exposed carbon fiber

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by mberry, Jan 26, 2017.

  1. mberry
    Joined: Jan 2017
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    Location: Australia

    mberry Junior Member

    Hi,

    I am a newbie to the scene, currently with a thought of building my own boat. will do a heap of practice prior if i decide to head down that route.
    anyhow....
    My question relates to exposed carbon fiber, Id like to have exposed carbon fiber hulls (will be a cat) with a high gloss finish. I have read that dark coatings can effect the epoxy and also clears over carbon can go chalky.

    Is there away around this? different resins etc?

    i know there are a few exposed hulls hitting the market, dont think they will give too much info out so hoping you guys will help me out.

    again a complete newbie with just a thought at this stage and would appreciate any info thanks in advance.
     
  2. ondarvr
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    ondarvr Senior Member

    There are several things that can affect the outcome, size of boat, will it be kept in the water, etc.

    There are clear coatings that can be used over carbon/epoxy laminates to help prevent UV dergedation. They can be used in-mold or applied later.
     
  3. mberry
    Joined: Jan 2017
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    mberry Junior Member

    It will be sitting on a trailer and probably not under cover (if its like my current boat)
    Looking at around the 26ft mark, foam core. Cant justify making a mould unless it works out i can make and sell a few but i dont see that being an option
     
  4. ondarvr
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    ondarvr Senior Member

  5. mberry
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    mberry Junior Member

    Awesome stuff.
     
  6. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    One other thing to remember is the colour of the epoxy. Most of the laminating resins are clear(ish) or near clear but the hardeners vary a lot, from amber through green etc etc. You can find clear base resins and hardeners with good mechanical properties if you look hard enough. These are used for commercial aircraft and some medical devices. This 'base' colour in the epoxy will affect the eventual colour of the surface of the laminate to some degree.

    I have used clear 2k automotive finishes over 'bare' carbon but not for marine uses where I prefer to paint - white. My reasoning is partly UV resistance of the epoxy and also heating from solar gain - check the albedo!. Interesting that most if not all of the F1 cars are now painted whereas a few years back they were often clear finished carbon. Maybe because that gave away the laminate but may also be for durability/predictability in crash scenario. Perhaps also more space for advertising, but paint is heavy compared to clear laquer. If you have a less than perfect carbon surface ie not vacuum bagged you may find small pinholes which make finishing a pain and paint a better option.

    I'm sure ondarvr's suggestion would also work fine. Expect a little yellowing over time though.
     

  7. jim lee
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    jim lee Senior Member

    If you're building this, you could use vinyl ester instead of epoxy. For infusion they are very close in properties. You could then use clear gelcoat. That mix would probably hold up better in the sun than the epoxies.

    just a thought..

    -jim lee
     
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