Carbon fiber

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Nov 20, 2009
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I am new (returned after 30 years) to the hobby. I wonder if there is much carbon fiber, such as kevlar, used in Level 1+ builds? I realize it's expensive stuff, but surely prized for its light weigh and strength.

Is there a "hobbyist" source for it? How much? Is it difficult to work?

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I have found good deals on carbon fiber at US Composites in their closeout section. Also a good (maybe the best) source for epoxy and expanding foam.
My opinion? Composites, especially carbon fiber, are horribly overused in the hobby.

If you're after ultra high performance, and are trying to shed every gram possible, then composites become more reasonable in the level 1 range. However, people have successfully broken Mach with J & K motors without an ounce of fiberglass or carbon fiber.

To give you an idea, a year and a half ago, we flew a Q motor with no structural composites. The only fiberglass used was a single layer of 4oz glass over the foam nosecone.

Now, all that said, there are lots of sources. It depends on the fabric you're after, and the quantity. CF prices seem to be stabilizing a bit -- several years back, I bought cloth for $12/yd. That same cloth, when I checked a few months back, went for $60/yd.


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