Full car body shell in carbon...


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Dom Harlow
Dom Harlow
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Hello all
Just wanted to ask (hypothetically)
If I were to infuse flat sheets of carbon with resin, and then place them into the original forming dies for the metal panels of a car body shell until they hardened, removed the components, and trimmed them out. and then glued them all together, would this be useable as a vehicle?
Just wondered if anyone else had pondered on this before...

Hanaldo
Hanaldo
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Unless I'm missing something, what you're suggesting is essentially just wet laying all the panels... so sure, on face value that would be possible. 

In reality, I can think of several reasons why you wouldn't do it. For example, infusing flat sheets and then debagging them straight away while the resin is wet is an extremely messy and pointless process. You aren't getting any of the benefits of infusion, but all of the associated costs.

Then you would be trying to wet lay that material into the moulds, but you've used a very low viscosity infusion resin, so all your resin is going to drain out of the verticals and pool in the low sections.

There would be difficulties associated with using the stamping dies as well, considering they often use several dies in the process of making one panel. Ie, generally you are going from a flat piece of sheet metal into something like a front fender, so the first die would normally take the blank and cut it to the rough shape that is needed to form the fender. Then the next die stamps the broad shape of the fender. Then the next die will stamp say the top of the fender where it wraps around at the top, the next one will do the sides and back, etc. etc. etc. So one panel can have four, five, six dies involved in making it. That's a sheet metal process, it is different to a carbon fibre process. For some parts it might work out, eg a bonnet is simple enough that it likely only needs one die for each of the inner and outer skins and you could potentially use it as a mould.

Anyway, in short, no. It's not how you would make a full carbon vehicle body.
Lester Populaire
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Dom Harlow - 10/27/2021 7:35:36 AM
Hello all
Just wanted to ask (hypothetically)
If I were to infuse flat sheets of carbon with resin, and then place them into the original forming dies for the metal panels of a car body shell until they hardened, removed the components, and trimmed them out. and then glued them all together, would this be useable as a vehicle?
Just wondered if anyone else had pondered on this before...

Othet than all the points mentioned by hanaldo, there is also the fact, that at the same thickness the panels would be drastically less stiff compared to steel and with two rigid moulds you don't have any flexibility in this regard.

If anything i could maybe see how infusing on the outer mould halve might work if the flanshes are big enough and you can get everything airtight.
If it was my tooling i wouldn't let you get anywhere close to it with any epoxy tho...

GO

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