Carbon Fiber

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by grady, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. grady
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    grady Novice

    Hi guys, It's been a while since my last post. But thought I would get some input from the people whom have front line knowledge.

    I'm looking to do a very small area of my helm in carbon fiber, not for structural factors but only for appearances. I love the look. I want to see the weave, and a dark grey color.

    I'll have the form from the existing helm and looking to just apply the carbon fiber as a skin.

    what materials are best for this including the carbon fiber weave, mat or whatever? what resin type? if using epoxy How do we stop yellowing from the UV.

    Sidebar......it will under a hard top.

    Any and all thoughts are greatly appreciated


    Thanks.

    Tony G.
     
  2. Olav
    Joined: Dec 2003
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    Location: Filia pulchra Lubecæ

    Olav arch. nav.

    If it's just for optical reasons you'll want to use carbon cloth in either twill or sateen weave (this will give the typical iridescend look); something between 200 g/m² and 400 g/m² may be fine - the structure comes out clearly but the weight is not too much to be a problem with smaller radii in the moulding.

    Regarding the resin I prefer epoxy, but if structural properties are of minor concern anything else (polyester, vinylester) will do. UV protection is a good idea, use a good UV resistant clear gelcoat or lacquer. Yellowing is no problem in my opinion, you won't notice anything on a carbon black surface.

    If you are on a budget there are also black coloured glass fibre weaves available to make a fake carbon look. They're only a little more expensive than usual clear glass fibres and have the same mechanical properties, of course.
     
  3. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Screw the carbon fabrics Tony, paint it. Trust me on this, you can paint it to look just like a carbon panel, but it'll actually last and look the same a decade from now, which carbon will not. It's easy and doesn't cost an arm and a leg, plus you will not get too pissed if you drop a wrench on it and ding the fabric.
     
  4. grady
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    grady Novice

    Par, please do tell. Would like to see this done do you have any pics? can you share a step by step process?

    Good to hear from you.

    Tony G.
     
  5. PAR
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Go over to Wal-Mart and pickup some drawer liner material. This is a rubber like stuff with square holes in it. It's naturally tacky, so it sticks (sort of) to the work. Place this over your dash panel (or whatever) and tape it down. Next spray charcoal over this mask, one coat and lightly, but good coverage and let this dry. Next over coat with black pearl after removing the mask. You'll want to "sneak up" on the pearl, as you can over do it with black. Just successive coats, until you've nailed it. Some like to use pearl for both the base coat and the black top coat, while others use black as the base with silver over the mask. There are several combinations that work. Lastly, hit it with some clear to make it pop and look like 10 layers of epoxy are over it. This technique is covered on a lot of hot rod and bike forums, so have a look. I've done a few of these and you can get real detailed, with fiber streaks and everything if you want, but the pearl black over charcoal works fine for most.
     
  6. SukiSolo
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    I'd second PAR, hell of a lot less work than a twill too, don't ask how I know...;)
     
  7. grady
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    grady Novice

    Thanks guys, I'm off to research this one. sounds interesting
     
  8. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Tony, you can get really fancy, with metallics and stuff, or fairly simple. Look over the various techniques and give it a go for practice, before committing to the real work.
     
  9. grady
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    grady Novice

    Well, I just spent the last 3 hours viewing youtube videos on the paint process. Some of the results are awesome. My only reservation is that the helm will stay in place and will be unable to be relocated to a spray booth. so the entire boat with have to be protected from over spray. I'll be rethinking this through and wrap my head around a solution.

    Thanks for the Idea.
     
  10. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    ondarvr Senior Member

    I have several customers that make cosmetic CF parts.

    They use a marine clear gel coat with VE resin, it makes a rather strong and long lasting product, not quite the strength of epoxy but the cosmetics are much better, and stay that way for a very long time.

    You can also buy plastic panels of imitation CF that can easily be cut and drilled, plus heated and formed to simple shapes, this makes it very easy.
     
  11. OFFSHORE GINGER
    Joined: Nov 2011
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    OFFSHORE GINGER Junior Member

    Par just for shits & giggles i will give this a try next week when i get back home ,and post up some pics .
     
  12. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    You don't need a spray booth Tony, just a few rattle cans and some masking paper.
     
  13. grady
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    grady Novice

    Well for the sake of arguement, I would like to continue this discussion simply on the merits of comparison.

    How much could 1 sq. yd of CF cloth cost? figure 1 qt. of epoxy and then some UV screening..........Cost can't be the only factor.

    Is this stuff that hard to work with?

    Qualifying statement: I have found over the years, that I am so particular that if I don't start down a path I now will deliver the results I'm looking for that I will drive myself crazy (and anyone near me) seeking those results.

    The thing about painting that bothers me, are the unknown (due mostly to lack of experience) finish effects that the different combinations of base coats, mat patterns, shifting the mat for shadowing, accent colors, fogging (with different colors) and top coats (clears) gloss, satin or flat.
    I am overwhlemed just thinking about it. Plus I can see myself starting it then being unhappy, and starting over. and over....etc You get the idea.

    So lets explore the cloth optins while I attempt some small paint experiements.
    please share your projects and knowledge.

    Tony G.
     
  14. OFFSHORE GINGER
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    OFFSHORE GINGER Junior Member


  15. OFFSHORE GINGER
    Joined: Nov 2011
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    Location: Mich

    OFFSHORE GINGER Junior Member

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