So, the three ally top panels that constitute the transmission tunnel are next for the carbon fibre, aramad, flat-panel treatment. One is riveted on, and two are bolted into nutserts. I need to go around the nutserts and put a tiny tack in place to remove the risk of them spinning, but that’s another job before the chassis goes off.
In order to give really good impact resistance from inside the tunnel and not risk the panel should there be a stone chip or other underneath, I’ve added two layers of aramid. If I weren’t to be manufacturing composite prop-catchers as well, I would feel secure in just using the two layers of aramid and the other parts of the composite to do the job.
Here is the layup is aramid, aramid, eglass (to add a little flexibility), carbon, carbon for stiffness and pretty facing bling. The pictures follow, before the price breakdown.
Here you can see it all laid out with the aramid on top of the e-glass. I have decided to lay out an entire panel rather than three separate panels, or one panel just the right size, which would have created unnecessary offcuts. I at least have some finished offcuts of a good size that can be reused or sold on ebay.
Here we are, fully bagged up and ready to go. The panel is more or less the size of the double-glazing unit I use so there’s no need to pleat the bag – envelope bagging will be fine and for my level of technique it’s quicker as well. The downside is you use a little more resin because the resin will run to all the corners of the bag.
Now we’re fully infused, and you can see that the e-glass more or less vanishes. You can see the gaps around the aramid panels. If I were to go for a consistent aramid layer, then you’d get the fluffy edges when the panels were cut which would be visible in the cockpit and not meet the goal of being a cosmetic panel. As such, I’ve allowed a 15mm boundary around each panel for cutting. This is also the width of the metal that it’s mounting onto and means the aramid should fully sit in the exposed space and fill it completely.
And … Disaster … I didn’t spot a couple of stray threads on the panel before I laid it out and they’re now set in there for good. There’s no recovering this panel without making a new panel to bond on top. There’s nothing here that affects the strength with the stray thread, but I will make up a repair panel. Arses.
Ouch – I’m £45 in, and can’t use the panels from a cosmetic.sense. I’ll need to make a repair panel.
In order to cost the fina