Carbon Fiber References | Automotive | Motorcycle | Parts
At ScopioneUSA, we sell carbon fiber parts for many types of vehicles. Although carbon fiber parts have been in use for the past several years, they have only gained real prominence recently. For those who want to upgrade their vehicles with carbon fiber parts, the new terminology may seem a bit confusing at first.
Carbon fiber has revolutionized the car industry by introducing a material that is twice as strong as steel, yet is only 1/4th the weight on average. Today, high performance vehicles are using more carbon fiber parts allowing them torun faster, deliver greater overall performance and more torque as well.
Here, we hope to explain a variety of terms which will help you choose the best one for your needs. The following will discuss weave patterns, the definition of weave, choosing the correct type of weaves for the parts you purchase, and what a water jet is and how that applies to the creation of the carbon fiber parts.
Carbon Fiber Characteristic, Looking At Each Strand, A Close Up Look
The Weave Patterns Of Carbon Fiber Parts
You will see different formulas presented such as 1x1, 2x2 and 3x3 for example being associated with carbon fiber parts. While there are many different types of weave patterns, the 1x1 and the 2x2 are the most common with the parts that we sell. The “x” means “over”, in other words, “1 over 1 under”.
- 1x1: This is a weave pattern that resembles a square per weave.
- 2x2: This weave pattern resembles a diagonal line and looks different than a 1x1.
While it may initially sound like the higher the number, the stronger, that is not true. The more “over and under” in the weave, the weaker the carbon fiber part will be. While this may sound counter-intuitive at first, a good example is comparing a plain weave that is actually more prone to breaking than a 4 harness satin weave which still uses the same type of tow. This is because when the cloth comes under tension, the fibers will try to straighten out in response to the pressure. But if there is another tow bundle under them restricting their movement, then they cannot straighten out and it becomes more brittle.
So, the less overlapping the weave has, the stronger it will be. In essence, the carbon fiber weaves are much like the weaving done with cloth. If you consider that a 4 harness satin weave does not have the overlapping bumps as an 2x2 twill weave, then it becomes evident that the strongest cloth, just like carbon fiber weaves, generally have a single direction because the stress applied is lessened because of the fewer “bumps” or overrides in the weave patterns.
Naturally, understanding the full meaning of the weave number will help you properly evaluate the carbon fiber parts.
What Is A Weave?
Basically, when you see the 2x2 or 4x4 or even something like 3x1, the first number refers to how many strands are crossed over before they go under. So, for a 3x1 weave, the strand will go over 3 of the strands before going under. The second number refers to how many strands it will go under before heading back over. So using the 3x1 pattern again, this means that a single strand will go over 3 strands, then under 1 strand, then back over 3 strands and so forth.
How To Choose The Correct Type Of Weave
Now that you know what the pattern numbers mean, the next step is applying it to selecting which carbon fiber parts are best for your vehicle. When choosing a type of weave, three things you need to look for include:
- - Aesthetics
- - Weight
- - Complexity of the curve
Each type of weave has its own advantages and disadvantages, so one of the most important aspects of selecting the right weave is the aesthetic quality of the part since the actual fabric weave varies little on actual strength. The weight of the part needs to be considered as well, especially if you are trying to get more performance out of your vehicle. Finally, the complexity of the curves in the part will dictate to a certain extent the effects of the weave itself.
The more “weaving”, the more bumps will be present which can have an effect on the performance as well.
A single strand is thinner than a human hair, so the “K” refers to 1,000 strands of carbon per each fiber bundle. For example, if you have 12 weaves per inch, then you have 12 fiber bundles per inch, each bundle consisting of 1000 individual strands.
The Differences Between Layers Of Carbon Fiber
Carbon fiber itself does not become solid until it is applied with resin and a mold. Most carbon fiber products consist of different layers which adds to the strength. Depending on the manufacturer, a carbon fiber part can be from 1 to 3 layers thick. The more layers, the greater the resistance of the product - which is similar to why it's easier to cut through a single sheet of paper, as opposed to several sheets placed together.
One aspect to watch out for is manufacturers who use fiberglass as part of the layering process. This method produces a single layer of carbon fiber and two layers of fiberglass. Fiberglass only adds to the weight of the final product. When ordering layered carbon fiber parts, remember to ask if they have fiberglass in them.
What Is A Water Jet Cutter?
You may have heard of a water jet cutter being used to shape carbon fiber parts as well as those made from metal or glass. Essentially, a water jet cutter uses a very high pressure stream of water to cut parts much like a saw.
A water jet cutter uses ordinary tap water that is pressurized up to 60,000 psi and forced through a small hole. Mixed with a garnet abrasive and you have a thin stream of water that can cut through practically any material. The advantages of a water jet cutter is that it never gets dull or overheats. The technology for water jet cutters goes back over 150 years when they were first used for gold mining.
Water jets came back into favor during the 1980's, when computer technology made them easier to program to cut specific parts. Water jets are used to cut carbon fiber parts in perfect dimensions, without creating any damage. Additionally, they are environmentally friendly and are more efficient than standard metal cutters.
A View Of Mitsubishi Robotics In Action:
These robotics cut the edges of carbon fiber parts with water jet attached to them