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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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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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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.

  3. #3
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenji666 View Post
    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?
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

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    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    It explodes on hot summer days. Just ask in the road forum

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    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
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    Carbon at sea level pressure melts at 6332deg.F. so you might want to keep it cooler than that.
    There are 10 types of people in the world - the ones that can count in base 2, the ones that can't count in base 2, and the ones that didn't expect this to be in base 3.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclaholic View Post
    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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    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
    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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    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.

  9. #9
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by berner View Post
    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.

  11. #11
    your god hates me Bob Ross's Avatar
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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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