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  #1  
Old 04-25-2022, 04:46 PM
wirejock's Avatar
wirejock wirejock is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Estes Park, CO
Posts: 5,354
Default Carbon Fiber

Short version... The Air Bits plenum gel coat was chipping. It's all gone. Belt sander! I hate gel coat.
Since it's rough, I'm considering a layer of carbon fiber.
How do I get that beautiful glossy carbon fiber?
Is that urethane clear coat?
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Estes Park, CO
wirejock at yahoo dot com
Donated 12/01/2021, plus a little extra.
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  #2  
Old 04-25-2022, 05:05 PM
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Carl Froehlich Carl Froehlich is online now
 
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Location: Dogwood Airpark (VA42)
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Don’t use Peel Ply. Error on the side of more epoxy.

Carl
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  #3  
Old 04-25-2022, 05:25 PM
thiggins thiggins is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Saluda,NC
Posts: 119
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No expert here at all, but if you watch some of Mike Patey’s carbon fiber YouTube videos, he does use clear coat very often for that purty finish. Darned amazing skills he has there.

https://youtu.be/tqGnlFYAq1I

https://youtu.be/IycGsGzD16k
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Last edited by thiggins : 04-25-2022 at 05:34 PM.
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  #4  
Old 04-25-2022, 09:48 PM
Taltruda Taltruda is online now
 
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Location: Las Vegas, NV
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I played with carbon a little, I found if you flood it with epoxy, it looks awesome! Probably not the lightest way to achieve your results. Perhaps there’s a UV resistant clear you could spray on?
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  #5  
Old 04-25-2022, 11:37 PM
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Dan 57 Dan 57 is offline
 
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Location: LSZF
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Laying the part in a positive form with enough epoxy.
Made an instrument panel for an older French Jodel this way, and it turned out pretty good, though not the lightest.
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  #6  
Old 04-25-2022, 11:54 PM
Richard Connell Richard Connell is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 380
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wirejock View Post
Short version... The Air Bits plenum gel coat was chipping. It's all gone. Belt sander! I hate gel coat.
Since it's rough, I'm considering a layer of carbon fiber.
How do I get that beautiful glossy carbon fiber?
Is that urethane clear coat?
One of the main challenges of getting this right is not distorting the weave while you fill it with (heavy) resin.
Two ways to deal with that, either try get hold of some carbon cloth with binder on one side, or brush a light coat of resin onto your surface and when it tacks off, lay your cloth down. As you progress to wetting it out it will now stay in place.

Once that layer has tacked, brush on another layer. Repeat until satisfied and then block it all flat. Clear coat if you like.
As Dan says, this won't be super light, but it'll look good.
Ive made a few bits this way.
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  #7  
Old 04-26-2022, 08:26 AM
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wirejock wirejock is offline
 
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Location: Estes Park, CO
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Default Epoxy clear

Interesting. There's no UV inside the cowl. Maybe the clear isn't needed. Has anyone used West 207 on carbon fiber? It's a slow hardener but designed to harden perfectly clear. I've made some table tops with it. Time for some testing.
https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catal...xy2_207-SC.php
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Estes Park, CO
wirejock at yahoo dot com
Donated 12/01/2021, plus a little extra.
RV-7A #73391, N511RV reserved (3,000+ hours)
Empennage, wings, fuse, finishing kit done. Working FWF
Disclaimer
I cannot be, nor will I be, held responsible if you try to do the same things I do and it does not work and/or causes you loss, injury, or even death in the process.

Last edited by wirejock : 04-26-2022 at 08:36 AM.
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  #8  
Old 04-26-2022, 09:07 AM
BH1166 BH1166 is offline
 
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Location: Eatonton Georgia
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Built a plastic plane years ago. To create some carbon items i took clean, scratch free safety glass, did layups on it, it popped off the glass after curing. Smoooth and shiny! Used same epoxy as all other tasks…nothing special.
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  #9  
Old 04-26-2022, 10:06 AM
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wirejock wirejock is offline
 
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Location: Estes Park, CO
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Default 207 Special Clear

I ordered some 207 Special Clear.
The process is not any more steps than prepping fiberglass and painting it. I'll post my process and results here when it's done. It will be a while. I'm still working the inlets.
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Larry Larson
Estes Park, CO
wirejock at yahoo dot com
Donated 12/01/2021, plus a little extra.
RV-7A #73391, N511RV reserved (3,000+ hours)
Empennage, wings, fuse, finishing kit done. Working FWF
Disclaimer
I cannot be, nor will I be, held responsible if you try to do the same things I do and it does not work and/or causes you loss, injury, or even death in the process.
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  #10  
Old 04-26-2022, 07:24 PM
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RV7Guy RV7Guy is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Chandler, AZ
Posts: 3,079
Default Plenum

I have a plenum that turned out pretty good. After getting everything in final shape, filled and sanded, I decided to put a purdy layer of carbon on it. Can't post pictures but you can see pictures in the March Kit Planes.

The carbon laid on and wetted out. I used peel ply and got a great finish. I sanded down to 320 and squeegeed on some additional epoxy as needed.

In the end I sanded down to 3000 and had a nice gloss. The painter worked his magic and really brought out the finish with clear.
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