View Full Version : Carbon Fiber lay up of designs
06-19-2004, 11:52 AM
Okay here's another strange question ofrm across the pond. Does any one have suggested reading and/or sites on making carbon fiber lay ups of parts?
"At my age I need to follow the dreams for the future may not be long."
06-19-2004, 12:08 PM
why dont you try giving this a read carbon fiber making (http://psrc.usm.edu/macrog/carfsyn.htm)
and this has materials you can buy
Aer you going to be making some sort of single-seater car: first suspension now carbon-fiber. If you are give us pictures
Edit: that first link dont work so ill just put the info here
Carbon fiber...the wonder polymer...stronger than steel, and much lighter...but how does one make it? It's made something like this: We start off with another polymer, one called polyacrylonitrile. We take this polymer, and heat it up. We're not sure just what happens, when we do this, but we do know that the end result is carbon fiber. We think the reaction happens something like this: when we heat the polyacrylonitrile, the heat causes the cyano repeat units to form cycles!
Then you know what we do? We heat it again! This time we turn the heat up higher, and our carbon atoms kick off their hydrogens, and the rings become aromatic. This polymer is a series of fused pyridine rings.
Then...we heat it...AGAIN! Slow roasting the polymer some more at around 400-600 oC causes adjacent chains to join together like this:
This expels hydrogen gas, and gives us a ribbon-like fused ring polymer. But don't think we're done yet! Next we crank up the heat, anywhere from 600 all the way up to 1300 oC. when this happens our newly formed ribbons will themselves join together to form even wider ribbons like this:
When this happens, we expel nitrogen gas. As you can see on the polymer we get, it has nitrogen atoms along its edges, and these new wide ribbons can then merge to form even wider ribbons. As this happens, more and more nitrogen is expelled. When we're through, the ribbons are really wide, and most of the nitrogen is gone, leaving us with ribbons that are almost pure carbon in the graphite form. That's why we call these things carbon fibers.
06-19-2004, 06:55 PM
Thanks for the reply Simpleton. What I really need to find is the correct proceedure for laying mats of woven carbon fiber.
"At my age I need to follow the dreams, for the future may not be long."
06-20-2004, 08:58 AM
... What I really need to find is the correct proceedure for laying mats of woven carbon fiber...
I have been interested in making a few things for the Mustang repair job ever since I noticed the Carbon Fiber woven cloth they stock at Tap Plastics here in San Jose.
I looked into it a little and apparently it is critical to apply pressure to the part you are making. This is to increase the density of the parts and reduce % by weight of resin in the part. Most often a bag is used to do this uniformly. Thats about as far as I've gotten so far. Your question inspired me to do some more in-depth searches.
This guy (http://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/carbon_fiber.htm) built a bicycle frame and one technique he used was to wrap the tubes with electricians tape to supply the pressure. He used resin from West System (http://www.westsystem.com/webpages/userinfo/manual/index.htm#2.1)
There don't seem to be a lot of how-to-do-it articles around. This search engine (http://search.starware.com/search.php?product=hsearch&tmpl=1B&qry=carbon+fiber+layup) works pretty well for finding info on Carbon fiber but only came up with the bicycle article for DIY.
This Lambo Lounge (http://www.lambolounge.com/Body/Fiber-glass/fiber-glass.asp#carbon) article on fiber glass has a bit of Carbon Fiber info.
This article on Carbon Fibre Reinforced Composite Car (http://www.azom.com/details.asp?ArticleID=1662) is VERY light on detail but the body of the article has lots of possibilities for additional searches. (I'll follow up on some later, it's kind of time consuming)
I found a couple of technical articles on Composite fabrication. Optimization of Carbon-Fiber Honeycomb Composite Design (http://web.umr.edu/~dougc/solar/hensley.html) and Introduction to Fiber Production and Their Incorporation into Composites (http://www.psrc.usm.edu/macrog/mpm/composit/fiber/index.htm)
I'll put up a page with links after I've looked into it a little more deeply. I know Bill and Mike Maier of Maier Racing pretty well and Bill has been doing some Carbon Fiber work lately. I'll let you know what I find out if you're still interested.
I found an article on fabbing up a hood Here (http://www.superstreetonline.com/techarticles/54702/)
Here is a detailed DIY page on fabricating Model Aircraft Parts (http://winshiprc.tripod.com/carbon_fiber_composites.htm)
After I read your other post on what you were doing I realized this was a good article for your purposes.
06-20-2004, 12:30 PM
Thanks for your help and information MeanRoy. I am aware of the critical use of preesure during the lay up process. I have found several firms that make a vacumn bagging system for this and fiberglass applications.
