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Carbon fiber sandwich panel

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ACP Composites. Foam with carbon fiber panels stocked up to .5 inch. A 4ft by 4ft. 1/2 panel is about 380 USD. They have em up to 4 ft by 8 ft. They also have honeycomb cored panels, and balsa cored panels. Give them a look-up on the internet.

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I remember talking to a guy about his Farrier (not sure which it was) - he was using a very thin carbon board that apparently was used in model airplanes. he was going to use it for the cockpit floor. I was a bit sceptical but the boat floats!

 

I've also just been looking at pre made panels, there's Duflex from ATL and another one Polycore which seems to come with two thin layers of epoxy/glass ready for application of whatever you want. Looks light.

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ACP Composites. Foam with carbon fiber panels stocked up to .5 inch. A 4ft by 4ft. 1/2 panel is about 380 USD.

Should be able to make them for a lot less than that, it's not hard, especially as flat pannels.

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Dragonplate carbon fiber is another source.

Yes you can, if you have the equipment, space, and ability as well as access to all the needed tools and materials, of course make it for yourself cheaper than a fully burdened shop. Go ahead, this isnt russia is it, billy?

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I don't have all the gear to vacuum bag and was thinking that it would be cheaper, easier and better (where the weight would be saved) to find a supplier to furnish the panels, leaving me with cutting, shaping and tabbing into place. Plus,if the panels are well finished, it saves time and energy on fairings. Thoughts?

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Thoughts are that carbon and core costs more than you would think. Quality infusable 1/2 in core is > $5 sq ft. Carbon, I forget but its pretty pricey. Then there's resin, labor and all the disposables.. By the time you figure the cost, everyone screams you're ripping them off so after awhile? You just don't bother.

 

We make stuff like this all the time for our own projects. I find most people don't really want the good stuff. The cost "savings" of faux carbon usually draws them away.

 

-jim lee

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I don't have all the gear to vacuum bag and was thinking that it would be cheaper, easier and better (where the weight would be saved) to find a supplier to furnish the panels, leaving me with cutting, shaping and tabbing into place. Plus,if the panels are well finished, it saves time and energy on fairings. Thoughts?

The extra cost for commercial products is labour and storage costs. Doing it yourself saves that, though you'll pay a little more for materials unless you can convince someone to give you trade prices.

 

It should be easy to get a bill of materials and work out the cost. MDF with clear tape over it can be the "mould", get the $/m for carbon, $/m for foam or whatever core you want, then add the cost of bagging materials and peel ply (again by the metre). Vacuum pumps are on eBay. The difference in weight will be bugger all if you're careful about wetting out. A supplier should be able to tell you how much of everything you need and offer advice on using the products they have in stock.

 

You could even get away without vacuum if you put say taped MDF on top too with evenly distributed weights. All you're trying to do is squeeze fibres together and expel excess resin. Vacuum is handy with complex or curved shapes, but with flat pannels, weights work just as well.

 

Maybe the cost saving won't get you far enough ahead for the effort, but worth pricing just so you know. :-)

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I don't have all the gear to vacuum bag and was thinking that it would be cheaper, easier and better (where the weight would be saved) to find a supplier to furnish the panels, leaving me with cutting, shaping and tabbing into place. Plus,if the panels are well finished, it saves time and energy on fairings. Thoughts?

The extra cost for commercial products is labour and storage costs. Doing it yourself saves that, though you'll pay a little more for materials unless you can convince someone to give you trade prices.

 

It should be easy to get a bill of materials and work out the cost. MDF with clear tape over it can be the "mould", get the $/m for carbon, $/m for foam or whatever core you want, then add the cost of bagging materials and peel ply (again by the metre). Vacuum pumps are on eBay. The difference in weight will be bugger all if you're careful about wetting out. A supplier should be able to tell you how much of everything you need and offer advice on using the products they have in stock.

 

You could even get away without vacuum if you put say taped MDF on top too with evenly distributed weights. All you're trying to do is squeeze fibres together and expel excess resin. Vacuum is handy with complex or curved shapes, but with flat pannels, weights work just as well.

 

Maybe the cost saving won't get you far enough ahead for the effort, but worth pricing just so you know. :-)

 

 

+1...a careful lofting or scaled plan, level work top that can take weight, even garage floor and car, ply/carbon or glass sandwich, and your are home free. Busy but not hard and vacuum free.

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You can buy the foam core and carbon cloth from a variety of suppliers, and with a flat panel, don't need vacuum , just careful wetting out doing one side at a time with all the ply's you need. I've done it with good results. For a finished look for top surface, use peel ply over top layer to get a satin look. try a test panel first to see what look you'll get. for a gloss look, use visiqueen, have to be careful to get it applied over smooth however. Assume you may want non-slid top surface, don't need super smooth surface.

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