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Saving For a Space Ship

Mass production of Carbon Fibre solved - Costs set to crash

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https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/02/australia-now-knows-the-secret-to-making-carbon-fibre/

http://techau.com.au/mass-production-of-carbon-fibre-solved-by-csiro-and-deakin-costs-set-to-crash/

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The new wet spinning machine, built in Italy to specs from CSIRO's researchers, is apparently the last piece in the puzzle for Australia to mass produce its own carbon fibre. Carbon fibre has a multitude of uses, but it's widely used in the automotive world to create rigid tubs for supercars from companies like McLaren and Ferrari.

One of Australia's most innovative car companies does good work with carbon fibre already; Carbon Revolution in Geelong built a carbon fibre air intake for the last Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo, and is crafting the 20-inch 10-spoke wheels that'll spin under the barnstorming 2017 Ford GT. Carbon fibre is amazing stuff, even if it's very time- and labor-intensive to work with.

Here's how it goes from individual fibre strand to a finished product:

Perhaps we can now build CF islands & houses, so we don't have to pay the Vi's silly prices 

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1 hour ago, Saving For a Space Ship said:

Costs and prices are two very different things.

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1 minute ago, spunko2010 said:

Does that mean in 10 year's time carbon fibre will be massively overused on every new car?

 

We're possibly in the 'massively overused' time, where carbon fibre is used for cosmetics, and doesn't really offer meaningful benefits (in mainstream cars -- obviously a few niche exceptions -- one of my cars has a CF dashboard; a few g lighter than the aluminium standard dash, which I find a bit nicer, frankly).

But a car with CF body/chassis -- lighter, stronger, potentially better crash resistance, compared with steel?  Sounds okay.  

But the problem is the same as that magical material from the 50s, glass-fibre -- there isn't really a process that'll enable high volume production (regardless of cost), unlike steel, and in recent years, aluminium.

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20 minutes ago, spunko2010 said:

Does that mean in 10 year's time carbon fibre will be massively overused on every new car?

 

It'll be nearly all plastics for body panels. The drive to make electric cars more efficient, lighter and improve mileage per charge will put a significant trend towards ever lighter components (but with minimum premium to price).

 

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3 minutes ago, onlyme2 said:

It'll be nearly all plastics for body panels. The drive to make electric cars more efficient, lighter and improve mileage per charge will put a significant trend towards ever lighter components (but with minimum premium to price).

 

I'd argue that it makes more sense to have a CF chassis/tub, with Al body panels, as they're easier to form in volume to a high finish, whereas nobody minds a bit of ripple on bits buried deep in the structure.  

But you're right in that it makes sense to get the weight benefit from changing components from steel.

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1 minute ago, dgul said:

I'd argue that it makes more sense to have a CF chassis/tub, with Al body panels, as they're easier to form in volume to a high finish, whereas nobody minds a bit of ripple on bits buried deep in the structure.  

But you're right in that it makes sense to get the weight benefit from changing components from steel.

The CF chassis/tub would certainly work and be light but may have disadvantages with repair - I know that is one of tesla's weak points should you be in an accident - the overall repair costs, and also what the cost comparison is. Sub 30K electric cars (which is what is need for mass adoption) will still have to be built as cheaply as possible and CF will be tricky to do competitively I believe.

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The BMW i3 uses CFRP - carbon fibre reinforced plastic, and uses CF for parts of the subframe/shell - apparently not going to be too more expensive to repair, but would worry me a bit if it came to it. However insurance companies write off cars with quite minimal damage so maybe the trend is fro more discardable cars but more re-sue of salvageable components - battery and drive components would still be very valuable.

https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/crash-your-carbon-fiber-i3-ev-heres-how-bmw-will-fix-it/

 

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4 minutes ago, onlyme2 said:

The CF chassis/tub would certainly work and be light but may have disadvantages with repair - I know that is one of tesla's weak points should you be in an accident - the overall repair costs, and also what the cost comparison is. Sub 30K electric cars (which is what is need for mass adoption) will still have to be built as cheaply as possible and CF will be tricky to do competitively I believe.

