The specialist also took the time to offer us a quick view of the carbon fiber parts production process:
- The carbon fiber is pre-impregnated with a catalyzed epoxy resin and is kept in a frozen state until it is used, (unfortunately the material does have a shelf life and it's five times more expensive than raw cloth, not to mention the electricity costs of running a freezer.)
- Once the carbon fiber is defrosted there is a limited amount of time to start layering it onto the mold. Each ply of carbon fiber is laid out at different angles to prevent the part from warping. The part is then vacuum bagged to compress the carbon fiber plys and is hooked up with probes and sent into the autoclave, where it is pressure cooked and cures.
- The part is then removed from the autoclave, de-bagged, inspected, sanded down along the edges, trimmed, polished and three coats of clear coat are applied. We do use a UV additive to prevent the resin from deteriorating in the sun.