Carbon Fiber Gift Products
Carbon fiber is a material that is made by weaving many strands of carbon lace into a matrix pattern to form a cloth. This cloth is then mixed with resin to form a highly strong material which can be formed into various shapes, making carbon fiber products endless. Now there are a few methods in which you can make carbon fiber products. Here we outline a few of them so you can see the pros and cons of the different carbon processes.
Carbon Fiber Wet Lay Up
In the carbon Fiber wet lay up process, the clue is in the name. A mold is normally used made out of fiberglass or metal, for best results out of carbon itself. A reverse mold is made by covering the object to be made out of carbon with wax and then fiberglass matting and resin to form the mold. Once dry, the inside of the mold is waxed to form a none-stick surface. Once again when dry, the mold is covered with resin and left to dry until tacky. Once tacky, the carbon fiber weave cloth is laid onto the resin in the direction you want the weave. Then once in position, more resin is brushed into the carbon weave until a uniform thickness throughout. The mold is then left to dry before the carbon plug can be removed. Once removed the plug can be tidied up by sanding with wet and dry to achieve a high luster finish. This is ideal for items like carbon jewelry or car parts. This process however is very time consuming and the process of brushing in the resin can cause air bubbles in the resin making the product porous. Moisture in the resin can cause a cloudy affect and can not be removed without sanding past it. This process is however, the cheap option to produce carbon fiber gifts of small value. This process can also cause distortion in the weave due to movement of the cloth whilst brushing in the resin.
The process of carbon fiber vacuum bagging is pretty much the same as the wet lay up, with the exception of the whole product once placed in the mold is placed in a sealed bag and then the air is sucked out of the bag to form a vacuum. This process forces the air bubbles fbt splitter out of the resin so that we don’t have the same problems as the wet lay up process. So it goes without saying that this method of making a product increases the visual look of an item. So to make a product like Jewelry, watches, sunglasses etc, this is a perfect method. A little tidying up of the top surface will be needed but the carbon fiber top surface will be of a higher standard.
The process of using an Autoclave to make a quality product is the most expensive of the bunch and with all things expensive, you will find the best carbon. The method is nearly the same as the wet lay in the fact the carbon weave is laid into the mold, but this time the resin is impregnated at manufacture to the weave. The mold is vacuum bagged as discussed before and then placed in the pressurized and heated Autoclave. The bag heat liquidates the resin and evenly distributes the resin into the carbon fiber. Combined with the heat and pressure the bubbles are squeezed out and the weave is perfectly straight. Unlike the wet lay up where the brushing of resin into the carbon weave, disturbs the pattern. The finish when complete and straight out of the mold is outstanding. It goes without saying then that products like car panels seen in the Pagani Zhonda or Bugatti Veyroncars are made with the autoclave carbon process.