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Thread: Carbon fiber tube wanted

  1. #1

    Carbon fiber tube wanted

    I am rebuilding my Belite Ultracub after my crash landing and I need a new carbon fiber tube for one of my leading edges.

    Does anyone know of a CF manufacturer in Wisconsin that makes 12 foot long tubes, 2 1/2 inch diameter? My Google searches have turned up several but none of them make tubes in that length.

    Thanks!

    Jim Pfarr

  2. #2

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    CF tubes

    Quote Originally Posted by Scoundrel View Post
    I am rebuilding my Belite Ultracub after my crash landing and I need a new carbon fiber tube for one of my leading edges.

    Does anyone know of a CF manufacturer in Wisconsin that makes 12 foot long tubes, 2 1/2 inch diameter? My Google searches have turned up several but none of them make tubes in that length.

    Thanks!

    Jim Pfarr

    Not all carbon fiber tubes are equal, it's much like asking for an aluminum tube without asking about the alloy, just because it's a CF tube doesn't make it a suitable replacement.

    Bill H.

  3. #3

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    Can you not obtain one from the manufacturer?

  4. #4
    crusty old aviator's Avatar
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    Jim:

    As Bill says, "not all carbon fiber tubes are equal." If you can't get one from Belite, as Marty suggests, can you at least get the specs for it? You'll need the ply schedule that specifies what fabric and uni are used, warp orientations, and what resin is used, as well as how much resin (usually a weight percentage).

    If you can't get the specs, you could reverse engineer the tube by peeling it apart, but only if you can identify each ply of carbon fiber and uni by visual inspection. You could calculate all the loads the tube will be exposed to and design your own: that would be a learning experience!

  5. #5
    Belite has the tube and is selling it for $380. My budget has taken a serious hit thanks to an unexpectedly high tax bill this year so I am trying to get creative with options. James Wiebe tells me this is commercial grade CF tubing, 2.5 inch OD and .065 wall thickness.

    I prefer to buy a professionally made tube rather than take chances on making my own. I figure if I can find a supplier I can save myself 1/2 of the shipping costs (save shipping to Belite) and save the additional mark up from Belite.

    Quote Originally Posted by crusty old aviator View Post
    Jim:

    As Bill says, "not all carbon fiber tubes are equal." If you can't get one from Belite, as Marty suggests, can you at least get the specs for it? You'll need the ply schedule that specifies what fabric and uni are used, warp orientations, and what resin is used, as well as how much resin (usually a weight percentage).

    If you can't get the specs, you could reverse engineer the tube by peeling it apart, but only if you can identify each ply of carbon fiber and uni by visual inspection. You could calculate all the loads the tube will be exposed to and design your own: that would be a learning experience!

  6. #6

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    CF tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Scoundrel View Post
    Belite has the tube and is selling it for $380. My budget has taken a serious hit thanks to an unexpectedly high tax bill this year so I am trying to get creative with options. James Wiebe tells me this is commercial grade CF tubing, 2.5 inch OD and .065 wall thickness.

    I prefer to buy a professionally made tube rather than take chances on making my own. I figure if I can find a supplier I can save myself 1/2 of the shipping costs (save shipping to Belite) and save the additional mark up from Belite.
    $380 is pretty cheap, I'd be surprised if you could make your own (assuming you've got a way to do that) for that price.

    Carbon fiber cloth is VERY expensive, last I looked around $45 a yard and you'll need many many yards.

    Bill H.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scoundrel View Post
    Belite has the tube and is selling it for $380. My budget has taken a serious hit thanks to an unexpectedly high tax bill this year so I am trying to get creative with options. James Wiebe tells me this is commercial grade CF tubing, 2.5 inch OD and .065 wall thickness.

    I prefer to buy a professionally made tube rather than take chances on making my own. I figure if I can find a supplier I can save myself 1/2 of the shipping costs (save shipping to Belite) and save the additional mark up from Belite.
    what is the shipping from KS to WI? Also $380? Where is Belite's supplier? If they are a chain, might can find a store close to where you live. On further investigation, there are a lot of different types of carbon fiber tube; filament wound, fabric, unidirection, sanded smooth. Might need more info than just "commercial grade"

  8. #8

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    If you used a 2 X 2 twill 6K carbon, three plies would get you right around .065. But is the tube you had just a hand laid laminate, or was it also vacuum bagged? How smooth is the surface, and is it smooth inside or outside, or both? All these things tell you how it was made, and then, to a large degree, what it's strength and structural properties will be like, and whether or not you should attempt to duplicate it on your own.

  9. #9

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    You also have to figure out how you'd make it. Laying it up over another tube will add to the cost and getting it back off that tube can be a real trick. Laminates tend to shrink as they cure, so the mandrel (tube) gets well stuck.

    Bill H.

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