2 Solutions for Craft Manufacturing of Carbon Fiber Tubes

Mario HonrubiaUncategorizedInspirationsGeneralSuccess historiesengineersManufacturing

UPM Racing is an INSIA-UPM engineering students’ project. Every year, they design and manufacture two formula student vehicles (an electric one and an internal combustion engine one).

A few months ago, they competed in Montmeló, Barcelona and unfortunately did not win. However, they could finally test the magnificent racing car the team had been building in a real-life Formula SAE competition.

  It is a student competition between universities with strict standards. Therefore, the production of formula student vehicles,with low economic resources, requires a high level of imagination and implication from the students when designing and producing each part. UPM Racing was looking for a reliable, simple and cheap system for the craft manufacturing of epoxy carbon fiber tubes, using the wet lay-up technique. One of the challenges that have been closed recently at ennomotive is the Craft Manufacturing of Carbon Fiber Tubes. Several members of the engineering community have submitted their proposed solutions and here we can see two of the best ones:
  1. First Solution (this is the easy way, there is another submission with the pro solution)
This first proposed solution begins with wrapping a copper pipe with a layer of bee wax and making our own prepreg (as shown in the video): Once you have it, wrap the coated pipe with prepreg, wrap it again with a layer of transparent film and keep it tight using the rubber bands. Let it cure at room temperature and then heat the end of the pipe with the propane torch and finally insert the carbon fiber tube in hot water to remove the rest of the wax.      2. Second Solution In this case, the solver propose that for cylindrical or conical pipes we should make an inner mold from polished metal - Ra max. = 0,15µm and apply release agent  while making sure to lay up wet fibres longer for few inches and to have free mandrel for few inches extra.  After composite is cured, we can use pliers to initially release and move composite with a sharp movement. Now, we can remove it out of the mandrel and custom the outer surface, making a mold or simply grinding it. What do you think of these solutions? Would you have done anything differently? Share your ideas with us! Join us to help leading companies go to the next level