How Are Carbon Fiber Car Parts Made?

How Are Carbon Fiber Car Parts Made?

Carbon fiber car parts such as bumpers and spoilers are exceptionally durable, and they are 1/5 of the weight of the steel ones. Recently, more car manufacturers turn to carbon fiber to make car parts because a car that weighs less accelerates more quickly and thus uses less fuel. Custom spoilers, bumpers, and other parts make a vehicle more aerodynamic. When these parts are made of carbon fiber, they create this effect without the hindrance of extra weight.

 

Carbon fiber spoilers on working table

 

Carbon fiber parts are made of fabric that is tightly woven with very fine threads of virtually pure carbon. To transform the material into a car part, professionals use a certain technology. It starts with a pre-built fiberglass mold, on the edge of which a butyl double-sided tape is applied as a first step. It's time for a special sealing layer. Its function is to fill any micro-cracks in the mold. Masking tape is used to protect the lip of the mold. Then a second separating layer, based on polyvinyl alcohol is applied, into the fiberglass form. It serves for the subsequent separation of the already finished carbon product from the mold.

 

Carbon Fiber Rear Air Duct Porsche Cayenne

 

After that, it is time for the carbon fiber material. It is enrolled and sprayed. It is applied layer by layer, the first layer being attached to the mild with a specially designed spray adhesive, which is subsequently absorbed by the resin. It is extremely important that the first layer lies tightly in the shape of the mold and the texture of the fabric is beautifully arranged. After all, there shouldn't be any wrinkles at this point. Each subsequent layer of carbon fabric is laid on top of the previous one, fixing it again with spray glue. The material has its own strength, so it is easy to trim the excess.

The fabric is layered seven times, again following the lines of the mold.  It is the turn of a layer of polyester separating fabric, which creates a barrier between the carbon fiber and the synthetic mesh finally laid on it. The role of the synthetic mesh is key to the good vacuuming of the part and the vacuum movement of the resin. Arranged in this way, the mold is ​​ready for closing with vacuum foil, which is glued along the edge of the mold to the initially placed butyl double-sided tape.

 

Carbon fiber front air duct Porsche Cayenne

 

Meanwhile, it is important to leave "bellies" of the vacuum foil in places so that the additional volume, thus created allows the foil to press tightly over the entire area of ​​the mold. Thus sealed, the mold is ready for vacuuming - a process in which the material in it is pressed hard and the air is completely extracted with the vacuum turned on. As the vacuum sucks the air out, the layers in the mold are compressed. It is time to release the epoxy resin from one end of the mold, which, with the help of the applied vacuum, gradually saturates the carbon fiber layers in the mold, thus ensuring the lamination of the carbon fiber automotive part. After further heat treatment, the part is ready to come out from the mold. When it is cleaned up, the solid fusion of epoxy resin and layers of carbon fiber fabric is formed.

Carbon fiber can be molded into almost any vehicle accessory. Its versatility is one of its big upsides. More often than not, carbon fiber parts are not painted on purpose but covered only with colorless varnish to preserve the unique 3D vision of the intertwined carbon fibers.

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