Carbon fiber is the latest buzzword in car manufacturing companies across the globe. Many manufacturers in the field including German BMW as well as Porsche have already begun introduction of this material in their most recent models.
If you already have a car and want to make it more modern, several smaller studios or bigger firms develop and produce carbon fiber parts. The use of spoilers, diffusers or wraps with distinctive patterns are among the most popular items on the UK motorists’ lists.
What is Carbon Fiber?
Carbon fiber is a term used to describe a substance composed of carbon atoms that are arranged in thin, long crystals, which are then connected by braiding or weaving to form a fabric. The fabric can be made with epoxy in nearly any shape.
Due to the arrangement of crystals of carbon fiber, it’s extremely robust when compared in size. Because of this, carbon fiber materials are lighter than other materials with the same strength, as carbon fiber has begun to break up into different industries to replace aluminum and steel components.
How Are Carbon Fiber Car Parts Made?
Carbon fiber car parts like bumpers and spoilers are extremely robust, and weigh only 1/5 the weight of steel ones. In recent years, more car makers use carbon fiber for the production of car parts since a vehicle that weighs less speeds up more quickly , and consequently uses less fuel.
Customized spoilers, bumpers, and other components can make a car more aerodynamic. If these components are made from carbon fibers, they can create this effect, without the burden of weight.
Carbon fiber components are composed from fabric that is knitted with extremely thin threads of almost pure carbon. To convert the material into a vehicle part experts use a particular technique.
It begins with a pre-built fiberglass mold, to the edges of which a double-sided butyl tape is placed in the beginning. The next step is to apply a sealing layer. Its purpose can be used to seal any cracks that may occur in the mold. It is also used as a masking material to shield the mold’s lip.
A second layer of separation that is based on polyvinyl alcool is incorporated into the fiberglass shape. It assists in the separation of the completed carbon-based product out of the mold.
Then, it’s time to apply the carbon fiber to be sprayed. It is enrolled , then is sprayed. It is sprayed layer-by-layer, with beginning with the initial layer. It is bonded to the mild by special spray adhesive that is then absorbent into the resin.
It is crucial that the first layer is placed precisely in the shape of the mold, and that the appearance that the material has is perfectly laid out.
There aren’t any wrinkles in the mold at this point. Each piece of carbon is placed over the previous one and is then fixed using spray glue. The carbon fabric has its own strength, making it easy to cut off excess.
The fabric is then layered seven times, and then rearranged according to the patterns in the mold. Then comes the polyester layer to separate fabric, which forms an insulating layer between carbon fiber and synthetic mesh which is laid over it.
The function of the mesh is essential to proper vacuuming of the piece and also the movement of vacuum through the resin. In this manner the mold is now ready to be sealed with vacuum foil. It is then glued to the outside of the mold. It is then glued to the and double-sided, butyl-based tape.
In addition, it is essential to keep the “bellies” on the foil so that the added volume that is created, will allow the foil to be pressed completely over the entire size that the mold is.
Once the mold is sealed, it is now ready for vacuuming, an operation in which the mold’s material is pressurized to a high degree and air is removed completely when the vacuum is turned on. When the vacuum pulls in air, all the layers inside the mold are being compressed. It’s time to let loose the epoxy from the other end of the mold.
This is, thanks to the vacuum applied, slowly absorbs the carbon fiber layer inside the mold, which ensures the bonding in the carbon fiber automobile part. After additional heating, the piece is now ready to be removed and out of the mold. After it has been cleaned after that, the solid fusion between epoxy resin and carbon fiber fabric are formed.
Carbon fiber is able to be made into virtually any car accessory. Its versatility is among its biggest advantages. Most of the time carbon fibers aren’t painted in a deliberate manner but are coated with colourless varnish in order to preserve the unique 3D view of the carbon fibers that are intertwined.
HOW IS CARBON FIBER MADE?
Carbon fiber can be described as a composite material used for car manufacturing components, like BMW M Performance Parts, or as complete carbon fiber chassis components.
The main ingredients used for production are carbon fibers, as well as the supporting structure that is made of thermosetting plastics referred to by the term matrix.
It is made up of a variety of substances like synthetic resins. The matrix is used to join the fibers, and fill the gaps between them. Because the synthetic resin will start to crosslink after long time at temperatures of room temperature and is then stored into coils and stored at -0.4degF (-18degC). It is heated to room temperature about one day prior to the next stage of processing.
Carbon fibers are extremely thin, they usually measure only 10 percent of the width of hairs on a human. The direction that the fibers are laid out is essential to the stability of the structure A carbon structure is only very strong with respect to the direction of the fibers.
When it comes to the next stage for structural elements, about fifty thousand of these filaments are bundled into fiber bundles referred to rovings , and then rolled up.
For visible carbon components There are approximately 3000 filaments. These rovings are used to create flat fabrics with various fiber orientations to ensure that they are rigid across all directions. When placed over the other the rovings form stacks.
They are then put into molds and “baked”. This stage, also known as the autoclave process the thermosetting matrix is solidified – at 248degF (120degC) with high pressure and a time of about two hours.
The resin bonds and gives the part its final form. The result is carbon fiber car components that are able to be joined to form larger parts (bodywork elements) depending on the need. The visible parts are then coated by a transparent lacquer it ensures that the distinctive structure of carbon fibers remains clear and, in the same way it ensures that the material is kept safe.
Visible carbon components are produced mostly by hand, which is which is a lengthy procedure. It could take up to a full day to create one single piece. Cutting, preparation and curing with the autoclave, milling, demolding, lacquering, all of these require some time. They also provide the highest standard of excellence and quality.
Properties of and benefits of carbon fiber
Carbon fiber properties
A few characteristics that are related with composites, particularly those using carbon fiber for one component are as follows:
- Resistance to corrosion
- EM Transparency
- Low density
- Fatigue and fatigue-related life
- Conductivity of heat
Benefits of carbon fiber
In describing the characteristics of carbon fiber , one should compare it to other materials that are available for production components in order to understand the advantages. The most obvious choices for components are metals, and the main carbon fibers’ main competitors are titanium alloys, aluminum alloys, and steels.
For structural purposes, the relation between strength and stiffness weight is the most important element for designers. Cost is an important aspect, however for vehicle applications, the performance of the material generally surpasses the cost for the life that the car.
The three metals mentioned have specific stiffness ratios of around 25 (GPa / G/cm3). Carbon fibre composites can range between 66 and 150 (GPa / grams/cm3) in accordance with the their orientation and the kind of reinforcement. It’s a ratio that is 3 to six times higher.