Yes -- it isn't the cost of the CF, but the time it takes to make each panel/tub.  Fine for low volume/specialist, but doesn't really scale up.

And I do see what you mean about CF tubs and repair, but as it stands it is difficult to repair any car where there is anything but superficial damage -- they'll be written off if there is structural damage.  And CF tubs can be amazingly resilient to accident damage, especially where there are bolt-on sacrificial structures to absorb  damage -- look at F1 cars in large impacts, but where the actual tub is fine / reused.

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23 minutes ago, frozen_out said:

A quick google would show this to be ********. Mitsubishi Rayon have over 10kT of wet spun carbon fibre production.

But how much is a lot?  10Kt sounds like a lot, but car manufacturing uses 100Mt of steel... 

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2 hours ago, The Masked Tulip said:

CarbonFibreCat?

Not a bad idea.

Could replace fibreglass in Catamarans and yachts if cheap enough..  might be a good USP to command a premium on existing lines?

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Carbon fibre although lightweight and strong is not nice stuff to release into the envirnomnet as waste and can only be 'recycled' via burning the composite off at 600C and reclaiming the fibres, although what you would then do with them is a moot subject and they are arguably more dangerous when in this form.

Recycling is the carbon fibre industries dirty little secret.

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4 hours ago, dgul said:

......  

But the problem is the same as that magical material from the 50s, glass-fibre -- there isn't really a process that'll enable high volume production (regardless of cost), unlike steel, and in recent years, aluminium.

This may no longer be true. There's a lot of short (carbon) fibre injection moulding capacity coming on stream. These are ideal for the mass production of small complex components. E.g. http://www.materialsforengineering.co.uk/engineering-materials-features/injection-moulding-carbon-fibre-off-cuts-and-thermoplastic-for-low-cost-bmw-clutch-pedal/116539/

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42 minutes ago, ChewingGrass said:

Carbon fibre although lightweight and strong is not nice stuff to release into the envirnomnet as waste and can only be 'recycled' via burning the composite off at 600C and reclaiming the fibres, although what you would then do with them is a moot subject and they are arguably more dangerous when in this form.

Recycling is the carbon fibre industries dirty little secret.

I imagine that, ground into small enough particles, it is like any other small carbon particle, i.e. soot.  And there is surely a lot more of that around from natural and artificial sources than might be produced from man-made CT.

Or are the resins it is mixed with the actual problem?

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9 minutes ago, happy_renting said:

I imagine that, ground into small enough particles, it is like any other small carbon particle, i.e. soot.  And there is surely a lot more of that around from natural and artificial sources than might be produced from man-made CT.

Or are the resins it is mixed with the actual problem?

Or maybe the fibres are more like that other form of carbon, diamond, and they're really difficult to grind down?   Funny stuff, macro-molecular carbon.

But I don't think raw carbon fibres in the environment are that bad (but they might end up being the new asbestos -- not an expert).  The newer carbon nano-tubes -- now they probably are a problem.

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1 hour ago, ChewingGrass said:

Carbon fibre although lightweight and strong is not nice stuff to release into the envirnomnet as waste and can only be 'recycled' via burning the composite off at 600C and reclaiming the fibres, although what you would then do with them is a moot subject and they are arguably more dangerous when in this form.

Recycling is the carbon fibre industries dirty little secret.

I would have thought you would just grind it down a bury it. 

Mostly inert and inoffensive no? 

Edit: beaten to it by Mr HR!

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1 hour ago, ChewingGrass said:

Carbon fibre although lightweight and strong is not nice stuff to release into the envirnomnet as waste and can only be 'recycled' via burning the composite off at 600C and reclaiming the fibres, although what you would then do with them is a moot subject and they are arguably more dangerous when in this form.

Recycling is the carbon fibre industries dirty little secret.

Well I for one think it's high-time that these so-called scientists made their minds up.

It wasn't that long ago that my doctor was telling me I needed more fibre.

No wonder folk are confused...

 

 

XYY

                                                                                                               

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