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Removing adhesive from carbon fiber

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Removing adhesive from carbon fiber

Old 09-08-07, 03:56 PM
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Otto Rax
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Removing adhesive from carbon fiber

I'm re-decalling a bike, and i have the old transfers peeled off, but they left their sticky footprint on the nude carbon fiber. I'd heard acetone is good to clean it with, since most chemicals damage carbon fiber. but acetone seems so caustic to me, i dont see how it is safer than good ol goo-gone. Any ideas?

Sub-question: anyone know a good site that has instructions on applying film transfer decals?
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Old 09-08-07, 04:54 PM
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try some tissue paper if you don't want to use chemicals. just make it into a ball and push it into the sticky stuff. The tissue's surface area allows it to stick and pull the sticky stuff. You just need like half a box and 2hrs.
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Old 09-08-07, 05:11 PM
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WD-40 is your friend.
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Old 09-08-07, 05:39 PM
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3M General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner.
Available at any automotive paint supply store.
Great stuff for ALL the sticky goo around the house!
 
Old 09-09-07, 12:09 PM
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And the 3m won't hurt the carbon?
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Old 09-09-07, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto Rax View Post
I'm re-decalling a bike, and i have the old transfers peeled off, but they left their sticky footprint on the nude carbon fiber. I'd heard acetone is good to clean it with, since most chemicals damage carbon fiber. but acetone seems so caustic to me, i dont see how it is safer than good ol goo-gone. Any ideas?
You could try heating it a bit with a hair dryer. I would not recommend you use a heat-gun.
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Old 09-11-07, 04:06 PM
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Try mineral-spirits. Nowhere nearly as strong as acetone.
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Old 09-11-07, 04:12 PM
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Try rubbing alcohol. Acetone or MEK should not damage the composite structure either. Do not use anything with methylene chloride (active ingredient in paint remover) because it dissolves epoxy, which is the matrix resin used in most carbon fiber structures.

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Old 09-11-07, 05:02 PM
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Any sort of chemicals could be detrimental, I suggest you use an angle grinder instead.
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Old 09-12-07, 06:21 AM
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I use "Goo Gone" to clean up most sticky residue. It works great!
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Old 09-12-07, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Otto Rax View Post
I'm re-decalling a bike, and i have the old transfers peeled off, but they left their sticky footprint on the nude carbon fiber. I'd heard acetone is good to clean it with, since most chemicals damage carbon fiber. but acetone seems so caustic to me, i dont see how it is safer than good ol goo-gone. Any ideas?

Sub-question: anyone know a good site that has instructions on applying film transfer decals?
It's been my experience that acetone (and to a lesser extent, alcohol) won't dissolve pressure adhesives. Mineral spirits do a good job and won't hurt the finish. Put some on a rag and rub the adhesive off. WD40 might work but it could leave behind lubricants that attract dirt. Mineral spirits will evaporate cleanly.

Acetone, by the way, isn't classified as a caustic. Caustic means something else entirely. Nor is it a corrosive which is different from caustic. Acetone is a organic solvent which dissolves many materials which are polar or slightly polar in terms of their molecular structure, is flammable but not terribly toxic. Mineral spirits is a solvent too but it's a different type of solvent which dissolves non-polar substances. It to is flammable.

Geek alert: Polar substances (from a chemical standpoint) are stuff like water, acetic acid (vinegar), alcohols (all of them up to butanol) and many others. Polycarbonate glasses are polar substances and acetone will dissolve them...or at least do them no good.

Nonpolar substances are things that don't mix with water. Stuff like vegetable oils (oil and vinegar), gasoline, mineral spirits, etc.
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Old 09-12-07, 08:56 AM
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As others have suggested, try goo gone. It that doesn't work, try the also suggested rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits. WD-40 is also often suggested, although I've found that goo gone works better. I would avoid acetone, I've had it react with some materials, causing them to get cloudy.
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Old 09-12-07, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Otto Rax View Post
And the 3m won't hurt the carbon?
Nope!

IMHO, it's better than anything else mentioned here.

Especially...

Originally Posted by Cyclaholic View Post
Any sort of chemicals could be detrimental, I suggest you use an angle grinder instead.
 
