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Thread: Carbon Fiber fabrication

  1. #1

    Default Carbon Fiber fabrication

    Hello, does anyone know if the UAA A&P program has a course in carbon fiber fabrication for making wings and hulls. Would be nice to learn how to do that and get an equipment list for everything you need to do it, my biggest worry is the cureing, I heard the carbon fiber has to cure at temps up around 200-300F which means you need a giant oven if you are making the hull in one piece, that would likely be a cost prohibitive piece of equipment that would have to be built. Other than that I dont think its rocket science but I am not completely sure of that lol.

  2. #2
    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    I would look at the lanceair site or any high end homebuilt aircraft site useing C/F construction. A friend of mine is building one and I don't remember hearing anything about heat curring it. I think you need to use epoxy resin not poly or vinyl ester resin, other than that its the same as fiberglassing. Tom
    you might also look into a into course on carbon fiber construction from one of the kit companys. I would think they would do that to show people how easy it is to work with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rppearso View Post
    Hello, does anyone know if the UAA A&P program has a course in carbon fiber fabrication for making wings and hulls. Would be nice to learn how to do that and get an equipment list for everything you need to do it, my biggest worry is the cureing, I heard the carbon fiber has to cure at temps up around 200-300F which means you need a giant oven if you are making the hull in one piece, that would likely be a cost prohibitive piece of equipment that would have to be built. Other than that I dont think its rocket science but I am not completely sure of that lol.
    Yeah, you might also want to talk with Zach Chase who can be reached at nacrazc@comcast.com. His father was a fellow QB before his death. Zach's business, and his company, builds composite aircraft ALL OVER THE WORLD, and he does it all literally by himself. If anyone knows, Zach surely does.

  4. #4

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    Thank you, would be sweet to build a carbon fiber hull and wings with a nice 400+ HP porche engine flat 6 cylinder. Of course the porche engine would have to be modified to a dry sump for inverterd flight with a presurized fuel tank.

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    Member Gerberman's Avatar
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    The easy way to build an oven for curing is to get a steel freight container, get a large diesel heater, cut a hole in the container, duct the hot air into the container, I have got up to 200 degrees with a 110,000 btu heater, more heaters hotter temp. After you get done with the container, sell it to someone for storage unit.

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    That is an extremely good idea, thank you.

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    Member avidflyer's Avatar
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    I am guesing that you dont use an internet search function very much. No you dont have to cure a CF layup at those temps. Do you think that the guys building all these composite homebuilts in their garages have a monster oven sitting outside??? 5 minutes on google will give you more info than you can absorb.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    YouTube has several video tutorials on various carbon fiber projects to help get you started.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by avidflyer View Post
    I am guesing that you dont use an internet search function very much. No you dont have to cure a CF layup at those temps. Do you think that the guys building all these composite homebuilts in their garages have a monster oven sitting outside??? 5 minutes on google will give you more info than you can absorb.
    I do google searchs but I like to corroborate the info I get and perferably find a solid reputable text book on it, its also good to know early on if there are any gotchas in the process before I get started. Like oh by the way you need this 30 thousand dollar piece of infrastructure to do a critical step of the fabrication, I want to find out about all thoes potential things before I even attempt to start making a mold. I will eventually end up taking a class at UAA on it but just wanted to know in my mind if it is even feasable without a small fortune in start up capital for equipment, that way I can let it settle in my mind if it would be worth it to invest in the equipment or just save for a carbon fiber plane, its all about the benjamins.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    You will find that most composite aircraft construction has nothing to do with carbon fiber. You can go to the EAA website and do your own research, but you will find that the majority of most composite aircraft are made of epoxy/fiberglass. There are several types of glass available and each has it special uses. I haven't come across an single composite kit that uses an oven to cure a composite aircraft.

    Carbon fiber or graphite is a very strong reinforcement material. It is used on sail boat masts, golf clubs, etc. Carbon fibers combine low weight, high strength, and high stiffness. In the custom aircraft area, carbon is used in critical areas such as spars, etc. Working with carbon fiber is somewhat difficult and when it fails it will snap like a carrot snapping in two. Of course, the failure point where this occurs is extremely high.
    http://www.sportair.com/articles/Bui...0Aircraft.html
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