Thread: Carbonfiber
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:31 AM   #14 (permalink)
Bicycle Bob
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An expert can get better properties from 'glass than an amateur can with carbon, except for stiffness. That is seldom needed except for structural parts, while it reduces toughness, which is what we normally want for aeromods. When I was building the all-composite integrated frame and suspension for my prototype - (see avatar background) Aircraft Spruce sent me a roll of carbon instead of aramid, and I sent it back, despite the chance for some cheap stuff. A lot of carbon gets used because it looks pretty and sells well, not because it is appropriate structurally.
You shohuld definitely practise on 'glass, because it goes transparent and you can check your technique. When you can get really high fiber content without voids, every day, you can graduate to opaque cloth. A lot of the difference in results with carbon is from using better resin and methods because the cost of the cloth seems to justify it. The same resins can be used on most cloth although mat often needs an ester resin to dissolve the binder.
Pre-preg is a nice clean process if you can afford it, but you can get the same fiber content using dry-bagging, with far less waste for bleeders, blankets, etc. Gougeon Laminating Resin is a nice low-viscosity epoxy that can be post-cured on a sunny day. Vinylester is better than cheap epoxy, most ways. It is just hard to buy because of a short shelf life.
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