Here we would like to inform you about our used material and how the quality of the raw materials influences the final result. We use only high quality products to provide you with maximum quality.
Carbon fabrics are available in various qualities. The decisive factor is: a good thread as the basis for the fabric and a dense homogeneous weave.
Before weaving, the threads can be spread slightly to achieve a more homogeneous weave. If each thread is the same width at every point, this makes a difference visually - mechanically it is almost irrelevant. Particularly since the mechanical load-bearing capacity does not play a role in the coating. Furthermore, the threads have different qualities, we use fabrics with Toray threads, just like OEMs.
A dense weave ensures that the fabric has no gaps at the crossing points and looks the same everywhere. While cheap fabrics often have irregularities, high quality fabrics convince with homogeneous and very tight weave, without holes at the crossing points.
Standard fabric is not spread and is only woven "relatively" tightly, since the additional spreading of the favorable fibers is associated with costs. This results in shading and non-homogeneous areas as seen in the pictures below. These irregularities result from marginal unevenness on the surface, because carbon reacts extremely to sunlight, so that especially at night such differences become visible.
Premium fabric, on the other hand, is made of high-quality, slightly splayed threads that are woven very tightly. Thus, a homogeneous reaction to sunlight is realized and the fabric generally appears much higher quality. We use the more expensive premium fabric accordingly, because for us the quality of your parts is above all.
In the pictures, pay attention to the distances between the threads and the shading in the flash pictures. In addition, the light reaction in itself, which brings out the structure better in the premium fabric, while the cheap fabric blurred in itself.
A basic distinction is made between epoxy and polyester resins. Epoxy resins are mechanically more resilient, but also have a higher price. We use a high quality and temperature resistant epoxy resin for the first layers to realize a long term constant result. This resin has a slight blue tint, which in combination with the premium fabric gives our parts a cool appearance, and prevents yellowing (in addition to the clear coat). We then create full coverage with an epoxy gelcoat resin, which is used in the same way for full carbon parts for the outermost layer.
The important thing here is the tempering ("annealing") of the components. Our parts spend up to 20 hours at high temperatures in the oven in the last of our three annealing passes so that the epoxy resin can fully crosslink and cure. This is the only way to achieve a long-lasting result that can withstand the high temperatures in summer.
Preparing the substrate and matching it to the material is hugely important for durability. Everyone has heard of carbon parts coming loose, why is that? The reason is that plastics in particular are very difficult to bond with resin because the surface is not dissolved. But aluminum is also not dissolved by resin, and a bond with resin is not mechanically flexible, so that in the summer, if the aluminum part and the carbon coating expand differently, it can come off due to shear forces. Furthermore: If you bond with resin, you risk resin accumulation and brush marks on the surface, which in turn results in shading (See Chapter 1: Unevenness in the fabric shows up later in the solar reaction, even if the surface is 100% Smooth).
For plastics, we use a high-quality 2K industrial adhesive that is also used for bonding by OEMs. This adhesive works on almost all substrates, with the exception of PE and PP. PE/PP require further preparatory work, as these are low-energy plastics that are very difficult to bond. For such parts, an additional adhesion promoter is used.
Metals - almost always aluminum:
On aluminum, you could also use the adhesive directly, but then you only create a mechanical bond. Therefore, we use a primer on aluminum parts after grinding, which creates a chemical bond to the aluminum. Only then does the above-mentioned industrial adhesive follow.
In general, through our preparation and the use of industrial glue, we ensure that:
- any substrate is optimally connected
- the surface on which the fabric is applied is always smooth and thus the fabric is free of shadows
- the connection is flexible, and thus shear forces are prevented or temporarily absorbed.
We hope that with this page we could bring you closer to how important quality is for us. We deliberately rely on high-quality, and therefore inevitably more expensive materials. Because only in this way, we can meet our own standards.
If you have any further questions about our process, don't hesitate to send us a message or visit our article: What is carbon fiber?