Composites 101: Carbon Fiber, Fiberglass, etc.

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by HickOnACrick, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. beechum1

    beechum1 Dandole Gas al Burro

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    Infusion will come later. Maybe a peel ply first will keep the resin from disappearing from the fabric? I'm about to start set 2.
  2. Thunderhart8

    Thunderhart8 Been here awhile

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    I have been reading this thread for a few hours and I would like to thank you guys for the DIY info thread. I may take on a project or two over the winter break to create a auxiliary fuel tank. Thanks again guys !!
  3. Thunderhart8

    Thunderhart8 Been here awhile

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    Bump,,
  4. RandM

    RandM Been here awhile

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    Hi guys,
    I've done a little composite work in the past, now
    trying to find out more to start doing it again with
    more serious intent.

    When I was doing it before they had a Vacuum Pot,
    basically fibreglass bucket with a lid connected to a
    vac pump. I'm wondering - with the bubble problem,
    couldn't you put your pot of resin in the Vac Pot and
    get rid of the bubbles? Then if you were carefull with
    the application you may not have too many appearing
    in your work piece?

    Cheers Maurie.
  5. SkunkWizard

    SkunkWizard No Filter

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    I've done some glue work myself in the garage, mostly on race car stuff.
    I made these case guards from 15 plies of Kevlar 1 outside ply 8 harness carbon

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    the big projects are fun and can be a challenge

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    this one came out very light 20 lbs.
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    I have gone on the road with the teams fixing broken snowflakes. this is my work area back of the pit garage at LeMans

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    ADVBedouin likes this.
  6. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen Supporter

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    For simple pieces I came up this "mold-less" process:
    1. I got the usual fibreglas kit from the local auto supplies store
    2. Get perforated aluminum sheet (PAS) from a Home Depot, Lowes, etc
    3. The PAS is easy to cut with heavy duty scissors or snips, cut the shape
    4. PAS is easy to form by hand, curves, flanges, bends, etc
    5. Plan the PAS shape, allow 1/8 up to 1/4 fibreglas on the finished piece
    6. Cover one side of the PAS with good quality masking tape
    7. Apply fibreglas/resin to the side without the masking tape
    8. After it sets, remove the masking tape, apply glass/resin to the other side.

    The masking tape was easy to remove from the underside after the resin had set, it didn't adhere to the masking tape. With one side done in fibreglas it was already rigid enough to handle laying the glass/resin on the other side.

    When done, trim and sand, bondo if needed, and you have a composite fibreglas/aluminum panel made without a plug or mold. The inner layer of the composite is the "mold" in a sense. I made covers for the fairing pockets of a Hannigan fariing this way. In fact, a portion of the Hannigan fairing was damaged in a fire, it burned out the resin but left the fibreglas. I was able to use this composite method to rebuild that inside of the fairing. The cover and the fairing inside could be coated with pickup bed liner to create a very durable non-painted surface.

    I plan to use this technique again to make a hugger fender for the rear of my 2007 BMW R1200RT. What is also cool, is you can rivet pieces together to form bigger more complex shapes, and you can also rivet mount brackets or supports, stay arms, to the PAS before you layer on the glass/resin. And, the aluminum core does provide a grounding path.
  7. flemsmith

    flemsmith lurk

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    They're fiberglass, so pretty stout, here's a pix of one of them in the state I bought it (don't ask me how much I paid, it's embarrassing)...
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    My previous fiberglass experience is all patching holes, cracks, bad spots, I usually use a matt on the inside, and if it's a bracket mounting point, I have often riveted a small piece of aluminum and then glassed some matt over it.
    so I have two questions on this piece. The first one relates to cracking damage in the (I guess) gel coat....Here's how the above piece looked when I removed the black paint, which is my second que...
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    There's obvious cracking damage that I need to deal with (the grey is just a primer coat)...I've never used gel coat, but like I say, I've done quite a few fiberglass repair pieces. After some rough sanding, can I just use the fiberglass resin to try to cover up the cracking damage in the gel coat? The inside fiberglass does not appear to be damaged. If not, I'm gonna need a pointer to the proper repair method, otherwise I'm gonna be quickly over my head... Second question, the black paint was not all that solidly adhered to the grey primer. I ended up just using a razor blader scraper to peel it off, and it came smoothly and willingly. Now I'll start the sanding process, but I'm inclined to think the grey primer is adhered well enough that I don't really need to get it all off, matter of fact, after the first fairly rough sanding, I thought I'd just start in with some glaze to patch the scratches and gaps in the grey primer. (Not talking about the major repair I'm showing above, just the general prep work for painting, which I'll farm out). Appreciate any inputs. Thanks in advance, roy
  8. Hay Ewe

    Hay Ewe Just a Wannabe

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    Just read this thread again, thanks.
    Been thinking about a new bash plate for the underside of my 1150GS. normally would go aluminium, but thinking about kevlar / CF / cardboard combination
  9. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Check out the great thread that Ebrabaek put together about the carbon/kevlar bash plate he made for his F800. It's a great write up.

    Also, if you are looking for some more insperation, check out my composites thread. The link can be found in my sig.
  10. Hay Ewe

    Hay Ewe Just a Wannabe

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    had a slow day today and so read a lot of this again.
    Thinking of a project to make a new fairing for my 1150GS

    I was on a ride with a guy two weeks ago who made some inlet scoops for his KTM.
    He used some foam, squashed it together, and then carbon fiber over the top.

    I am thinking of making my fairing out of thick card and then layers of carbon fiber to stiffen it.
    Either thick card or balsa wood.
    This would allow me to cheaply make the shape and size etc and then be happy with that and then make it final.

    What are the thoughts on that?
  11. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    Hey Ewe!!

    You're on the right track. Are you thinking of keeping the card stock as part of the final part, or using the card stock to make a mold? Using the stock to make a mold would be the cleaner, more professional way to go about it, and it would also make a better part both in looks and in functionality. You could do something as shown in the pictures below.

    Use the card stock to build your plug




    Cut your cloth and lay it up





    Pull it off the plug/mold, trim and finish











    Next, install and have fun.
    pinkius likes this.
  12. Hay Ewe

    Hay Ewe Just a Wannabe

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    Thanks!
    At the moment I am thinking that the card will be sandwiched.
    If it works out well, then maybe I can use that to make a mold from.
    I realise that doing it this way probably wont be as strong or look as good, but paint can hide that.

    My reason for reviewing this is that the beak broke off my 1150GS, new replacement is $$$ and from the wreckers are rare has hens teeth.
    There is a lot of turbulent airflow at the front of a GS, if I can smooth that out, the drag goes down, fuel consumption improves as well as making something myself and something different.

    Card is cheap and flexible to rough it out with and then layer up on top of that.
  13. DRjoe

    DRjoe Long timer

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    I built my first fairing using card with Fiberglass cloth laid over the top.
    Worked well and was very quick to make for just a simple shape used it on my ktm 520 rally/enduro/adventure for years.

    Funny thing is I know earn a living designing and making fairings so it must have been a good place to start