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Carbon Fiber Skin

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  • Carbon Fiber Skin

    OK, so I have already ordered the stuff, but was looking for some input or any tips & tricks.

    I am going to skin the entire bike, or at least all body parts, with 2x2 twill weave carbon fiber.
    I did my homework before ordering and should have way more than enough for they Kat.
    It was all online ordering so everyhthing should be here in 2 weeks the latest.
    I will try to take as many pictures and document the whole way.

    Plans:
    1. Sand down just to create a good bonding surface, but not too far as I still need the black b/c w/ only 1 layer of fiber, the underlying color still shows a little.
    2. Apply resin, let sit for 3ish hours
    3. Apply Fiber then coat with resin
    4. Sand Flat, add 2nd coat of resin(think 2 coats on top should be good)
    5. Sand starting with low grit down to wetsand, then clean.
    6. Clearcoat with 2-5 layers (suggestions) (using the 2 part activated spray can)
    7. Sand starting with low grit down to wetsand, then clean.
    8. Wax and put back together.


    I know I have my work cut out for me, but riding season isn't fully upon us yet, and figured I would make the best out of the time until then. I will feel much better about the Kat at bike nights

    Now...this will probably add 20ish lbs to the bike, but I'm not going for performance.. and that just means I'll have to find a woman that is 20 lbs lighter

    well, lemme know what you think

  • #2
    What kind of resin will you be using? Epoxy, poly or vinyl? I would suggest you to not sand between coats of resin. With one layer of carbon be very careful, the weave will tend to deform very easily, which will look like crap.

    Also, I would advise you to use a real wet lay-up technique, where you cut your fiber, set it on a table, pour resin on it, put a plastic sheet on top of it, and then work the resin into it with a spatula. You can then apply the wet fabric to your surface. This will make sure you get resin everywhere, and will be easier to work with.

    I work in composites daily, I love it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by KeWLKaT View Post
      What kind of resin will you be using? Epoxy, poly or vinyl? I would suggest you to not sand between coats of resin. With one layer of carbon be very careful, the weave will tend to deform very easily, which will look like crap.

      Also, I would advise you to use a real wet lay-up technique, where you cut your fiber, set it on a table, pour resin on it, put a plastic sheet on top of it, and then work the resin into it with a spatula. You can then apply the wet fabric to your surface. This will make sure you get resin everywhere, and will be easier to work with.

      I work in composites daily, I love it.
      First, thanks for the input.. Now, I'm goin to pick your brain if you don't mind.

      I am going to use an epoxy resin. It was recommended by the company I bought the fabric off of.

      So, pretty much soak the cloth in resin?? How much resin am I going to burn through?

      And you say wait to sand... how many layers of resin on top of the original application do you recommend?

      Thanks, all help is appreciated.

      Comment


      • #4
        I advise removing all paint before starting as the chemical reaction of the resin curing & the heat produced will blister & peel the paint resulting in a mess of carbon not bonded to the bodywork

        Any resulting smooth surfaces should be roughened to provide a key or what you are trying to bond to will act as a mold & seperate

        tone
        Renthals & twin spots do not make a streetfighter !

        Comment


        • #5
          This is the way I would do it, I would recommend you to try it first on a small square section. The thing is by doing it that way, you are putting chances on your side to diminish the quantity of air present inside of your layup. Going at it with your spatula directly on your bike is not only uncomfortable, but you will be deforming the weave when passing on high spots. The reason for trying to sand the less possible between coats is because epoxy resin at room temp is highly viscous usually, and would have a hard time comforming to the texture left by the sandpaper on the surface.

          So, starting with the technique described and doing the wet layup, the fabric should almost be completely soaked in resin, and you let that cure. Once it is cured, inspect the surface, everything should have a light coating, but with a texture to the fabric since you are doing an open lay-up. Apply another coat, and assess the damages (lol) after it is cured (that resin WILL drip everywhere, so watch out). Now, if after the second coat, you judge that it is possible to sand without touching the fibers, go for it. if not, repeat.

          I will warn you, open wet lay-ups are the biggest pains in the *** when it comes to working with composites, which is why only ''do it yourselvers'' do it. You WILL have air bubbles, especially on the second coat. You WILL curse, but you can always sand and try again. The best would be to somehow vacuum bag all of this, but it looks like you do not have the tooling. Though epoxy is one of the most comfortable to sand, so you are not out of luck.

          Basically, you need enough resin (pay attention to the hardener quantity, too much and that stuff will gel in no time, too little and you will have incomplete polymerization and your bike will smell like styrene for the next year). How much resin, I do not know. It's hard to tell by the eye, especially on the internet, and since it highly depends on the density of your fabric (basically its thickness).

          tone, I am not too worried with the heat itself being an issue, because we have no mass effect in the wet polymer, since the applied layer will be very thin, but it could be a good step to take to ensure proper adhesion.

          Comment


          • #6
            I definitely plan on a test piece first. I am looking for something small as to not waste too much material, but also want it to have some shape to it since the KAT is pretty shapely...

