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Old 02-12-11, 07:30 PM   #1
kenji666
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Carbon fiber temperature limit?

I am considering using carbon fiber in an application that is exposed to high temperatures. Does anyone know what the limit is? I know it is cured at high temperatures, but what about long-term exposure. It has to retain its structural integrity also.
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Old 02-12-11, 07:48 PM   #2
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Overly broad question, it seems.
relevant expertise.. read the product data sheets
supplied by the [catalyst activated epoxy] Resin's Manufacturer.

The vendor of these materials may be able to guide the selection
of the materials for your project.

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-12-11 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 02-12-11, 08:15 PM   #3
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I am considering using carbon fiber in an application that is exposed to high temperatures. Does anyone know what the limit is? I know it is cured at high temperatures, but what about long-term exposure. It has to retain its structural integrity also.
I agree with Fiets- it'd be nice to know the application.

FWIW: Formula One cars use carbon-carbon brake rotors. Carbon fiber embedded in a carbon matrix. They hit 2200 F repeatedly: http://www.f1technical.net/articles/2
Very pricey aerospace grade stuff. Is that what you want?
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Old 02-13-11, 01:57 AM   #4
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It explodes on hot summer days. Just ask in the road forum
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Old 02-13-11, 02:19 AM   #5
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Carbon at sea level pressure melts at 6332deg.F. so you might want to keep it cooler than that.
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Old 02-13-11, 07:52 AM   #6
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Carbon at sea level pressure melts at 6332deg.F. so you might want to keep it cooler than that.
Thanks for the info, but I was more concrened about the resin.
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Old 02-13-11, 08:05 AM   #7
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It explodes on hot summer days. Just ask in the road forum
Gee. I thought that it shattered in the winter.
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Old 02-13-11, 03:52 PM   #8
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I've worked with carbon fiber for many years in yacht building applications and while working for a defense industry contractor. The carbon fibor will take planty of heat but the epoxy resin of typical composite laminates begins to soften around 200 degrees F. There may well be resins that work at higher heat. You need to contact resin manufacturers for specific info on your application.
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Old 02-13-11, 07:58 PM   #9
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Gee. I thought that it shattered in the winter.
That too!

It's some scary stuff I'll tell ya. I told my wife that the diamond earrings I bought her were made from compressed road bikes, that's why they were so expensive.
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Old 02-14-11, 10:52 AM   #10
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I've worked with carbon fiber for many years in yacht building applications and while working for a defense industry contractor. The carbon fibor will take planty of heat but the epoxy resin of typical composite laminates begins to soften around 200 degrees F. There may well be resins that work at higher heat. You need to contact resin manufacturers for specific info on your application.
Can't speak from personal experience, but a neighbor of mine was an engineer for a company that designed carbon fiber aircraft fuselages. As others have said, it would depend on the resin, but as I recall (it's been a few years), they routinely subjected their stuff to temps from +400 well down into the minuses, simulating high-altitude operation. He claimed it performed better than aluminum alloys. As for bikes, it's just hard to believe a manufacturer would build a bike that would fall apart from heat before the rider burst into flame.
One warning: In stress tests, the CF aircraft would withstand several times as many cycles as aluminum before failure. But the alloy gave some warning, with cracks and whatnot. The carbon lasted far longer, but then essentially disintegrated all at once.
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Old 02-14-11, 12:03 PM   #11
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For those concerned about cold temps: they've been using carbon fiber for the antenna masts on deep space probes since the first Voyager mission in the late 1970s.
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