making carbon fiber parts

I have basic knowledge on making fiberglass parts but not with carbon fiber.

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.

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Paul Ryan

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.

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