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Thread: Carbon-fiber Project

  1. #1 Carbon-fiber Project 
    Forum Sophomore biohazard87's Avatar
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    So I have a friend that is trying to build a small remote controled hovercraft, and he is too lazy to 1) make an account. and 2)start a thread. So I am helping him out.

    He is wondering about the cost differences between using carbon-fiber, and aluminum. Does any one know anything about it?


    Noodles happen when you kiss a stranger in the alps.

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  3. #2 Re: Carbon-fiber Project 
    Forum Junior Lucifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biohazard87
    So I have a friend that is trying to build a small remote controled hovercraft, and he is too lazy to 1) make an account. and 2)start a thread. So I am helping him out.

    He is wondering about the cost differences between using carbon-fiber, and aluminum. Does any one know anything about it?
    He should forget about cost. Arguably aluminum is cheaper, but it's a lot harder to work. Also carbon fiber is hard to work. I would suggest him glass fiber & light wood, unless he plans to use the hovercaft to ram on walls.

    What he plans to do is something similar to a scale model. Scale models are built with light wood and glass fiber. Aluminum or carbon fiber are too expensive and difficult to handle. Aluminum is very difficult to weld and the usual thing is use special adhesives when mechanical holders like nuts and bolts can't be used; whereas carbon fiber needs to be "cooked" in a oven to harden up -and that can't be done in your kitchen's oven, duh.

    Also the good thing with modeler's stuff like light wood and glass fiber is that they are abundant & cheaper than carbon fiber, and also there are litherally thousands of references on how to use them in homebuilt projects... which is important to somebody who never used them (else your friend wouldn't be wondering about "aluminum or carbon fiber?").

    BTW, I suggest you and your friend to stay away from radioisothopes... You got, houm, curious ideas. :P


    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” -Charles Darwin
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  4. #3  
    Forum Sophomore biohazard87's Avatar
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    He has changed his mind and decided that he will try and build a hovercraft out of both materials and see which one flys better. I made him read your post Lucifer but he insists that he can do it because it is easy to mold the aluminum and the carbon fiber.
    Noodles happen when you kiss a stranger in the alps.

    Mi padre tiene un impala.
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  5. #4  
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    Call your friend back, there's a much easier way:


    Use urethane foam (or styrofoam) It comes in blocks and in different densities, I'd probably use something. You can cut it, sand it, scrape it to shape just anything. It can be glued together easily, painted, and finished. There is no easier material to use.

    If he wants to make a carbon fiber part (and by the way, it doesn't always have to be placed into an oven, the chemical reaction creates heat on its own), he better takes a class, it's not that difficult actually.
    But easier and WAY cheaper than that is fiberglass, but for that your friend will need to make female molds (which can be also made of fiberglass).

    Tell him following, make it out of foam, and then, he can use the foam model to make molds, which he can use to make fiberglass/carbon-fiber parts, or other foam models using chemically (self-skinning) expandable foams.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Sophomore biohazard87's Avatar
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    Thanks, he has already finished his project and turned in his report, but thank you for answering my question.
    Noodles happen when you kiss a stranger in the alps.

    Mi padre tiene un impala.
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