posts, I'm a big fan of blue painted and CF parts. I love it!!:clap

    The race car composite work is crazy! The pic that you posted of your resin infusion (I'm guessing) part is nuts! How long does it take you to lay up, bag, and infuse a part like that? It looks pretty complicated...

    Anyhow, thanks for posting, man! I love it when others post their composites projects on the thread. If you have more pictures please post them.
  4. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    I pulled the mold this morning and it does have quite a few pin holes due to bubbles. Any suggestions on how best to fill these and finish the mold?

    Thanks everyone!! Here's to all of you! :1drink
  5. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    I am going to tell you something you don't want to hear...... It is not worth the time, as you will be sanding, and filling, and buffeting yourself to death. Hands down.....it is faster to make another one. That said....Before you make another one.... A few things to consider..... After the release agent has dried..... Mix a little batch of epoxy to coat the plug once......
    Mix it above 80 deg, but below 90..... after mixing.... set it under a heat lamp....elevate it to 105 deg...... watch all the bubbles pop....Well ....most of them. You are stressing the resin, but on a small piece like this.....not an issue. Or.... heat the plug to 120 deg.....under a heat lamp, and watch the bubbles pop, as you lay down the first layer..... Get the last remaining bubbles with the acetone squirt. Apply two layers this way. It is important that you undestand that you are playing with fires..... But it can work in your benefit.
  6. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Shopping list:

    -heat lamp
    -new chemical resistant spray bottle (my other one broke)

    Another issue...

    When applying the first (finish) layers of epoxy on either a plug to make a mold, or in a female mold to make a part, how does one keep the epoxy from sagging, or slipping into the low areas?
  7. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    You can't......:D
  8. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    There are a few things you can do to minimize it though..... When you lay down the first layer of cloth.... Start at the pooling area, and as you massage the fabric outward.... you move it away from the pooling area.
  9. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    I love it!! :rofl

    That's a good idea. It would probably work to distribute the resin more evenly over a female mold, but not so much with a plug I'm thinking. I guess that the sloughing resin really isn't much of a problem with the plug because it would just drip off.
  10. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    Correct...... But as you get better at this, you will find that as you message the fabric.... your pushing the resin through the fabric....each layer at a time, and most surplus will now end up on top of the fabric in the pooling area, where you can simply wipe it off......:evil:evil
  11. zoomzu

    zoomzu Been here awhile

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    You should cut out a hole where the head light goes. Put a light in it .. sconce :deal
  12. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    I did put a "hole" in it. :rofl

    (hit it with a hammer to see how strong it was... Not that strong.:eek1)
  13. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    I popped the mold off the plug. It was a bit harder this time than any of the other times, but it still came off just fine.
    Here it is. Fresh off the mold. I was surprised that the clay stuck to it as much as it did, but the clay did its job.
    [​IMG]

    Out came the Dremel and I made quick work of triming up the mold.
    [​IMG]

    After trimming and sanding the edges, I washed the mold in warm water and dish soap. The clay came off without too much hassell, but a little was left behind. You'll see where soon...
    The outside of the mold. It is very rigid.
    [​IMG]

    The inside of the mold turned out mostly nice....
    [​IMG]

    Besides these little guys... There are a number of little holes in the molds surface due to bubbles that were left between the surface of the plug and the first layer of resin. The red clay helps them stand out quite well. :rofl

    You'll notice the parts of the mold that stand out where I filled the screw and vent holes with clay. These protrusions will print into the CF part and show exactly where to drill holes and cut vent slots.
    [​IMG]

    Earling responded to my message about filling these pin holes and repairing the mold. He said just scrap it and make a new one which is probably the better idea, but I can't help to think that someday I'll have to repair a very important mold that has pin holes in it. So, (sorry earling) I'm gonna repair this mold...
    I received an order today from US Composites that included some Cabosil epoxy filler. I think that I'll mix up some thickend epoxy to make sort of a putty, then just rub the mixture into the holes. Finally I'll sand with 800, 1500, followed by buffing and polishing.

    The mold won't be perfect, but it should yeild a CF part that is nearly finished, minus a bit of sanding which I would probably do anyway.

    We'll see how it goes... :evil
  14. zoomzu

    zoomzu Been here awhile

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    Oh yeah, now put a light in it and hang it. :D
  15. 100mpg

    100mpg Self Imposed Exile

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    ouch...pics or it didn't happen! :D
  16. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    Ha ha..... yeeeeeeessssss..... But that doesn't mean that you shouldnt try....:D:evil. I just wanted to prepare you for what your in for.....:clap
  17. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    I really appreciate the insight, earling, but I have to at least try...:D

    In my mind, I just see myself rubbing a little thickened epoxy into the little holes, letting it set, then sanding it smooth. It seems (in my mind) like it will be doable. What issues have you had when doing this in the past?
  18. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    Nothing...... except you will be doing this step.....uhhhmmmmm...... should we just say.... more than once....:D:lol3.... It is a good learning curve though.... Don't let me discourage you...... really... I mean that.:clap
  19. DaBit

    DaBit Been here awhile

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    Uhhhh, yup! :D
  20. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Well, crap!!

    Yup... I think that you guys talked me into it... I'll be making a new mold of the shroud...

    I received some new epoxy resin from US Composites yesterday, so maybe I'll just lay up another mold using this.The new epoxy is quite a bit thinner then the stuff that I have been using, so it may do a little better dissipating the bubbles. It will also run off a lot easier, so this may be a problem. I guess we'll find out.

    Also, I didn't like how the ends of the mold (the loose fabric) turned out on the last mold. I think that the next time around I'll build a nice flange to lay the fabric up against to make things a little neater.

    I'll post on the new progress...