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Old 02-14-2014, 01:36 AM   #1
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Carbon Fiber

Is it true that all carbon fiber yellows? If so how can I prevent it? just trying to get some insight before I spend $500 on parts.
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:50 AM   #2
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Clear coat
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:41 AM   #3
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No it's not true. WHat matters is what you cover it with.
Cheap clear coat paint can yellow.
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:51 AM   #4
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Also make sure you use a quality wax. Those have UV protectant in them.
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:28 PM   #5
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I rarely see carbon fiber get clear coated over. For most of the them, what you see and touch is the resin used as the matrix in the composite when the CF was laid. What yellows is the resin, which is typically epoxy or polyester. Resin quality runs the gamut. Poor ones yellows and oxidizes quickly, but they will all eventually break down when exposed to UV.

Best thing you can do is limit sun exposure.
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volfy View Post
I rarely see carbon fiber get clear coated over. For most of the them, what you see and touch is the resin used as the matrix in the composite when the CF was laid. What yellows is the resin, which is typically epoxy or polyester. Resin quality runs the gamut. Poor ones yellows and oxidizes quickly, but they will all eventually break down when exposed to UV.

Best thing you can do is limit sun exposure.
the Albert Einstein of MH strikes again! Thanks volf, was wondering the same thing considering a lot of my bike is made out o the stuff!
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.J. McQuade View Post
the Albert Einstein of MH strikes again! Thanks volf, was wondering the same thing considering a lot of my bike is made out o the stuff!
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Old 02-14-2014, 04:30 PM   #8
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...but a good quality clear coat will have a UV protectant quality
And it'll polish/buff up just like paint. And scratch just as easily as clear coat on a car.... which may be why many places polish up the tougher resin.
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:44 PM   #9
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Problem with clearcoating over carbon fiber is that after the CF composite comes out of the oven the resin is hardened and heat cured, so the surfaces will usually need a good scuff sanding for the top coat to adhere properly. Well, trouble is... the carbon fibres usually come right up to the surface, which is why the CF composite is so strong and lightweight. The matrix (resin) only need to saturate the fibres to achieve maximum strength. Any more than that, not only does it add more weight than necessary, the excess resin actually weakens the composite structure.

So... as soon as you scratch the carbon fiber surface, you risk breaking the fibres just under the surface. That weakens the structure and mars the pretty Italian chrome. Try that on a scrap piece of CF, if you ever get a chance, and you'll see. This is why the mfrs need to be very careful when buffing and shining up the CF pieces, and why there are sometimes "2nds" sold at discount prices off ebay. Especially with a part/model that they had just produced off a new mold and still trying to get the process dialed in right.
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:59 PM   #10
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Knowledge is cool!! Say there... how do you know so much about carbon fiber? I really (really!) want to get some hands-on working knowledge about the stuff. So far the only company I can find anywhere near the Houston area that works with it is Hennessey out in Sealy (used on their Venom GT). Do you know of any other places around that work with CF, no matter what the industry or application?
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:28 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the help, I went ahead and ordered ram air covers, tank panels and a rear hugger. What's a good wax to use on them?
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart View Post
Knowledge is cool!! Say there... how do you know so much about carbon fiber? I really (really!) want to get some hands-on working knowledge about the stuff. So far the only company I can find anywhere near the Houston area that works with it is Hennessey out in Sealy (used on their Venom GT). Do you know of any other places around that work with CF, no matter what the industry or application?
Contrary to popular believes, they actually do teach you some pretty cool stuff in engr school. At least the theoretical stuff anyway. Then it's up to you to pick up practical experience in you chosen line of work. May be even dabble a bit in hobbies that use this stuff.

I don't know of anybody using CF for large scale production here in Houston. Not the oil field service equipment industry that I know. I do have some first hand experience with the use of resin technology in things like shaker screen production. I also used CF and FG in vacuum bagging sailplane wings back when I flew RC gliders. Scale factors are small, but the processes are similar.

I would imagine high-performance ground vehicles and the aviation industry would be better places to look.
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