View Full Version : Anyone here know how to work with Carbon fiber?

12-22-2005, 03:49 PM
just curiuos how difficult it is. Id love to practice and one day be able to make some trim pieces for the interior.

12-22-2005, 07:52 PM
i'd get some fiberglass cloth and try practice with that first since its much cheaper.

12-22-2005, 08:29 PM
I wrote some basics DYI based on my experiences on the other forum while back, here are some pointers from when I was working on my trunk enclosures

Just the sample of what the finished product looks like, smooth, crystal clear 3D CF. Just keep in mind, this process is for overlay, not structural cf:


And few more pics of other finished trunk components:





CF 50�X36� of standard 2/2 sheet


Resin - TAP Marine Grade Epoxy System (not a local Bondo brand) It has no coloration (not yellowish at all), and great crystal clear finis and does not stink at all:

* A side - 314 resin
* B side - Medium hardener



Their measuring cups are great! Resin to hardener ration is 4/1, so marking on those cups are perfect! Dirt cheap, buy 5-7 of them, worth it for a clean finish:



Brushes, rollers, coveralls, etc:


Cleaning agents:

� Rubin alcohol or alike (surface between coats)
� Acetone or alike (tools)


Wear mask that was approved for working with and sanding Fiberglass
� Wear eye protection, preferably the glasses with the foam gasket or alike
� Spend $8 and get the disposable painter�s coverall
� Plenty of disposable gloves (latex or vinyl)

Here are few tools I would highly recommend to have while working on this project:

� Palm sander (preferably mouse or alike. More versatile than the standard square unit)
� Hand held sanding block
� Paint roller with out the attachment (use to flatten the material and remove the bubbles)
� Various grid send paper
� Various grades of files
� Drop cloth
� Sharp household scissors � for initial cuts of the CF
� Sharp industrial scissors (kitchen scissors will work as well) - trimming the material after the first coat
� Caps from the spay paint cans work great as a pedestals to place the part on
� Plenty of cheap paint brushes at Big lots, 5-7 brushes per pack for $2-$5
� Dremel tool or alike, with various attachments

Working with CF:

� Lay down the piece needs to be covered
� Cut CF with very sharp scissors leaving some extra material for overlapping.
� CF should not be stretched - this creates some gaps between woven ensiles
� First apply the resin to the surface to be covered - do not miss any spots
� Gently lay the pre-cut CF over the panel you covering
� Use the roller in only one direction in long strokes - this prevents any disturbance of the woven fibers and will remove all of the air bubbles
� Do not apply too thick of the first resin layer, the key is to create smooth flat conforming surface � preparing it for the second and than the final coat of resin. This would also ensure that the resin will not drip and cover the edge of the actual piece you are covering
� Allow to fully cure for at least 24-36 hours before trimming (if needed)
� Wipe off the surface after it�s cured with rubbing alcohol, as the resin does sweat a little, leaving the surface "greasy" like.
� Apply the second coat of resin, allow to cure 24-36 hours
� Sand the surface between the coats to remove any imperfections using 120 grid sand paper with the palm sander and 180 grit if doing by hand
� Clean the surface with rubbing alcohol again, ensuring the surface is perfectly clean and ready for the next coat
� Before applying the final coat of resin, allow the resin to cure completely
� Final coat to be applied with the fine brush. Apply enough resin to ensure that the surface is glass like but not excessive
� Allow to dry 24-36 hours
� Use a Dremel, router or alike to trim any access material
� Drill bits work fine for trimming the access or openings of any shapes
� Insert the small diameter drill bit into the Dremel tool in such way, that the smooth part of the bit is just below the surface of the CF, this way it acts similar to the router bit, rolling on the edge of the needed cutout, and trimming only the layer of the CF, thus retaining the original shape of the opening.
� For example, if you are covering 1/2" MDF board, the smooth surface of the drill bit should extend just under 1/2"
� Basic round holes (if making a new one) can be drilled as usual, using high speed drill and a sharp drill bit
� Whole saw work fine for larger openings
� Use fine file or very fine sand paper for the fragile sections or the sections that require gentle trimming/corrections
� Using automotive clearcoat is optional, some places recommend it for better UV protection
� Polish the surface using your good ole Mothers, Magueys and alike

Hope this helps.


P.S. There are so many products out there, some cheaper, some better. Good luck.

12-22-2005, 09:00 PM
structural isn't too hard, it's the same 45 or 90* layering with vacuum bagging