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Types of Carbon Fiber

27th Jan 2021

Various types of
carbon fiber.

Published by Kevin Methenge

Los muchos beneficios de la fibra de carbono genuina atrajeron enormemente a los entusiastas de los vehículos. Apareció en vehículos de alto rendimiento debido a su peso ligero. Esto le dio la etiqueta automática de "rendimiento" que lo hizo irresistible. También era una belleza por el patrón tejido de la fibra de carbono. Pero había una restricción. Fue caro. Hace unos 10 años, una libra de fibra de carbono costaba $150.

El precio hizo que la innovación fuera una necesidad. Los entusiastas de los automóviles y otras personas fascinadas por la fibra de carbono idearon formas de imitar la fibra de carbono real. Así surgieron réplicas e imitaciones. Si bien algunos procesos de replicación producen réplicas que se parecen mucho al carbono genuino, nada puede igualar la apariencia de la fibra de carbono real, incluido el efecto 3D del tejido de sarga. No obstante, ambos tipos seguramente le darán a su automóvil un impulso estético.

Nuestra tienda de accesorios en línea satisface las necesidades de todos. Ya sea que desee fibra de carbono genuina o su réplica. Vendemos ambos. Pero como podéis y veréis, señalamos cuál es cuál. Marcamos la fibra de carbono real como 'fibra de carbono genuina/real' y las réplicas como 'estilo de fibra de carbono o efecto de fibra de carbono'.

En este artículo, profundizamos y le informamos de las diferencias entre la fibra de carbono real fibra de carbono y las imitaciones. También describimos el proceso de elaboración de cada uno de ellos. Nuestro objetivo es asegurarnos de que se mantenga informado para que sepa qué verificar al comprar. También esperamos que con esta información, no caiga en la trampa, porque hay muchos de ellos por ahí.

Fibra de carbono genuina o real

La fibra de carbono real no se produce de forma natural. Es un material sintético elaborado a partir de polímeros orgánicos. Se fabrica utilizando dos métodos distintos, la técnica de laminado tradicional y la forja. Estos métodos dan como resultado los dos tipos principales de fibra de carbono genuina disponibles en el mercado.

Método de disposición tradicional:

La belleza de los materiales de fibra de carbono emana de sus patrones tejidos. Estos patrones se ven acentuados por el método de fabricación tradicional. El proceso de fabricación comienza con el tejido de estopas en un proceso que da como resultado tejidos de fibra de carbono. Debe tener en cuenta que un solo cable consta de miles de filamentos o hebras de fibra de carbono, que posteriormente dictan cómo se llamará al material resultante.

Por ejemplo, la fibra de carbono de mayor calidad que tenemos en nuestra tienda en línea es la fibra de carbono 3k Japan Toray. El término 3k implica que la tela del material se fabricó con cables que contenían 3000 hebras de fibra de carbono. Hay otras categorías de cables, incluidos 6k, 12k y 15k.

Los materiales de fibra de carbono derivan su fuerza del hecho de que los filamentos se combinan en espacios diminutos y luego se tejen. Como tal, cuantas más hebras, mayor será la fuerza. Las estopas se tejen en telas que tienen patrones distintos. Los patrones de tejido más comunes son los tejidos lisos, de sarga y de satén con arneses, mientras que los otros diseños menos convencionales son los de estopa, tejido de peces y tejidos personalizados, entre otros.

1. Plain weave: It resembles a chessboard.

2. Twill weave: It’s the most common and features a diagonal pattern.

3. Harness satin weave

The preferred fabric, based on the desired pattern, is then impregnated with resins forming what we refer to as carbon fiber prepregs. This initial use of resins gives a protective covering to the woven carbon fiber. However, the resin is usually unevenly distributed at this stage.

The next step in the traditional layup manufacturing process is the formation of molds. The use of molds makes this method the simpler of the two real carbon fiber manufacturing methods. This implies that you can use it to create a carbon fiber component at home.

