How to make your own Carbon Fiber/Kevlar Bash plate....

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by ebrabaek, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. bradatlarge

    bradatlarge Insha'Allah

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    You make this all look incredibly easy....I'm sure its not.
    #21
  2. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    It took about one hour to lay it all up......But if you are new to this...it might take two...... A few things in prepping the operation..... I decided to just use 2 outer layers of 5.7 OZ 2x2 Carbon fiber twill......then 2 layers of 6 oz. common weave Kevlar....then 2 inner layers of 5.7 oz. Carbon fiber twill again. Each two layers of CF yiels`d 1.6mm thickness....give and take a little....so my goal was 5mm..... I think even after the 1 layer less decision...I will still be around 6mm....... More than enough. So in prep...... You start cutting a sheet of kevlar........ People that has done this before....are now gigle`ing..... first timers are now scratching their heads..... Kevlar is extremely hard to cut.....and wears your scissor down very fast...... Thus the choice of material. But....with a little patience.....and a pair of Fiskars finest scissor.....One can manage to cut a few yards before it`s edge is.....hmmm.... toast. Then after cutting the first two pieces of kevlar.......
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    You then use the kevlar to cut the CF.........
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    Reason for kevlar as a template....... Its more durable to handle as compared to CF. I encurage you to try each sheet on the mold.....to get a little experience.... massaging the cloth into shape. That is properly the hardest part. Also make sure each piece fits........ overlapping a few inches....no more. One piece of kevlar being massaged into shape.....
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    Then you lay all six sheets in sequential order..... right side up.....so you don`t have to mock with the.....ehhhh....which way up.... later.
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    Then as always..... Things might not go as planned... So the goal was to get the bottom of the case flat........ But as always.... when you laminated composites...... things ( fiber sheets) might not always lay flat. So I took a piece of particle board and waxed it....parafilm`ed it..... to lay on top to flatten the sandwich..... in case needed.......
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    Then out comes the gloves.....hmmmmmm.... and foam roller....... This little thing can be had at lows for around 3 bucks, and is a gift...... You mix the resin, and then pour in a little in the tray, and just pretend you are painting the kiddoes walls...... Works like magic. I mixed a total of 500 grams of high temp epoxy... ( 400g resin+ 100g hardner). That was a little more that I thought needed, but you don`t want to undermix, so you have to rush and mix some more. Turned out that I used about 450 g..... A little more ....again ....that I was hoping..... So it will be interesting to weigh it after all settles. I would sure like to keep it under 1000g. I was shooting for no more than 750g...... But there is about 2 inches of overlay on the edge...... So we shall see. Then this it how it goes.... Roll on the resin..... then one layer of fiber......carefull......
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    Note how the CF is massaged into the groves......
    Then repeat the procedure....roll more resin on top of the first layer of CF....Try to roll from the edge towards the center so you dont pull the fabric out of the grooves. Then after two layers of CF......saturate the cardboard....put it in the groves..... Then lay up the two layers of kevlar...... First....note the grooves.....Almost level....
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    Second layer of Kevlar.....
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    Then the last two layers of CF...........
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    It took all about one hour..... But this is not my first time..... So I would say ....pan on two. It is also easier to have an assistant to help hold the cloth while you massage it down...... It all went very well. It is a little hard to control 6 layers of composites........... But we shall see after the initial 2 hrs in the garage..... then I will move it out door....... Now off to the espresso machine.......Until then....

    :thumb:thumb

    Erling
    #22
    SCLead likes this.
  3. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    :D:D.......Sort of..... But not to be intimidated..... You can make composites as complicated as you wish...... But the stuff I try to promote......is really simple..... You have to have patience...... and not born with 5 thumbs..... But other than that...... I use common tools..... In my own garage..... Most people will not realize this after watching a seminar.....like hands on.... then the light turns on......
    :thumb:thumb

    Erling
    #23
  4. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer

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  5. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    You and me both......:D

    :thumb:thumb

    Erling
    #25
  6. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    Moved it to the outside, where it will rise from 93deg. F. to 200deg. F. in the sun....
    :thumb:thumb

    Erling
    #26
  7. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    Sat in the hot sun....... Temps varied around 200 deg. F. for 5 hours.......
    It is now strong enough to stay rigid......and will get stronger as the radiant heat from the engine heats it up. I used a heat lamp to tempoary elevate the surface temp to 250 deg. F......just to be sure..... I`l break it open in the morning.....
    :thumb:thumb

