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Glass Fiber and Carbon Body Parts


Geminidawn
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Winter is coming and the boat building and repair will be getting slack.

Autumn the boats come in I assess them and repair them.

In spring I'm busy preping them for the new season.

But November, December and January are the dead months.

I occasionally get asked about carbon and glass fiber auto parts, hard tops, fairings, wheel arches etc. but never really thought about it.

Saw it mentioned here once or twice and now I'm wondering is there really is a market for it?

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I saw some nice GRP wings at Billing but forgot to go back and get details, the arch had been moved a lot further up the wing to allow for big tyres/suspension. For some reason wheel arches seem to command silly money - £140 for some wider than stock defender arches made from recycled yoghurt pots? :blink:

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hi

maybe there might be a market for some sort of aftermarket dash that actually looks good, dosent squeak, has capacity for CB and CD and extra switches/gauges, and was robust and cheap :ph34r:

mike

You want a Tomcat dash, Mike! It goes into a 110 without much fuss.

I'm not sure about pannels. I guess it comes down to which you prefer - pannels which bend or ones that crack. I'm having a roof and possibly a bonnet, inner wings and some outer skins made in glass fibre but this is mainly due to weight as these pannels are only doing to be there to plug gaps.

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hi

maybe there might be a market for some sort of aftermarket dash that actually looks good, dosent squeak, has capacity for CB and CD and extra switches/gauges, and was robust and cheap :ph34r:

mike

Yeah I'd go along with that! I looked at some of the centre console type affairs on show at billing, but I aint paying nearly £50 for a piece of vacuum formed plastic!

Jon

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There was some chap at Sodbury last year with a stand selling fibreglass panels. He had done some wings and was going to do Defender doors. Was just starting out and haven't seen anything since. Must say though his stand was very busy.

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There was some chap at Sodbury last year with a stand selling fibreglass panels. He had done some wings and was going to do Defender doors. Was just starting out and haven't seen anything since. Must say though his stand was very busy.

Fibreglass door panels would be great as long as they weren't extortionate!

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can u make door cards? :unsure:

Anything can be made, but the question is will it be a uniform fit.

The greatest expense is in the mould manufacture

So moulds are made with a high production in mind, making a mould for a one off is lunacy.

Carbon is the most common element in the universe, also one of the most expensive, in order for it to be processed, it has to be baked in a controlled environment, but the results are lighter than Glass fiber and stronger than steel. So it's mainly used in performance parts.

Door cards, Hard tops, Panels, Dash kits, Custom 3D wheel covers, you name it, it can be done.

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Make kit car parts. Especially for the many Lotus 7 replicas (Locost, MK Indy, Tiger, Caterham etc).

nige beat me to it; there is mucho demand for these - front and rear wings and dash boards mainly

depends on how much you can sell them for.

give you some idea; front GRP wings come in around £30 a pair; CF around £ 100.

I am sure if you could do CF for £ 50 you would sell a few; I'd be interseted for one :P

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lighter than Glass fiber and stronger than steel

A little bit of caution needs to be used when talking about the strength of carbon, it is a very good material with high stiffness and good compressive and tensile strengths but it's impact strength is actually worse than bog standard fibreglass laminates by some margin. Looking through some of my materials books here a typical glass laminate is shown as being in the region of 5 times stronger in impact than a typical carbon laminate. Given the use of a lot of the vehicles here I am not sure that carbon is necessarily the right material to be using for body panels. If I wanted light panels and was willing to spend carbon type money I would be inclined to think about using aramid (kevlar) fibres which has similar (but slighty better) mechanical properties to standard glass but is only around 60% of the weight. Of course you can make up laminates with a mixture of fibres (and fibre orientations) to try and get the best of both materials.

I think that the use of the more exotic materials like carbon would probably result in a product that was just too expensive for most people when there is high chance of damaging it. I would tend to stick with a standard glass and resin as this will be cheaper and relatively easy to fix at home if it is damaged.

Steve

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A carbon kevlar twill weave has excellent impact resistance and very light weight, all the good properties of both carbon and kevalr mixed together - not overly expensive actually but laying it up requires alot more skill than standard glass to make it strong, ideally vac bagged and autoclaved.

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A little bit of caution needs to be used when talking about the strength of carbon

Steve

"How strong is a piece of string?"

"Carbon" is what we refer to as the higher end of the resin/mat fabrication methods.

What we refer to as "Carbon" could be carbon/nomex, carbon/glass/composite, carbon/kevlar/composite with csm biaxial,quadraxial or any number of sandwitch combinations you can think of, the list of materials and working conditions are endless.

About 50% of the end products success is due to the materials used and the latter 50% is due to the laminators skill and working conditions.

Working with "carbon" I have done projects for the Mini TransAt that was built to survive 40ft high seas and 100mph winds to where I was asked to sheath a plastic motorcycle fairing in carbon weave just so it would look the part.

The materials, effort and cost are all down to what the customer wants.

If you want it made to stop bullets it can be done.

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i had an international 14 dinghy which had a carbon kevlar hull and that was strong as anything including an accident with a topper at 20 knts and being rolled up the beach ( pebble beach)...

dont you think carbon panels sounds more bowler wildcat... which means big wallets

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dont you think carbon panels sounds more bowler wildcat... which means big wallets

Yes, if you're looking at the performance end prepare to spend. But what are we talking here, the 4x4 equivalent to a Formula 1 nose cone?

If you had panels made from carbon/composite they would need specialized fabrication and repair, but the may not need to be repaired or replaced as much. So although there would be an inital higher cost you may save in the long run. Also think of the power to weight ratio.

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How high is the initial cost. Any ball park figures?

Nothing as yet, If you're looking at an existing alloy/steel bodypart reproduced in composite you'll save up to 33% on plug manufacture, If you're looking for a custom one off you're in a different league altogether. I'm in the middle of researching prices just now. Anything specific?

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Nothing as yet, If you're looking at an existing alloy/steel bodypart reproduced in composite you'll save up to 33% on plug manufacture, If you're looking for a custom one off you're in a different league altogether. I'm in the middle of researching prices just now. Anything specific?

Dear Santa.

I wish a complete body for a LWT series II !!! seriously wonder how much that would be, could do with just doorcladings in Carbon/kevlar but the rest wings bonnet and the rear tub would be nice in that material.

Reason is it would match the Alu chassis that is being made this coming winter.

Kind regards

Ole.

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What about doors?

A short series like door with sufficient strength to lean it against a tree, reuses the existing hinges, antiburst lock and with fittings to drop in a series door top that will resist trees and rust seems an attractive proposition?

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