So, this week I finally fulfilled my fetish for carbon fibre. I’ve taken the plunge. I’ve gone to the dark side (Thanks Warren).
There’s lots of work I need to do, and some of it could have been fabricated in my normal fashion (stainless welding plus hammer plus blood) but a composite approach is better. So, I started researching the right way to do this (resin infusion), who knew what they were doing, and who were good suppliers.
The projects I envisage doing are a load of replacement ally panels for carbon fibre, some for carbon fibre-honeycomb-aramid panels, and my (now designed in CAD) aluminium fuel tank will probably be easier to make in carbon/aramid. Then, just because no job is to big, I am thinking of replacing the body panels in naked black carbon.
After digging out my two text books on the subject (Fibreglass & Composite Materials and Competition Car Composites) I also did some youtube digging and came upon this series of videos by EasyComposites which made the process look sane to do and their bonnet-replacement looked very neat. At the same time, I bumped into Warren from Carbon Copies Ltd, who spend 2 hours talking me through techniques and recommended EasyComposites.
So, off I drove to Stoke to meet Matt, and I’m thrilled with the results. When I walked up the trade counter, he came out to reception, sat me down with a coffee, got his clip-board out and went through all my requirements. It was a very friendly visit as he got to understand my needs and the best approach to make what I wanted. As went along, we built up a pick-list of stuff over the hour or so consultation and off I trotted home with a car full of great stuff.
I went for the resin-infusion kit (including a vacuum pump), and the following consumables for laying up:
- Carbon Fibre 2/2 Twill 195g, 1.25m wide (for the face, and drapability)
- Aramid Cloth, 2/2 Twill again, but 300g and 1m wide (for the impacted sides, and sump)
- Carbon FIbre, 2/2 Twill, 450g at 1m wide for the second layer.
- High and normal temp epoxy and hardener.
So, expect lots of lovely carbon posts to follow over the summer.