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Carbon Fiber

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  • Carbon Fiber

    I was at a local supply store this week and they have Carbon Fiber Mat.

    I was asking them if it required high heat or other methods of baking in order to shape into desired forms, they said "no" that much like fiberglass you can use resin to harden into shape.

    I'm thinking about making a mold of a front fender and giving it a try, any thought from someone with experience? how thick are the fenders that are produced by Caterham?

    Depending on how successful I am, will determine if attempt other parts in Carbon Fiber, anyone in the LA area interested in attempting the project/experiment with me?

    Thanks,
    Scott

  • #2
    No experience myself (yet), but I did bookmark this page a while ago, which seems to have good information on the subject.

    -John
    Westfield SEiW
    2.0L Duratec
    Throttle Steer

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    • #3
      To get good results you need the right materials, patience, some practice and a good mold. With that it is not difficult but still a very messy job.

      Considering the recently sky high prices for carbon fiber you should practice with glass fiber first before committing to carbon.

      If you want to make standard parts like fenders you will be better off buying them ready to mount. In small quantities you are probably going to pay higher prices for material than the finished part. If you want to make one-off special parts, that is a different story.

      Gert

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      • #4
        I was at the supply house earlier, the price for the Carbon Fiber Mat is about $29 per 1 foot long and 4 feet wide.
        The regular fiberglass is one about $4 for the same size piece.

        I'm thinking about experimenting with sile covers and rock deflectors for the rear fenders before trying out the technical things, like fenders.

        If anyone has an old fender, whether it's cracked or not, I may be interested in buying it so I can make a mold.

        Scott

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        • #5
          Scott, I use to work with carbon fiber, kevlar, and fiberglass in my other hobby (large R/C sailplanes). www.cstsales.com is a good source of supplies and information, and they are located fairly local in Tehachapi. If you are going for the lightest parts possible, you will probably want to use a vacuum bag system. If you just want the nice carbon fiber look, you can make parts out of mostly fiberglass with a light tight weave outside layer of carbon. This is a lot cheaper but there is a weight penalty. I made a set of rear fender guards this way on my first Birkin, and they turned out well. Expect a lot of wasted materials as you learn! Also be careful working with carbon and epoxy due to the health hazards. I always wore a respirator and gloves.

          Stan

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          • #6
            Gentlemen, please. They're 'wings', not fenders:D
            Chris
            ------------
            A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted

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            • #7
              fings, wenders, toots or brunks, I am not picky. Not even to talk about honnets or boods :D

              The rear wing protectors are probably good practice (depending on the fabric weight I guess you may need 5-7 plies) but you can of course also buy McMaster Carr #8181K14.


              Gert

              P.S.: some 20 years ago I used to run this place for two years. All the goodies like autoclaves, free resin and carbon fiber, student slaves, technicians and a large 3-D machine tool to make molds from foam blocks......but no Seven back then to use it. And I am seeing they are still doing some pretty foolish things....CRP brake calipers, give me a break.....if you can make something does not mean you should do that ;)

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              • #8
                I was reading up on a website about moulds, raw materials and other misc instructions. It's starting to look like a lot of work, something that will take a bit of time from start to finish.... I do like a challenge though, so I think I'll start off slowly and see if I have the patience.

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                • #9
                  scott, have u made a concrete decision on whether u will go forward with any composite experimentation? it seems i will be need new front cycle wings after today autoX. MOG racing may be in my future, but if u need any initiative, there is a need... ;)

                  also, what were u able to conclude in ur zetec research? i saw ur screenname when i went on some Focus boards last night.
                  2002 SV zetec/sierra; yellow over green

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                  • #10
                    Carbon Fibre is something I'm still interested in experimenting with, just have to make a fender plug (male and female sides). I found a website that has good prices on all the materials just a little hesitate about using one of the fenders off my car to splash a mould.

                    I'm waiting until I get my year-end bonus to buy the zetec motor, I found an SVT zetec complete for about $2,500
                    After I buy the other motor I plan on selling my crossflow motor.

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                    • #11
                      Scott, would u be interested in making a set (5) replacement wheel cover discs for my 15" Prisoner wheels over the winter. they are about 8" in diameter and i can send u one as a mold.

                      I asked Kitcat if he was interested as well.
                      2002 SV zetec/sierra; yellow over green

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                      • #12
                        I would but I haven't the time with my accounting practice starting to speed up again with the end of the year coming up.

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