# Ball-Park Price Low-temp graphite

1. Mar 10, 2013

### lax1113

Hey guys,
I know that I will have to get an actual quote from one of the material makers, but curious if anyone has a ballpark idea of how much low-temperature curing prepregs cost (10$/lb...100$/lb ??? I have very little clue here). The most interesting ones I have seen so far are Hexcel M34 and Amber E560 but I am more than open to suggestions.
Also as far as how large of a batch I would initially purchase it would be on a smaller scale, probably whatever their smallest order they would consider processing.

Thanks
Ben

2. Mar 11, 2013

### etudiant

Your requirements are somewhat off the mainstream in that most graphite prepreg is targeted for autoclave curing, not the low temperature process you want.
I would guess in the $40/lb class, depending on the fiber quality and the material form you want, tape or sheet. Afaik, Toray Industries of Japan is the world leader in graphite fiber. They supply Boeing among others, but also deal in lower cost fabrics. Hexcel does not make its own fiber, although they are a leader in carbon fiber based products. 3. Mar 11, 2013 ### lax1113 Etudiant Thanks for the reply. I realize it is not typical. I actually am currently working for Boeing. However. None of the materials we use are in the same class as this as we really aren't concerned with low cure temp and obviously have autoclave capabilities. I wAs sort of curious of general prices as I do not deal at all with purchasing and also realize this is not a typical prepreg that a company like Boeing would be interested in. So although it seems more specialized I honestly wasnt sure if this type of cure would be more expensive because it is a special resin system or if its cheaper than the aerospace grade we work with (because it is just better in terms if fiber volume. Voids etc) I appreciate the response though it is actually exactly what I was looking for. Just something to go off of. I think it would be safe that I could find something 20-60$/ lb now for my needs which is at least a step forward untl I hear back from the manufacturers. Which aren't very quick to respond to a "tinkerer"

4. Mar 11, 2013

### etudiant

It might be cheaper and quicker to work with any of the usual fibreglass resin combo suppliers. They are less hidebound than the aerospace suppliers and do more with small volume users.
My concern would be that in the carbon fiber world, you are asking for a small amount of a non standard resin/fiber prepreg. I'm not even sure that anyone would sell it to you without some chunky minimum order quantity.
Could you lay up your own fiber? It might not be Mil Spec, but it would be a lot simpler if you could work with fiber and resin. For 'tinkering' it is certainly much more available than a custom resin prepreg.
My only other suggestion would be to look into the bicycle world. There are a number of custom frame builders who use carbon fiber exclusively, some pretty small. They probably all buy tubes from some Taiwan source, but there is a lot of custom molding too. I have no idea what resins they use or how they cure their builds, but at least they are working in small quantities and on a fast turn around basis.