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Thread: Complete Guide to Composites

  1. #1
    Senior Member ActiveLife's Avatar
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    Complete Guide to Composites

    This thread will be dedicated to showing processes and techniques (mainly vacuum infusion) of how to properly construct carbon fiber pieces.

    What to expect through this thread:

    -How to prepare a piece to make a mold from (Flanging).
    -How to construct a proper vacuum infusion mold.
    -How to prepare the mold for carbon fiber production.
    -How to manufacture a carbon fiber piece.
    -How to finish a carbon fiber piece ready for sale or useage.


    Feel free to ask questions along the way and show your project.

    All posts by myself will include pictures from here on out, unless I am just answering questions of course.


    ** NOTE: I AM GOING TO MAKE ALL TECHNICAL INFORMATION POSTS IN BOLD TO DISTINGUISH IT FROM THE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS **
    Last edited by ActiveLife; 01-30-2012 at 04:03 PM.

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    Thanks for make this post . This will be very interesting


    Hello

    In the year 1990 we haven´t the same tecnology that know, so can any tell me how this part was made? In two parts and after bonded?

    ImageShack® - Online Photo and Video Hosting

    http://www.eurospares.co.uk/userImag...ge/026_105.gif

    Is the part where close the front bumper

    Regards

  3. #3
    Senior Member ActiveLife's Avatar
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    @patata,

    You are welcome, I've made this thread to help those that have questions and to further educate those that are interested.

    I have loaded your picture below so that people don't have to use the link... but I am unsure exactly what it is that you are asking as you circled two locations in red.


    Many parts are complex in their final form. Most use Multi-Piece molds that bolt together to create a larger mold shape for fabrication. Upon final laminate cure, the molds are disassembled and removed piece by piece to reveal the fabricated piece.


    **LEARNING NOTE**

    When planning a mold, the technician/engineer must evaluate the end product to determine the overall size and if there are any negative drafts, which will determine making a Multi-Piece mold or not.

    I will discuss this further along in this thread... but if there is a negative draft on a part the mold must be made in multiple pieces, otherwise the part will "lock" in the mold, not being able to be removed without major altercation or demolition.
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    thanks for reply.

    The part I'm asking is elongated. seems solid. the panel is in the form of U, so the only solution I see is that is made in two parts and stick, as one party could not make it?

  5. #5
    Senior Member ActiveLife's Avatar
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    @patata,

    I understand. Multi-Piece molds can only do so much for the construction of a final assembly, in the case where there is a structure or mounting location that can not be made with the original assembly, Secondary Bonding is common practice.

    Example:
    Think of a flat panel with a clip mount on the back side. I would be more sensible to make the flat panel and a clip mount in two separate molds, then once both pieces are cured and trimmed for final assembly, the clip mount would be secondarily bonded to the back side of the flat panel. This would allow the flat panel to have zero distortion in the composite weave, yet still have a mountable location.

    Proper secondary bonding also takes special care within its technique, I will also go over these procedures once we get into building.

  6. #6
    this is a great thread...

    please "ilucidate" us.

    ;o)

  7. #7
    Senior Member Casper's Avatar
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    Could you start off by giving us a list of all materials we need to buy, and where to buy it?

    Like carbonfiber cloth, resin, vacuum pump, vacuum bags....

    I'm sure there is a bunch of stuff we need to pick up before we can get started.

    Thanks!

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    Senior Member ActiveLife's Avatar
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    @v30003v,

    Thank you, I hope this thread is filled with useful information for all members. Again, if there are any questions along the way, I encourage you to ask and join in with discussion.


    @Casper,

    I wouldn't mind giving a list of materials... but my intention is not to endorse any company or to promote sales through any specific organization. I will go over each product used along the way and what to look for when shopping for products. I will list product names and the "Pro's/Con's" of the products that I have experienced.



    I will update the thread with the first step tonight:

    -How to prepare a piece to make a mold from (Flanging)

  9. #9
    Senior Member Casper's Avatar
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    Oh no, you are totally correct.

    I wasn't looking for specific brands. I was just looking for some guidance. For example if I should buy a 5 gallon vacuum bag or a 10 gallon bag and why one would be better than the other.

    I'm really looking forward to this!!

    Thanks!

  10. #10
    Senior Member ActiveLife's Avatar
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    HOW TO PREPARE A PIECE TO MAKE A MOLD FROM (FLANGING)



    I have selected a very easy piece for this first demonstration. As we progress through this thread, the challenges and pieces will become more and more difficult, but some need to learn how to crawl before they can walk... and then we will eventually work into "running".


    NOTE: The points of interest on this piece only include the white surface that flows from one edge to the other… NOT THE CUT ENDS



    Picture ONE:
    I have selected a very basic piece with mild curvature and one bold detail line through the center. Due to the simplicity of this item, it is determined that a single piece mold will be suitable for the project.



    NOTE: When selecting flanging material, take note of the parameter of the item to be flanged, if there are complex curves, a flexible material should be selected.



    Picture TWO:
    In the case with this piece, it is found that the item lays flat, so a flat panel of Lexan will be used for the flanging material.



    Picture THREE:
    The piece has been spaced off of the flanging material during bonding. The reason for this is so that the carbon fiber material will flow longer than the "final cut edge" of the fabricated panel. If the composites had to bend around a hard corner exactly where the finished edge should be, the quality of the end product would be jeopardized.



    Picture FOUR:
    This is another angle of how the item is spaced off of the flanging material.
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    Last edited by ActiveLife; 01-30-2012 at 11:42 PM.

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