I would be very interested to hear from the Maier Racing group on this topic. Although this is a rather ambitous project, I am really enjoying all the challenges it throws this old fart! :eek:
Thanks again for your help!
06-20-2004, 12:51 PM
.... I have found several firms that make a vacumn bagging system for this and fiberglass applications.
Why don't you post the info on the bags here too and lets make this a real Carbon Fiber Fab thread. I hope to get up the peninsula and talk to Bill this week sometime. I'll take my camera along and try to get pics. I am going to do some small parts first, then we'll see.
Consolidated Carbon Fiber ResourceLinks (http://www.protoworks.com/Mustang/CarbonFiberFab/Carbon_Fiber_Fab.html)
06-20-2004, 03:53 PM
thanks for the help and support Roy. I'll make a list of what sites I have and post them here a little later. Wife is grilling steaks for Father's Day and I'm not gonna miss that treat. Nice to see your interested in teurning this into a true carbon fiber site. Count me in! :D
06-20-2004, 04:25 PM
Well as advertised Roy here are some of the sites I have found this weekend. Let me know what you think.
Whew!! I didn't realize that I had accumulated so many sites. Anyway, hope these help ya. Also do you know any designers good in CAD drawing (2D, 3D, and solid modelling)?
Look forward ti your reply and others in the group.
" I chase the dreams today, for tomorrow may never come."
06-21-2004, 09:30 AM
OK, I've settled on making an Instrument Cluster Bezel, Combo Fiberglass and Carbon Fiber for my first attempt.
I got some plaster of paris yesterday and dug out the original cluster (stock) from the Mustang.
I will use it to create a female mold for a foam copy. I'll modify the foam copy as I want it, more-or-less duplicating the 'original' look-and-feel with my existing instruments. Then create another female mold to do the actual part molding. This will be a two part bezel 1 front piece, 1 back piece, to duplicate the original mounting arrangement. (the mounting of the Haneline was my major complaint with the Haneline setup)
I had a Haneline setup but I never liked it. Cheap vacuum molded thing with a very thin (~020) stainless faceplate. looks good in the catalog but ...
http://www.protoworks.com/Mustang/CarbonFiberFab/newbezel.gifI want one like this.
I didn't bother to add the Carbon-Fiber faceplate in this 'photoshopped' view.
http://www.protoworks.com/Mustang/CarbonFiberFab/64-65mustth.gifThis is what the Haneline looks like.
Note:Plans subject to change -- depending on what works!
And in that vein: I tried yesterday and continued today, to make the plaster of paris mold. Yesterday I laid a layer of plaster in the bottom of a small cardboard box, just to get up from the bottom. Then I mixed some more plaster and poured it over the 1st layer. I then pushed the cluster into the second layer of plaster. I anticipated that the plaster wouldn't fill the instrument bezels but didn't much worry about that. It turned out I didn't have sufficient plaster and didn't get coverage of the panel. The wheel bearing grease worked great as a release agent though.
So today I tried again. I decided to try pouring 'loose' plaster over the front and later setting it into a bed of more plaster. It's hot out today and the plaster set up so fast that I got ugly lumpyness which just doesn't cut it. I did some snooping on the web for info on plaster and think I see the error of my ways. It seems I didn't mix the plaster properly and in hot weather you may need to add something to slow down the setting speed. I'll try again tomorrow.
07-02-2004, 08:33 AM
OK, I've made several attempts at making a 'negative' of the stock cluster.
I've been working on the Mustang, taking off parts, getting ready to do the front clip so I haven't been completely focusing on this little project.
Here's a pic of the first cut.
As I noted earlier, I had trouble with the plaster setting up too quickly. You can see the voids in this try. That could be fixed but I did this in two steps and the cluster doesn't fit level as the mold broke in the second step and isn't well aligned.
I found info on the web informing me I needed to use something like vermiculite to make the plaster more workable and slower setting. The source suggested some kinds of cat litter were composed of this stuff.
Unfortunately, the stuff I found laying around was apparently some kind of clay junk, I should have looked closer, vermiculite is pretty distinctive.
I cut an opening in a piece of cardboard, used modeling clay to make a dam where needed, and surrounded the cludge with a cardboard wall. I mixed the stuff up, plaster of paris and cat litter. The first try set too fast, this stuff has set all afternoon and overnight and is still soft!
I'm sure it will harden eventually, but I'm afraid it will be unusable since it looks like is going to have a bunch of cracks.
I'll try to find vermiculite and try again. A time waster but funny actually.
07-09-2004, 10:07 AM
OK, I succeeded in creating the female mold.
This was what I used, kids modeling clay to fill the gaps. I inserted a piece of thin cardboard around the perimeter to get a good parting line.
