I have basic knowledge on making fiberglass parts but not with carbon
Is the process just the same?
Are autoclaves really necessary?
If we use carbon fiber and epoxy to make a part, but without putting
in in an autoclave/oven, then would it still be strong? perhaps
similar in strength to "baked" carbon fiber.
Yes, it's ultra strong. It wets-out a not quite as well as glass, but
if you take care to sop up all the extra epoxy resin before it hardens,
you'll be rewarded with a great deal of strength.
I've had the best luck in cold weather, when you have plenty of time to
work it. -Paul
Cure of epoxy is not dependant on what reinforcing fiber is used. If
you use a room temp cure epoxy you do not need to autoclave it. If
you use a high temp cure product it will never cure at room temp.
While even room temp cure products can benefit from some time in an
oven, at very modestly elevated temps, to complete the cure you are
not going to make a good enough layup to get any significant benefit.
I know you are not going to make that good a layup or you would not be
asking the questions you are asking.
Carbon fiber is expensive stuff. In the rc applications I have seen I
think an easy 99% of the time glass would have been every bit as good
as carbon fibers and less costly. Are you really sure you need to use
carbon? I doubt it. Most of the time carbon is used its main purpose
is for bragging rights.