Epoxy vs. Vinylester vs. Polyester Resins | Carbon Fiber
What are Epoxy, Vinylester, Polyester Resins?
Over the past decade, carbon fiber technology has greatly expanded thanks to new, more streamlined manufacturing processes. These new methods create automotive and motorcycle parts which are stronger and more impact resistant than steel, and weigh 1/4th less. There is little doubt that the design of automobiles and motorcycles has been affected by carbon fiber. Air scoops, pin stripe, spoilers and many different types of auto and motorcycle parts are crafted from carbon fiber.
You also may have heard the terms “dry carbon fiber” and “wet carbon fiber” and seen the difference in price between both. Dry carbon fiber is stronger, more durable and lighter than wet carbon fiber, which is less expensive and actually produces a more attractive product.
There are three different types of carbon fiber resins that are used in creating automotive parts. Understanding which types are available will help you make an informed decision about which type of carbon fiber (CF) parts to get for your vehicle.
Before you make a purchase of carbon fiber parts, you’ll want to know what resins were used in their construction. This will help you better understand how effective they are for the price that you are paying.
Epoxy is easily the most expensive of the three types, but it is also the strongest and most durable. The epoxy binds to the carbon fiber, Kevlar, and fiberglass to form a solid barrier that is leak-proof. Epoxy also binds to older epoxy substances and many other types of material.
One issue with epoxy is that it tends to yellow when exposed to moisture. You’ll want to purchase carbon fiber parts that have an “all-weather” epoxy hardener to insure that this yellowing does not occur. Carbon fiber parts made with epoxy resins have UV protection to prevent damage and discoloration.
The least expensive of the three, polyester bonds very poorly with carbon and Kevlar materials. Polyester is only effective with fiberglass. If strength is part of the reason why you are purchasing this product, avoid polyester resins for carbon fiber and Kevlar bonding.
The Vinylester resins are only about 1/3rd as strong as the epoxy. In addition, they do not adhere well to either the carbon fiber or Kevlar materials. However, they are primarily used as an aesthetic application to these products. Vinylester is most often used with fiberglass, but is also applied to carbon fiber as an outer cosmetic coating.
In essence, vinylester is used primarily to enhance the appearance, not the actual strength of the carbon fiber products.
We carry carbon fiber automotive parts for many different makes and models of vehicles. Crafted from epoxy and dry carbon, the products by Scopione represent the strongest and most durable on the market. We carry the leading independent retailers of top quality carbon fiber aftermarket automotive parts and motorcycle parts in the world today.