I used pearlite from a garden supply as an additive to the Plaster of Paris. I found I had to crush and screen it to avoid lunpyness.
I used a fairly heavy coating of disk brake wheel bearing grease as a release agent which accounts for the reddish color. The grayish stuff you might notice is newspaper I used to partially fill the instrument bezals.
After washing the mold with first ordinary thinner, and then with acetone, I decided to modify this mold to the final form as it turns out the perlite additive makes the plaster very easy to modify/carve.
This is good, since I can skip a step. I may be able to finish this mold today.
I bought some spray lacquer to finish coat the mold, and some Pol-Ease mold release which sprays on, making PVA (poly-vinyl-alcohol) unneccessary.
I'm going to allow the mold to dry in the sun today and overnite. Hopefully tommorrow I can put a finish on it and be ready to try a part Sunday or Monday! I already bought some Carbon-Fiber cloth.
I've done lost wax casting but this is the first time I've tried to do something like this.
Anyone with some experience in making fiberglass parts that has some input will be welcomed BTW.
07-09-2004, 03:13 PM
Roy, thanks for sharing your progress with us... it's an interesting thing to follow along with. I've never seen anyone directly attempt a project like yours... :)
07-09-2004, 06:20 PM
Roy, thanks for sharing your progress with us... it's an interesting thing to follow along with. I've never seen anyone directly attempt a project like yours... :)
Hey you're certainly welcome, I could look a LOT smarter if I only showed what worked. LOL.
I'm getting a certain amount of inspiration from some guys on HotRodders.com. There's a guy there who is reproducing Roths Mysterion show car of 1963-64.
Here's the headpod he did, there's a picture of it finished somewhere but I couldn't put my fingers on it right off. I posted this image from my site since images don't show unless you're a member.
The are several problems with how I am doing this project.
I have started putting the details into the plaster and its difficult and tedious but just time consumming.
One problem looming on the horizon is applying pressure to the laminate.
Another is the gel coat. The gel coat is critical because it determines the final finish. This is not a part that can be easily finish sanded.
There are a lot of ways to do a project like this. I decided to just start hacking and make it work. It's supposed to be fun ya know?
07-09-2004, 07:11 PM
Sometime I should try to do something like this. This is a very good topic and I hope that meanroy and pcgms both succeed with their projects. It would definitly help if I tried something like this. :D
07-14-2004, 06:10 AM
I wasn't able to make a trial part Sunday because it turns out you need to let the Plaster season/dry for a day or so before painting or lacquering it.
I did make a paper mache trial and based on how it came out did some final mods.
I will have to make a fiberglass part, do final finish on it, and make another mold before making a Carbon-Fiber part..
It's very difficult to get the details cut precisly in the negative mold.
Here is a pic of the modified mold after about 8 coats of Lacquer.
I'll pick up some lacquer based "red stuff" and do some final smoothing now that I have a good lacquer base laid down.
07-16-2004, 06:16 PM
Here are some thumbnails since I finally figured out I could do it! (BTW, if you try this DON'T USE FILE NAMES WITH SPACES!)
Now that the mold is more or less finished, I bought some supplies.
http://www.protoworks.com/Mustang/CarbonFiberFab/Cluster/work2/tn_GlassclothCS_JPG.jpg (http://www.protoworks.com/Mustang/CarbonFiberFab/Cluster/work2/GlassclothCS.JPG) http://www.protoworks.com/Mustang/CarbonFiberFab/Cluster/work2/tn_SqueegedCS_JPG.jpg (http://www.protoworks.com/Mustang/CarbonFiberFab/Cluster/work2/SqueegedCS.JPG) http://www.protoworks.com/Mustang/CarbonFiberFab/Cluster/work2/tn_Resin-moldCS_JPG.jpg (http://www.protoworks.com/Mustang/CarbonFiberFab/Cluster/work2/Resin-moldCS.JPG)
Cutting the cloth pattern - - - Squeegie the resin - - - a layer of microsphere-loaded resin in mold
I made a paper template for sizing the cloth - - - the cloth and resin are sandwiched between sheets of 3 mil mylar. I used a roller to sqeegie. The resin was mixed with glass micro-spheres and a layer poured in the mold.