Old 09-12-07, 10:31 AM
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I would not reccomend using ACETONE on carbon fiber. If you happen to penetrate the paint, acetone can soften the bonding of carbon fiber.
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Old 09-12-07, 10:45 AM
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I actually have no basis for this except it's what I do.

I use "Fantastik" "All-Surface" cleaner, which they claim at least, was designed for use on things like home electronics including computer terminals and flat screens. I figured if it wouldn't damage flat screens or high-impact plastics, it wouldn't damage painted carbon fiber.

I used it, with a soft rag, to remove all the government warning sticker glue from my carbon fiber bike. The paint and stopcoat show no sign of damage from this process.
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Old 09-12-07, 11:00 AM
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Try asking the manufactuer.
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Old 09-15-07, 12:59 PM
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Well there isn't paint, its a very thing gelcoat on 1984 nude carbon fiber. I don't think people on here undertand carbon fiber, obviously several of you do better than me, but if you mention goo-gone, than you better never own a carbon fiber bike. even the heat of a hairdryer is detrimental to carbon fiber.
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Old 09-15-07, 12:59 PM
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Acetone and patience worked great, BTW.
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Old 09-15-07, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclaholic View Post
Any sort of chemicals could be detrimental, I suggest you use an angle grinder instead.
Acetone will dissolve resin-One of the components of Carbon Fibre- Even Hard Resin- It is the product we used to clean ourselves with - when I was a laminator. I would rather use the angle grinder- At least you can see the damage you have caused.

Do not use any chemical that is based on Spirit. I don't know what it will do- but neither do you. Use a very fine Grinding paste if you cannot get it off with lots of rubbing but another tip to Polish small superficial scratches in Fibre glass is to use Brylcreem- Ask your dad if you don't know what it is.
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Old 09-15-07, 05:07 PM
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I don't know if you can get eucalyptus oil in the US but it is the best thing that you can use to remove adhesives from plastics without causing damage to anything.

cheers

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Old 09-16-07, 09:48 AM
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While one can "try" many costly glue removers there is one that
will work everytime and NEVER harm the paint etc.

What in the world is this wonder product??

It's...........

Avon Skin So Soft bath oil.

I kid you not one bit when I say I've yet to find a glue , baked on, or
otherwise that this product will not remove to leave a smooth a new
painted or original surface.

The way this product works is by being just a tiny bit acidic with plenty
of oils to lossen the glue's hold on the under surface. Just wipe or spray
on a goodly amount of SSS,let sit, scrape or wipe, spray/wipe again as
often repeating the process until the glue let's go to leave a clean,sweet
smelling, under surface.

One thing is certain here........SSS will NEVER harm the undersurface
should it ever fail to loosen (NOT gonna happen) the glue.
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Old 09-16-07, 05:43 PM
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I'll remind everyone that this is NOT painted. no paint. zero paint. its hand-layed carbon fibre with a clear gel coating.
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Old 09-16-07, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto Rax View Post
I'll remind everyone that this is NOT painted. no paint. zero paint. its hand-layed carbon fibre with a clear gel coating.
That's the main reason you should be extra careful using ketones on it. The ketone may damage the clear coat or the underlying epoxy that holds the fiber together. The ketone won't harm the carbon fiber (it's pretty inert) nor is the fiber what you should worry about anyway. The resin that holds the fiber together does the heavy lifting in this material anyway.

Like I said before, mineral spirits takes adhesives off better than anything I've run across. Acetone usually won't touch it. Mineral spirits also won't touch the epoxy resin...too many oxygens in the matrix.
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Old 09-16-07, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr.Deltron View Post
3M General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner.
HELLOOOOO! ANYbody read my post?

OK, then use the angle grinder! As stated above, at least you can SEE the damage to your fork!

The fork's on YOUR bike, NOT mine!
 
Old 09-17-07, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr.Deltron View Post
HELLOOOOO! ANYbody read my post?

OK, then use the angle grinder! As stated above, at least you can SEE the damage to your fork!

The fork's on YOUR bike, NOT mine!
Yep. Read it. Read the MSDS for the adhesive remover too. It's mineral spirits, aka lacquer thinner, aka paint thinner, aka naphtha. Cost about $7 for a 10 oz spray can or you can buy a pint can at your local hardware store for around $4. Same stuff. In a pinch (or if you forgot that you had a can of the stuff and bought another ) white gas is the same stuff, too.
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