            Originally posted by KeWLKaT View Post
            Apply another coat, and assess the damages (lol) after it is cured
            sounds promising
            Originally posted by KeWLKaT View Post
            I will warn you, open wet lay-ups are the biggest pains in the *** when it comes to working with composites, which is why only ''do it yourselvers'' do it. You WILL have air bubbles, especially on the second coat. You WILL curse, but you can always sand and try again. The best would be to somehow vacuum bag all of this, but it looks like you do not have the tooling. Though epoxy is one of the most comfortable to sand, so you are not out of luck.
            Hmm, I was looking at using a technique similar to this vid:
            [YOUTUBE]6rTWaV1imzs[/YOUTUBE]

            Thank you both for the Tips and info, I can't wait to get the material in to give it a test run... kinda scared.. but if it turns out close to what the parts in the vids look like I will be a happy man
            Last edited by Theric; 03-23-2009, 03:47 PM. Reason: Youtube video now works

            Comment


            • #7
              cant you just go to www.trackwraps.com and by some sheets of carbon fiber wrap ?

              I always found that site interesting as was always wondering if it would work. it would be easier than painting everything lol

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Windex921 View Post
                cant you just go to www.trackwraps.com and by some sheets of carbon fiber wrap ?

                I always found that site interesting as was always wondering if it would work. it would be easier than painting everything lol
                This one looks easy enough to try.
                http://www.decalfx.com/carbon_fiber_sheets.html#order
                Former Marine 3/97-3/01
                MOS 0161 Semper FI!
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Those parts in the video turned out really good. I guess you could give it a try on a small surface to try it out. Notice he uses adhesive on the bottom of the fiber though before applying it.

                  Go ahead and let us know how it goes

                  Also: I like how the guy in the vid is cutting carbon fiber with no gloves and a t-shirt. Don't do that. When working with such materials, make sure you are always wearing long sleeves and gloves, because IF you end up with CF poking you into the skin you will regret it

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Windex921 View Post
                    cant you just go to www.trackwraps.com and by some sheets of carbon fiber wrap ?
                    I am looking for something more permanent, and sadly the real stuff is cheaper...

                    Originally posted by Woodmysta View Post
                    The KAT is quite the curvy beast and I don't believe the sheets/decals would form to the body for a nice uniform finish that I am looking for.

                    Originally posted by KeWLKaT View Post
                    Those parts in the video turned out really good. I guess you could give it a try on a small surface to try it out. Notice he uses adhesive on the bottom of the fiber though before applying it.
                    Go ahead and let us know how it goes
                    That's what I was figuring...if it works, it'll save a ton of work

                    Originally posted by KeWLKaT View Post
                    Also: I like how the guy in the vid is cutting carbon fiber with no gloves and a t-shirt. Don't do that. When working with such materials, make sure you are always wearing long sleeves and gloves, because IF you end up with CF poking you into the skin you will regret it
                    Lol... I heard the same thing, I already bought gloves and a respirator as I heard the resin mix can really mess with you.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KeWLKaT View Post
                      IF you end up with CF poking you into the skin you will regret it
                      lmao very true ive had a piece in my index finger for the last 15 years stabbing me every time i pull in the clutch
                      Renthals & twin spots do not make a streetfighter !

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Theric View Post
                        The KAT is quite the curvy beast and I don't believe the sheets/decals would form to the body for a nice uniform finish that I am looking for.
                        .
                        True that! I may try something like this on my 03 tail and then paint then rest. But I am not 100% sure yet.
                        Former Marine 3/97-3/01
                        MOS 0161 Semper FI!
                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          use a heat gun or hair dryer and the vinyl forms very easily
                          98 GSX750F
                          95 Honda VT600 vlx
                          08 Tsu SX200

                          HardlyDangerous Motosports

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                          • #14
                            I noted that you talked about using the two-part clear-coat afterwards using the rattle-can applicator... This is from another post I just made, but it applies:

                            ColorRite does offer two-part proper fuel-resistant clear as a spray-solution with a CO2 spray-can. Basically, it's two containers that get mixed and screwed onto the propellant bottle. But it's particularly sensitive to humidity in the air, mostly because of the temp-drop of the CO2 coming out of the propellant can (in Florida with a 60% ambient humidity that morning, I blew ice-chunks into the clear while applying it). If I had to do it again, I'd break down and buy an airbrush compressor & quick-change sprayer kit from HarborFreight instead and use it to apply both the paint and the clearcoat.

                            Cheers,
                            =-= The CyberPoet

                            __________________________________________________ ________
                            CyberPoet's Katana Maintence and Upgrade Parts Offerings
                            The Best Metal Steel Aluminum Motorcycle Tire Valves in the World, plus lots of motorcycle & Katana (GSX600F / GSX750F) specific help files.
                            Remember The CyberPoet

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                            • #15
                              i wonder if you can use this stuff on a windscreen if you could get it to curve and flatten around the edges (on a pre)

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