I then painted a layer of fresh resin on the set-up microsphere-loaded resin, and laid the previously resin loaded cloth into the mold. It was difficult getting the air bubbles out and getting the cloth to conform to the shape of the mold. Unfortunately, the pictures I took of this process mysteriously "dissappeared" form the camera. Don't have a clue what happened.
http://www.protoworks.com/Mustang/CarbonFiberFab/Cluster/work2/tn_rawpartadjCS_JPG.jpg (http://www.protoworks.com/Mustang/CarbonFiberFab/Cluster/work2/rawpartadjCS.JPG) http://www.protoworks.com/Mustang/CarbonFiberFab/Cluster/work2/tn_onbenchCS_JPG.jpg (http://www.protoworks.com/Mustang/CarbonFiberFab/Cluster/work2/onbenchCS.JPG) http://www.protoworks.com/Mustang/CarbonFiberFab/Cluster/work2/tn_StartingtosmoothCS_JPG.jpg (http://www.protoworks.com/Mustang/CarbonFiberFab/Cluster/work2/StartingtosmoothCS.JPG)
Here is the "raw" part fresh out of the mold. Here it is on the bench, In the last photo, I have trimmed the foam somewhat and started laying out the instrument positions.
note I didn't show the step where I added the foam on the back that you can see in the second photo -
There were a few other problems encountered, as you can imagine! The worst was that when I was trimming the foam I uncovered a cavity in the foam with un-foamed jell in it. I happen to know that aerosol self foaming resin cures due to residual moisture so I got 'clever' and wet down the un-cured foam. Ok fine, I set it in the sun to cure and went away. When I came back in an hour or so the surface had cured up hard but the foam inside the cavity had continued to expand - warping the heck out of face of the panel! Believe me I didn't say "heck" when I saw that! I solved the problem by drilling 3/4" holes in the foam in several places and putting the part back in the mold with a REALLY heavy weight on it. It still isn't perfect but I can work with it.
Although I had hoped to skip the step of a second mold it is clear now that I really need to do another "Final finish" mold after I finish this one as I just couldn't get the details perfect working on the female mold directly.
The problem I had with the foam warping the front was a pain to overcome. I had to grind down the face flat and put a new layer of microsphere loaded resin on it. Working on getting the lines correct now and had to make some templates.
08-11-2004, 12:39 PM
Bezel in the front clip . Another view .. . . . Checking again after more surface finishing
. http://hotrodders.com/gallery/data/3078/19413roughedoutbezelcheck-thumb.JPG (http://hotrodders.com/gallery/data/3078/19413roughedoutbezelcheck.JPG?5783) . . . . http://hotrodders.com/gallery/data/3078/19413roughedoutbezelcheck2-thumb.JPG (http://hotrodders.com/gallery/data/3078/19413roughedoutbezelcheck2.JPG?8881) . . . . http://hotrodders.com/gallery/data/3078/19413Bezel_in_clip8X6c-thumb.JPG (http://hotrodders.com/gallery/data/3078/19413Bezel_in_clip8X6c.JPG?3380)
OK,. So now I have a "dummy" part to make the final mold from.
I've learned a lot since I last posted. The next time I want to make a part it won't take anything like as long!
I still have some modification to do because I decided I wanted an embedded Aluminum faceplate for the instruments.
It turns out there is a place local here in the SF bay area which carries professional grade materials. They seem pretty helpful and I'm planning to drive up there to get the mold making resin. There is a special resin used to make molds. It has very low shrinkage and is simply painted on the "dummy" part and then reinforced after it hardens. Shrinkage caused me MUCH pain and the neccessity for an immense amount of re-work.
I hope to get up there before the end of the week and I will post the results of my trip when I get back.
I had to post these pics at in my Gallery/Journal at Hotroddrers because my site bandwidth is getting pretty high. If there is an objection to this let me know and I will try to figure out something else.
08-11-2004, 03:47 PM
whoo thanks for that
08-20-2004, 06:11 PM
OK, I just got back from a visit to ACP composites (http://www.acpsales.com) where I bought the materials for the final steps. I also returned with a wealth of information on "How it's really done"!
The President of the company showed me around, and I got some great pictures of his manufacturing facility as well.
On the way back, I backtracked a little, up to Maier Racing (http://www.maierracing.com/), in Hayward. Bill wasn't in but his son Mike was. (Mike did a bunch of work on my Mustang before it was stolen.) Mike is doing serious Chassis and Suspension work, and they had a bunch of new offerings for later model Mustangs going through some quality inspection when I arrived. I'll post the pictures a little later, after I get them sized and compressed a bit.
08-28-2004, 03:52 PM
It's looking good Roy. I've put the IRL car on hold awhile. After trying to scale it to 40% size I was finding I had bit off more than I could handle. So I have decided on doing a Toyota TS020 LM first. Simple body lines and less ancillary parts.
As I finish the foam buck, I'll post some pic's. Also with cost in mind, I think I'll try the fiberglass first. And it will be 1:6 scale so I should be able to mate it to a H.A.R.M. or FG Gas Radio Control chassis.
Here's a link to the H.A.R.M chassis so you can get an idea of what I want to acheive.
This scale racing is big in Europe and starting to grow here.