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Thread: distributor/retailor for c.cramer co carbon fiber fabric?

  1. #1

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    distributor/retailor for c.cramer co carbon fiber fabric?

    There is no info i can find on their website, http://www.ccc-fabrics.com/en. The composite industry seems pretty strange in its distribution channel. Anyone has any tip? I am attracted to their products because they are used in certified planes. Thanx for reading!

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by wantobe View Post
    I am attracted to their products because they are used in certified planes.
    Hexcel products are widely used in the aerospace industry as are several others. I would think you can ask your supplier who weaves their fabric and they would provide the necessary info.....??

  3. #3

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    If you look up the materials properties, carbon fiber is carbon fiber. The carbon fiber fabric producted by one manufacturer is not hugely different from the fabric producted by another manufacturer for the purposes of a homebuilder since you and I do not have a large autoclave and automated equipment. What differentiates different rolls of carbon fiber cloth for us is the weave style and the number of strands in each thread of the weave. Different weaves carry tension and compression slightly differently and most importantly, form around corners and curved shapes better.

    I would suggest going to the Hexcel web site and doing some reading. You will want to understand the weave styles. Carbon fiber strands provide their best mechanical properties when they are perfectly straight, and weaving has the threads bend around each other. And the strength numbers provided are going to be modified by embedding the cloth in Epoxy and maybe using it as the facing of a core material. All of the info is available online but you will be well served by purchasing some fabric, core, and epoxy, and some 50lb or 60lb sand bags. Make panel and load it up. You will find what you see very interesting. Then start doing math.

    Best of luck,

    Wes
    N78PS

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the replies. I checked out hexcel, and downloaded and read HexForce_Technical_Fabrics_Handbook.pdf. Page 30 title "Aerospace Carbon Fabric Construction Data", and page31 "Commercial Carbon Fabric Construction Data". The yarn used in aerospace section is "T300 3K", yarn in commericial section is "3K Carbon, 33MSI". What is the difference? Should we use aerospace grade only?

    Aircraft Spruce supplies Style 284 bidirectional carbon 2/2 twill, 5.7 oz/SqYd. This product is in the above commerical section of Hexcel. So it seems Aircraft Spruce is supplying commerical grade for airplane homebuilders. Is this a problem?

  5. #5

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    Nope. Build a test article and load up the sandbags. Say 1/4" core with one ply of carbon and epoxy on each side. Then report how strong it was.

    Best of luck,

    Wes

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by wantobe View Post
    What is the difference? Should we use aerospace grade only?
    Aircraft materials require a paper trail. I guess it depends on the application but if I was reasonable assured of getting the same stuff then I'd probably use it. Piece of paper doesn't make much difference otherwise......

  7. #7
    Thomas Stute's Avatar
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    If you look up the materials properties, carbon fiber is carbon fiber.
    This is a bolt and wrong statement. There is a wide range of carbon fibres on the market. Looking just into aerospace grade the range is from the most commonly used Toray T300 and HTA fibres which are mainly used in woven fabrics via high strength fibers T800, T1000 to ultra high modulous PAN fibres (M55J, M60J) and the pitch fibers from Granoc YSH-50, -60,-70,-90 and Mitsubishi Dialead K13C2U, K13D2U and....
    Not all of these fibers can be woven, some, the stiffer ones have to be processed as unidirectional prepregs or even directly as yarn roving coming from the bobbin (by filament winding, automated fiber placement...). For aerospace use the traceability of the raw material must be ensured. This is given for the aerospace grade fibers and their woven fabrics. For homebuilt purposes the T300 or HTA based fabrics(plain weave, 2-2 twill, ...) are affordable and sufficient. The higher grades require more processing skills, are more expensive and you will pay up to 3 k USD for the ultra high modulous fibers.
    So, it is not true that "If you look up the materials properties, carbon fiber is carbon fiber." The only thing they all have in common is their colour: black.

  8. #8

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    Well you are correct if you believe that folks from Airbus and Boeing are looking at this thread for advice. I have to confess that I am assuming that the average reader and poster here only has access to US retail type distributors and does not have the budget for the higher end materials that you speak of.

    The carbon fiber fabrics that are available through Jamestown Distributors, Aircraft Spruce, etc., are essentially all the same.

    Are there inexpensive alternatives available for home building aircraft in Europe?

    Best,

    Wes
    N78PS

  9. #9

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    The main difference between carbon fibers is the modulus and ultimate tensile strength. A "standard modulus" fiber runs around 32 MSI and 500 ksi ultimate. An "intermediate modulus" fiber runs 40 MSI and 700 ksi ultimate. When selecting a fiber system for transport aircraft, designers look for maximum perfromance per lbs of structure so the strength and stiffness matter considerably. For homebuilts, carbon fiber with "standard modulus" of 32 MSI is fine. The materials sold by Spruce are probably at the low end of performance and cheaper and works fine for homebuilt projects.
    When woven, the final strength of a fiber system is knocked down. If the weave is 50% in each direction ( warp and fill), then there is an immediate reduction of half the potential strength so for a 500 ksi fiber, you drop strength to 250 ksi. The the resin volume is ~50% so that knocks strength down to 125 ksi. Throw in poor compaction and porosity for a wet contact layup and you are down to maybe 80-90 ksi ultimate. So bottom line is that there is a huge difference between fiber properties and final laminate strength for home layups. And the lower cost carbon fiber works fine for most home applications.

  10. #10

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    Bob H's explanation of carbon fiber-reinforced composite strength is very clear. Thanks!

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