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  #1  
Old 09-09-2017, 12:13 PM
XPPilot XPPilot is offline
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 101
Default Carbon Fiber flat panel

I am building panel for my early RV-6A slider. I removed panel original builder build. All the instruments from original panel are good brand and 0 hours. I will reuse some of original instruments.

My plan is to use Carbon Fiber flat panel. I am looking information that where did you purchase Carbon Fiber flat panels for your projects?

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XP Pilot
Dallas, TX
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  #2  
Old 09-09-2017, 02:32 PM
pilot2512 pilot2512 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Spring, TX
Posts: 359
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You might want to consider using aluminum and covering it with either 3m carbon fiber film, or what I plan to do is have my panel hydrodipped to get the carbon fiber look. Youtube and google hydro dipping.

Jay
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  #3  
Old 09-09-2017, 04:09 PM
XPPilot XPPilot is offline
 
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Location: Dallas, TX
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Default Hydro Dipping

Hydro Dipping looks great option as well. Had a look to some YouTube videos and it looks rather easy process. I need to research that how durable it is. Do you need to have clear coat top of it or can you live it like that.
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  #4  
Old 09-09-2017, 04:15 PM
pilot2512 pilot2512 is offline
 
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I was looking at a place locally that does it and they top coat it.
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  #5  
Old 09-09-2017, 04:50 PM
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plehrke plehrke is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Defiance, MO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XPPilot View Post
I am looking information that where did you purchase Carbon Fiber flat panels for your projects
Lots of places sell sheet stock carbon fiber boards. Here is one
https://carbonfibergear.com/products...xoCtW4QAvD_BwE

Of coarse they have it at jegs
http://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS-Performan...RoCcVAQAvD_BwE
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  #6  
Old 09-10-2017, 11:11 AM
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flion flion is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
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You might give Aerotronics a call. They machine their panels and could probably make you a blank. I don't know if they do pure carbon fiber, but my RV-10 panel is aluminum with a beautiful CF finish.
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  #7  
Old 09-10-2017, 11:45 AM
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B Cunningham B Cunningham is offline
 
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+1 Aerotronics. Great customer service. 1st class.
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  #8  
Old 09-10-2017, 02:40 PM
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RV7Guy RV7Guy is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Chandler, AZ
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Default Easy to make

An overlay is very simple to make. You'll need glass cloth, carbon fiber cloth, ply peel and epoxy. West Systems look great. This is an easy way to do it without vacuum bagging and any other exotic process. Just requires a little more elbow grease and no specialized equipment.

Cut the cloth oversized to the panel by a couple of inches. Cover the panel with clear packing tape. Make sure to get the edges.

On the taped panel wet a layer of the glass cloth. Add the next layer of cloth, wet it out. Repeat with the carbon cloth. Use a brush or foam roller and work the epoxy through the cloth. If you have a stippling roller, even better but is not needed.

Cut a large piece of ply peel and lay over the carbon and work the any bubbles out. If you have a piece of glass (window type) lay over entire structure. Doesn't have to be glass, a large piece of particle board will work. If you use particle board, lay a piece of wax paper over the ply peel. It just needs to be something as flat and heavy as possible.

When all is set, put some weights on it evenly distributed.

After the epoxy has cured remove the weights, flat piece and peel off the ply peel. Don't remove from your panel yet. Brush on another layer of epoxy and spread with a squeegee or your wife's credit card. Just get the epoxy to lay on. Don't add too much. Just trying to fill the weave left by the ply peel.

After curing, block sand with 240 grit wet/dry. This will give you a read on the surface. If you have any real low (you really shouldn't) spots add some epoxy. After block sanding with 240 and getting a nice surface, sand with 320 w/d. If it looks good, go to 400 w/d sanding wet. Don't worry if you sand into the carbon, that will be dealt with later. Remember this decorative, not structural.

The key is to get as flat a surface as possible but little voids won't matter. You're going to be cutting out lots of it anyway. You can check where your instruments will be for validation.

You can keep going and sand down all the way to 2000 grit and nearly polish the piece. However the easier way is to get to 400 grit and then clear coat. You can use Krylon epoxy clear for this. The clear will bring out the carbon and you'll have a nice overlay.

You can Dremel the edge around the metal panel and then sand. If you try to use a band saw, your blade will be gone in 5 seconds!!!

For attachment to the real panel you can scuff the metal and epoxy or use nut plates and fasteners.

Almost took longer to describe than to actually do!!! Let me know if you have any questions. You can contact me direct and I'll email you a couple of pictures of the panel. ktlkrn@gmail.com

Hydro dipping is a nice process but is not cheap. It also has to be clear coated for protection.
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  #9  
Old 09-11-2017, 03:13 PM
SteinAir SteinAir is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Minneapolis
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Don't make the actual panel out of Carbon Fiber board/sheet or whatever. Lots of reasons for this, but one of them being the inability to pre-fabricate it to match off site from your plane (as the RV-6's didn't have repeatably accurate matching panels), another being the edges, another being thickness, so on and so forth.

Far easier and smarter to just use a thin (Keep it thin, like .016" - .030" as the thick stuff is terrible to work with from a tooling perspective) overlay, or have it hydrodipped. Try to avoid the vinyl overlays as there are other issues going that route as well (not huge issues, as some do it with varying degrees of success).

Darwin explains a great way to do it yourself (and those guys in AZ turn out some very pretty CF finishes - just look at his plane), but even easier and quicker (and almost the same price at far less mess) is just to buy the pre-laid up sheet from any number of online markets then cut it with a box cutter/scissor/saw/whatever.

FYI, for us - we either laser cut the actual real CF overlays in house then engrave them, or we have them hydro-dipped. Both can turn out fantastic. We also have in the past laid up our own, but time/mess/money/end result moved us away from that.

Just my 2 cents as usual!

Cheers,
Stein

Last edited by SteinAir : 09-11-2017 at 03:39 PM.
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  #10  
Old 09-12-2017, 10:12 AM
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flion flion is offline
 
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That's right. Now that Stein said that, I remember that I supplied the fitted blank that came with my kit to Aerotronics. Stein would probably be another good source or, as he mentioned, have it dipped. I had a thread here where I sent the NACA vents to a shop in the Phoenix area to have them dipped in a CF pattern. You should be able to find hydro-dipping near you. It's durable, I've got dipped game controllers that have seen much handling (I teach computer science and spend too much time gaming with my students ... all in the name of building teacher/student relationships ) and still look new.
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