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Thread: Fiberglass / Carbon Fiber!!!

  1. #1
    Black Ops

    Fiberglass / Carbon Fiber!!!

    OK been reading on the site about the problems with air bubbles in fiberglass, how does it work with carbon-fiber?? could you make the body out of carbon-fiber and will it have to same problems as fiberglass in relations to air-pockets, what would the cost be and can you paint the stuff???.....I have seen a few Carbon-Fiber kits on the net but Like to know if there is any problems with them......OH and what is the weight in relation to glass, is it lighter ??? is it stronger ??? will it lose its shape ????

    seen this Lambo in Carbon-Fiber on ebay

    Other Carbon Fiber Kits

  2. #2

    Re: Fiberglass / Carbon Fiber!!!

    Hey no problem about the girl! I can only assume that the Carbon Fiber Shop offers the more expensive carbon fiber option as it is lighter. I assume it is also stronger. I have the same questions and specifically would like to know how it might stand up if hand layered carbon fiber fabric were applied to the inside of a clear acrylic vacuum formed hood for example. Is that how they created the above hood so the carbon fiber woven material shows through? Or is it cast in a mold and then polished and buffed? If not, would the vacuum-formed idea work in any case? - Thanks!

    This is Carbon Fiber Shop's 68 Camaro...

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Re: Fiberglass / Carbon Fiber!!!

    Typically carbon fiber is vacuum formed and therefore will have few if any bubbles. Room cure will probably have a few but not nearly as many and non-vacced carbon or glass. When I read the thread with all the discussions about pinholes my first thought was vacuum bagging.

    There are three basic materials needed to do vacuum bagging and make it work. You need a release ply that goes next to the carbon or glass. Then comes a breather ply which asorbs the excess resins and allows the air to be removed, and finally you need the vacuum bag.

    Carbon fiber will be considerably lighter in weight than glass but is going to cost considerably more. The last published price from the vendor I buy from was $7.50 pr yd for 2X2 twill in glass and $36 for carbon fiber, and that price isa couple years old. His site now says call for availability and cost!

    BTW to get the clear smooth carbon fiber look, it all starts with the mold just lke in fiberglass.


  4. #4
    Senior Member Mr355's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002

    Re: Fiberglass / Carbon Fiber!!!

    State of the art CF techniques use CF cloth that is already saturated with epoxy resin, called pre-preg, which is kept in the fridg until ready to use. It has the consistency of a thin sheet of taffy candy. A heat gun is usually used to lay it into the mould to help it stick to the surface. Then they bag the whole thing, vacuum it, and throw it into an autoclave, a huge pressure cooker, and bake it at around 300 deg. F. at 100 psi or so. The epoxy will be squeezed against the surface of the mould creating it's own bubble free skin. Pretty cool stuff.

    Now if I only had an autoclave in my backyard.

  5. #5

    Re: Fiberglass / Carbon Fiber!!!

    That is really fascinating. I had no idea the process involved bagging and vacuuming. When done though it may all be worth it!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Re: Fiberglass / Carbon Fiber!!!

    Bianco you can use the same process for fiberglass, it just doesn't look as good. One thing I forgot is that typically this process is done with epoxy's since the polyester's set so fast.

    Amida thanks for bring up the pre-preg stuff. I have had some but didn't have an oven with high enough temps to set it. The guy that sent me the material said it was the perfect resin to cloth ratio and that there would be almost no resin pulled out. If a guy could afford to do a body with pre-preg and had an oven and bag system big enough you could have a whole carbon cloth body showing! ;D


  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Re: Fiberglass / Carbon Fiber!!!

    There are really two kinds of air that is an issue with conventional fiberglass (polyester or vinylester) produced parts. The tiny air bubbles that result in blisters after it is painted is caused by trapped air when the gelcoat is sprayed (atomized) into the mold. The other air trapped is in the laminating process from not rolling all the of trapped air out of the reinforcement (cloth, mat, chopped strand)

    Switching reinforcement to carbon or kevlar will not change any of these issues if you still use conventional methods with polyester resin and spray it up.

    Fortunately most producers switch to epoxy resin when they use carbon or kevlar to get the most out of its strength properties. You are not gaining much by putting carbon in polyester.

    Epoxy cannot be sprayed into the mold. Few people do wet layup of epoxy (I am working with a local university on a project now, and the technology is getting better). Most use vacuum bagging with resin infusion or an autoclave.

  8. #8

    Re: Fiberglass / Carbon Fiber!!!

    Amida, Turmite and Bartman - I'm extremely impressed with all the technology aand processes you know!

  9. #9
    Black Ops

    Re: Fiberglass / Carbon Fiber!!!

    Question then ... For Example... If I wanted to buy a replica from someone that make fiberglass cars could they do a Carbon-Fiber car just as easy or the tools and equipment would all have to be different??

    I remember a long time ago in OZ when they had the Countach for the VW donor, a lot of guys brought them, but after a few years the panels changed and lost their shape.... and the strength of the car was the same a cardboard!

    I see a lot of cars here in Japan with Carbon-fiber panels and I have seen a HOT BABE standing on a GTR's hood and it did not even flex.. Do that to the normal GTR hood and the thing turns in to Al-foil!

    Getting really interested in a replica made of Carbon-fiber and trying to find out if the guys that do glass can do carbon just as easy!

  10. #10

    Re: Fiberglass / Carbon Fiber!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Black Ops

    Bulgarian Supercar : The Wildcat Concept (3D Do not say a word!!!)

    Wow, seems that you have some old news

    1. In Bulgarian:

    2. In Deutsch (German):

    3. The official website in English:

    Ivan + Ivan + Branimir --> IIB --> I2B

    I know 2 of the guys. We had some conversation 2,5 years ago.



    PS: Some bonus here:

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