Types of CF



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Kenny Lee

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Does anyone know the differences in CF? Several people in our group have gone and purchased CF bike
frames made by Giant. On a C40 the CF is encased in clear coat to protect the CF. On the Giant
frames there isn't any clear coat. The Giant bikes has what appears to be a pattern of woven
man-made material but the surface is smooth to the touch similiar to 'hard' plastic. When first
noticing this difference several of us asked our 'insider' who works at Giant to take us on a tour
of their CF frame manufacturing plant. He tells us even he doesn't have acess to this area. Hearing
this just makes me more curious. Can anyone enlighten me?

Thanks, Kenny Lee
 
R

Ryan Cousineau

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
Kenny Lee <[email protected]> wrote:

> Does anyone know the differences in CF? Several people in our group have gone and purchased CF
> bike frames made by Giant. On a C40 the CF is encased in clear coat to protect the CF. On the
> Giant frames there isn't any clear coat. The Giant bikes has what appears to be a pattern of woven
> man-made material but the surface is smooth to the touch similiar to 'hard' plastic. When first
> noticing this difference several of us asked our 'insider' who works at Giant to take us on a tour
> of their CF frame manufacturing plant. He tells us even he doesn't have acess to this area.
> Hearing this just makes me more curious. Can anyone enlighten me?
>
> Thanks, Kenny Lee

Carbon Fibre is basically fibreglass matting, except the heavy glass in the mat has been replaced
with very light carbon fibres.

Basic CF technology involves laying up the matting in layers, and then pouring the (clear) epoxy
over the matting. It hardens, forming a composite consisting of a hard resin holding the strong
carbon in place. The hard plastic you feel is basically just what it looks like.

There are complications: better parts are vacuum-formed, and you often have to build up parts one
layer at a time, but the basic composition of CF matting encased in hard resin never changes.

--
Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
 
P

Pete Russell

Guest
Well almost right what you see on the giant is most likely just the outermost layer which is a woven
layer or cloth the inner layers are very likely unidirectional or all the fibers running in one
direction this is placed at various angles to achieve the strength in the desired direction on the
trek's all the layers are unidirectional the carbon fiber is also most likely prepreg this has the
resin already in the fiber so each layer you put down is fully wet out and you don't have any dry
spots or voids there could be any number of layers depending on the strength required and the
thickness of the individual ply's this is then vacuum bagged or compressed to compact the layers.

Pete

"Ryan Cousineau" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> In article <[email protected]>,
> Kenny Lee <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > Does anyone know the differences in CF? Several people in our group have gone and purchased CF
> > bike frames made by Giant. On a C40 the CF is encased in clear coat to protect the CF. On the
> > Giant frames there isn't any clear coat. The Giant bikes has what appears to be a pattern of
> > woven man-made material but the surface is smooth to the touch similiar to 'hard' plastic. When
> > first noticing this difference several of us asked our 'insider' who works at Giant to take us
> > on a tour of their CF frame manufacturing plant. He tells us even he doesn't have acess to this
> > area. Hearing this just makes me more curious. Can anyone enlighten
me?
> >
> > Thanks, Kenny Lee
>
> Carbon Fibre is basically fibreglass matting, except the heavy glass in the mat has been replaced
> with very light carbon fibres.
>
> Basic CF technology involves laying up the matting in layers, and then pouring the (clear) epoxy
> over the matting. It hardens, forming a composite consisting of a hard resin holding the strong
> carbon in place. The hard plastic you feel is basically just what it looks like.
>
> There are complications: better parts are vacuum-formed, and you often have to build up parts one
> layer at a time, but the basic composition of CF matting encased in hard resin never changes.
>
> --
> Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
 
N

Nicholas & Domi

Guest
both very good answers

"Pete Russell" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
Well almost right what you see on the giant is most likely just the outermost layer which is a woven
layer or cloth the inner layers are very likely unidirectional or all the fibers running in one
direction this is placed at various angles to achieve the strength in the desired direction on the
trek's all the layers are unidirectional the carbon fiber is also most likely prepreg this has the
resin already in the fiber so each layer you put down is fully wet out and you don't have any dry
spots or voids there could be any number of layers depending on the strength required and the
thickness of the individual ply's this is then vacuum bagged or compressed to compact the layers.

Pete

"Ryan Cousineau" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> In article <[email protected]>,
> Kenny Lee <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > Does anyone know the differences in CF? Several people in our group have gone and purchased CF
> > bike frames made by Giant. On a C40 the CF is encased in clear coat to protect the CF. On the
> > Giant frames there isn't any clear coat. The Giant bikes has what appears to be a pattern of
> > woven man-made material but the surface is smooth to the touch similiar to 'hard' plastic. When
> > first noticing this difference several of us asked our 'insider' who works at Giant to take us
> > on a tour of their CF frame manufacturing plant. He tells us even he doesn't have acess to this
> > area. Hearing this just makes me more curious. Can anyone enlighten
me?
> >
> > Thanks, Kenny Lee
>
> Carbon Fibre is basically fibreglass matting, except the heavy glass in the mat has been replaced
> with very light carbon fibres.
>
> Basic CF technology involves laying up the matting in layers, and then pouring the (clear) epoxy
> over the matting. It hardens, forming a composite consisting of a hard resin holding the strong
> carbon in place. The hard plastic you feel is basically just what it looks like.
>
> There are complications: better parts are vacuum-formed, and you often have to build up parts one
> layer at a time, but the basic composition of CF matting encased in hard resin never changes.
>
> --
> Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
 
J

Jeff Wills

Guest
ajames54 <[email protected]> wrote in message <snip>
> >There are complications: better parts are vacuum-formed, and you often have to build up parts one
> >layer at a time, but the basic composition of CF matting encased in hard resin never changes.
>
>
> Anyway there are a couple of different ways to make the parts, and even the entire bike none of
> them are particularly secret or difficult to understand. The methods can all be found in a good
> library and the materials can be purchased in most major metropolitan areas ... Hell if you had a
> two or three thousand bucks lying around you could set yourself up in your garage! Giant may have
> some sort of clean room policy in effect but that is about the only reason I can see for
> restricting access ...well other than the fact that tourists are a PITA.

Heck, if you want to try it yourself, STFW: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/carbon_fiber.htm

As to the original poster's description of the appearance of some frames, there's also the
possibility of the carbon-fiber being interwoven with another material, such as Kevlar. This will
yield a distinctive black/gold weave. Carbon/kevlar fabric is available from a couple sources:
http://www.shopmaninc.com/hybrids.html among them.

Jeff
 
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