The mold should be created such that it’s in the shape of what you want to make. For instance, if you want a side mirror cover, have a mold is in your side mirror’s exact shape and size. Accuracy is important. Once you’re satisfied with how the mold looks, you’ll then lay the prepreg into the mold and remove all the air, creating a vacuum. Thereafter you’ll channel resin into the mold, ensuring that it’s evenly distributed throughout the mold.

The traditional layup process is manual and results in long-lasting and robust parts. It’s also the most popular method given that a majority of the carbon fiber products available in the market feature the patterns discussed above.

Forging Method:

This is a more technical method but is somewhat similar to the traditional layup technique because it still uses molds. It involves using a machine to force a paste mixture of epoxy resin and cut carbon fibers through a small opening.

The forging method is advantageous because it results in the creation of more complex products that wouldn’t have been made using the traditional way. It’s also environmentally friendly since it uses recycled carbon fiber fabrics.

The only downside is the fact that forged carbon fiber materials are weaker compared to those created using the first technique. As such, it’s not advisable to use forged carbon fiber in instances where maximum strength is a requirement.

In both the traditional and forging methods, the mold is then heated for several hours at temperatures between 250 and 350 °F (121 and 177 °C) and allowed to cool to enable the resin to cure. However, the temperature at cooling shouldn’t be allowed to drop below 60°F (16°C) since the resin won’t cure properly.

It’s vital to point out that the amount of resin used impacts the appearance of the carbon fiber materials, regardless of the manufacturing process used. It gives the carbon fiber a glossy finish; the more the resin, the glossier the appearance. As such, even after curing, you should spray several additional layers of resin and then sand the topmost layer. The last step is wiping the surface using polish.


Imitation Carbon Fiber

You can imitate carbon fiber in two main ways, namely using a sticker and hydro dipping. The stickers are available on Amazon and AliExpress, but they do a shoddy job at attempting to replicate real carbon fiber as this Youtuber established. This makes hydro dipping the more preferred option. But how do you hydro dip?

The process starts with buying a carbon fiber hydrographic film from online stores such as liquid concepts and water transfer printing. These stores offer many patterns from which you can choose. Once the film, which comes in a roll, has been delivered, follow the following steps:

1. Cut the film to correspond with the size of the part you want to coat. You should stick a 3M tape to both edges of the film, to ensure that you cut along a straight line. The tape also holds everything together and will prevent the formation of creases which trap air making the dipping process more difficult.

2. Carefully lay the film on the water. Lay it such that the sticky side is facing downwards.

3. Remove air bubbles wherever possible by either blowing by mouth or using an air compressor. You should, however, be careful with the latter.

4. Enclose the floating film using spacers. The spacers keep the film from moving as you dip your product.

5. Wait for 60 seconds and then spray the film using a hydrographic activator. You should spread the activator evenly on the surface of the film, ensuring that it covers the entire surface. The activator promotes adhesion of the film to the component.

6. You should position the component at an angle and dip it slowly downwards. You should take care to ensure that you minimize instances whereby some sections of the product trap air. The trapped air will prevent adhesion.

7. Once it’s completely submerged, swirl it in the water for a few seconds and then retrieve it by pulling upwards.

8. Once the product dries up, top the coat with a shiny lacquer spray.

The photos above are courtesy of Liquid Concepts on YouTube, and you can use the link to follow the process more keenly.

To make the imitations more realistic, you could spray the coated product with a layer of thick resin. This makes it shinier and, therefore, mimics real carbon fiber.

When the imitation process is done well, it’s hard for an untrained eye to distinguish, at a glance, replicas from real carbon fiber. However, on closer inspection, you’ll notice that genuine carbon fiber has a 3D effect of the twill weave. The difference as seen in figure 10 is loud.

Our online accessories store sells both types of carbon fiber. Depending on what you’re interested in, click here and cop yourself some accessories and mods.

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