Technician Interview: Carbon Fiber

Many FGCI customers and subscribers have asked questions that were related to a better understanding of Carbon Fiber. So, we sat down with our technician, Pat Hery, and informed him of the common questions, and we must say, the responses were quite interesting!

 

 

 

Interview:13227156_1285749204772979_8868784239727017846_n

What are the common uses for carbon fiber?

There are many common uses for carbon fiber such as golf clubs, bicycles, aircrafts, automotive, iPhone cases. But, we usually see carbon fiber used as aesthetics, like car parts, hoods and speaker boxes. Unless used for race car or boats were speed is the demand.

What are the advantages of using carbon fiber?

The advantage is, it has the same thickness compared to steel. And as far as stiffness and strength the comparison will require more fiberglass to get the same yield. 

What is the prep method before the application process?

The method depends solely on the mold or if they are overlaying a part. Using epoxy or Vinylester can also be a determining factor. Now let’s say they decide to use epoxy, then, they need to determine if the epoxy is high temp due to the fact that most epoxies will soften up in Florida or in an area that is hot. If they are overlaying a part or making a one-off, they will laminate the carbon, put an extra coat of resin, sand with a 320 and apply an automotive clear.

What are the different ways to apply?

The different methods to apply carbon fiber depend on the surface area one is trying to go over. Carbon Fiber doesn’t like anything but a general curve. When it comes to the application, most will spray super 3M 77 so once the carbon is put in place, it won’t move when doing a thorough wet out of the carbon.

Does the thickness of the carbon matter?

When it comes to thickness of the carbon, this will be important as it can dictate the maximum strength you are looking for. Lastly, the thickness of the layup will depend on what you are trying to achieve.

5 Key Points on Laminating Epoxy Resin

We can guess that you have used Epoxy before, if not, more than likely you have seen furniture, an object or project with epoxy on it. Now, Epoxy is not the same as Polyester and Vinylester due to its chemical properties. Another difference is, Polyester and Vinylester uses the same hardener and as a result, the appearance between the two are similar, while epoxy tends to have a slight yellow or amber appearance. 125463There are many different categories of epoxy, so today we will highlight one of them; laminating epoxy.

1) The laminating system cures to a high strength moisture resistant plastic, with good physical properties.

2) The ratio is well suited for use with high-solids marine, maintenance coating and bonding agents.

3) The cure time is three days in the sun or a week if it is not. Set time changes with activator and film thickness.

4) If there is an excessive amount of activator applied , the laminating epoxy will be soft and rubbery. In contrast, if there is not enough activator, the epoxy will not cure hard.

5) The epoxy cures faster in high temperatures in thick layer applications.

Please note: additional recoating of this material is thoroughly cured. If the product has cured hard and tack-free, a light sanding and solvent wash is advisable before recoating.

 

4 Tips for Polyester Resins

Polyester Resin Tip 04 21 2015

1. Polyester resins have a shelf life of 3 months, when kept at temperatures of 77°F or below.
2. MEKP catalyst is recommended for use with this product to work properly.
3. We do not recommended cutting back on the MEKP catalyst.
4. As the weather gets warmer outside, chilling the product will give you more working time.