    Erling
    #27
  8. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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  9. Hurricane Bob

    Hurricane Bob Long timer

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    .....is it wrong of one to have thoughts of their wife's vacuum sealer when looking at your handi work......:augie


    [​IMG]
    #29
  10. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    Just make sure she knows what you are about to do with it....... and you need a bigger bag.......:D vacuum bagging is not needed here......but if you`d like........ I`m fraid you need something more powerful.....:thumb:thumb

    Erling
    #30
  11. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    Some of the funniest.....part is clawing through the foam mold. You spend all this time making it..... Now you gotta rip it. Sort of like building sand castle as a kid...... Anyway took just a few minutes.... Wish I could build`em that easy....
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    Then I use a band saw with 18 tpi blade to cut the exterior. Every time I cut Kevlar....... It amazed me how tough this stuff is........ With the trimmings....
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    I was hoping for 500-750 grams with one more layer...... Now you can see how lightweight the fabric is...... I used about 450 grams of resin......then cut the edges off....perhaps 370-400 grams are in the actual piece....... And.......the total weight is.......646 grams...... So around 250 grams in those 6 layers of composites........
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    Thickness was better than I estimated......It averages at just a little over 3mm......
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    And...... Just for the heck of it....
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    Next is the fitting...... And bolt countersinking.......Until then......:thumb:thumb

    Erling
    #31
  12. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    Here it is ....after a little sanding........
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    On the bike......Looks like the fit is good....
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    Then as always..... You improvise as you go along....And after sanding the inside..... I though... I have a little leftover kevlar...... Perhaps If I give it one more layer on the inside..... The lighter color would yield more reflection of heat from the engine.....rather than absorb it. At least that`s how it works in the sun.....:D:D..... It will also have a little better finish......although ....nobody are going to see the inside when it is mounted.........So on went another 125 g of resin.........and Kevlar.....
    [​IMG]
    Back out in the sun...... But I really like the way it looks on the bike.....:thumb:thumb

    Erling
    #32
  13. SlowRide13

    SlowRide13 Veteran n00b

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    Again, thank you!

    It looks like wear and tear may fray the edge. What options are available to wrap or otherwise protect the edges? Could you wrap a thin strip of CF over the edge (all the way around)? Would it ruin the look? Or do you think it would be unnecessary anyway?
    #33
  14. Varitech

    Varitech Adventurer

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    Chevereeeeeeeeeeeeee !


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  15. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    Not necessary at all..... This stuff is so strong it`s funny...... You will only realize this after trying to cut it....file it.....or perhaps bite it.....:rofl.... Another great reason for using the high temp epoxy....... It is stronger....stiffer than the low temp type. I had to trim a little piece off..... thought I`d just use a hacksaw....... Ha......right.... Back to the band saw I went......:thumb:thumb

    Erling
    #35
  16. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    El Gusto es mio........:thumb:thumb

    Erling
    #36
  17. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    I thought I`d show you how thermal runaway looks like....... When you mix resin....Polyester or epoxy.... It creates exothermic heat from the chemical reaction..... If you mix it in too hot conditions.....or the resin pools...... Curing too hot..... etc..... You have tremendous heat that will damage your mold. All I did, was after mixing the resin....The leftover was left in the sun....and after 15 minutes.....this is how it looked......It reached 295 deg. F.....
    [​IMG]

    Anyway..... After the the last layer of kevlar.......the weight rose to 769 grams...... Just in line with the expectations....
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    It grew a little in with....but not much........
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    So tomorrow..... It`s time to make the mounts.....and that`s that.......
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    Until then.....:thumb:thumb
    #37
  18. ride2little

    ride2little Riding Like the Wind

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    You are very talented. GREAT work. This is looking amazing.
    #38
  19. TastyPants

    TastyPants Harasshole

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    I echo the praise for sure. A couple questions though. I don't have a Bandsaw or a heat lamp...and temps are not quite that hot around here in SF. Is this still doable or am I just asking for trouble? Something that could be done with a heat gun and some beer? The bandsaw seems like a necessity...

    I do have some foam though...haha. Also what are you generally using for shaping your model? I have an exacto/utility knife and sand paper, but I was wondering if you were using anything else.
    #39
  20. Ducksbane

    Ducksbane Quaaack!!!

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    Lovely Job ! :clap

    What does the original plastic crappy useless bash plate weigh?
    #40