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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Carbon fiber part fabrication guide - Hack a Day

Carbon fiber part fabrication guide

posted Nov 10th 2010 2:00pm by Mike Szczys
filed under: misc hacks

If you’re thinking of working with carbon fiber this guide should be a big help. The example is aimed at the automotive crowd but the principles transfer quite easily. Carbon fiber parts are constructed in a similar manner as fiberglass parts. A mold is covered in a release agent, the fibers are put in place and covered in epoxy. With fiberglass the fibers are often sprayed on but carbon fiber components use woven mats of the material to build up multiple layers. Vacuum bags are used to hold the layers together, removing air and impregnating the fibers with the epoxy. This guide even outlines the construction of a vacuum pump needed for that step.

The benefits of carbon fiber are many, including strength and weight reduction. This makes it a great material for adding parts to weight-sensitive hacks such as quadcopters. But the mesh also has an interesting look which is why it shows up in custom electronics cases. The one real drawback is that when this material fails it is a catastrophic failure, tending to crumble across the entire structure rather than limiting damage to a small area. That means that a rough landing might be the end of your new parts.

[Thanks MS3FGX]

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Well, at first I thought... This could be a great Alturnative way to make some Parts or do Repairs on my old 76 Chevy Blazer or my 83 Dodge Van Bodies. I remembered Composit Parts from my years of working in an Air Craft Manufacturing Plant. I was a Tool maker though and didn't work with these types of Composites. I thought, at first before reading his writeup on the Web Site, I thought... that this could be a good alturnative to working with Fiber Glass. That stuff make my skin Bleed!:O But no, you use Fiber Glass to make these types of Composites. He does a Great Write Up, but this is not for me. Now the Home Made Vacume Pump that he made is very interesting to me. So, if you need a Cheap Way to Build a Vacume Pump. Then check that out at the bottom of his Page, Here's how he built his...

DIY Kentucky Redneck Vacuum Pump!  


Many people have asked about my vacuum pump and here it is in all of its DIY glory. Keep the redneck jokes to yourself. BTW, full credit for this idea goes to my good friend Gene Young so point the redneck jokes at him.  

This pump started life as a drinking fountain refrigerator compressor. I have converted it from compressing Freon to vacuuming air. This setup is so simple it is comical to think of spending $350 for a rattle trap to do the same thing.  

Here is what you do:
1. Go to a local refrigerator repair guy and buy a used compressor. I got mine for free.
2. Bolt it to a piece of wood.
3. Wire it up to plug strait into the wall – screw an on/off switch
4. On the ‘suck’ line, attach with a worm clamp a 1 foot section of 1/4” section of vacuum line
5. At the end of that worm clamp on a $3.00 fuel filter (needs to have 1/4” barbs) to prevent epoxy from getting into the pump.
6. Then run another foot of vacuum line to a shutoff valve (optional)
7. ‘T’ into the line a vacuum gauge as show. I got mine from McMaster-Carr for $8.
8. To it attach a 15 foot run of vacuum line. This will give you a ton of placement flexibility.
9. To the pump outlet, attach a cheap filter as shown to prevent oil from spraying out of the pump.

Every once and a while you will want to lube the pump with refrigerant lube that you can get at AutoZone. Also, I run a fan over my pump to keep it from overheating. This probably isn’t a potential problem but they do it on refrigerators so I do too. Eventually I am going to add a fan to the mounting board. This is why it is oversized.  

Parts list:
1 Small refrigerator pump
1 12 ft. electrical cord
1 1’x2’ piece of wood
4 small lag bolts to bolt the pump to the wood
1 cheap fuel filter with 1/4” barbs
1 cheap filter to keep the pump from making a mess
1 1/4” NPT female to female shut off valve
1 1/4" NPT male, female, female ‘T’ fitting
1 vacuum only 2” gauge w/ 1/4" NPT male fitting
2 1/4" NPT male to male barb fittings
1 1/4" NPT female to male barb fittings
1 Six pack of your favorite beer to enjoy while watching your $20 pump for 12 strait hours while waiting for your part to cure. 

Go there...

Carbon fiber part fabrication guide
Carbon fiber part fabrication guide - Hack a Day
The Turbo
YouTube - Carbon fiber part fabrication guide


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