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Make a part from and existing part

  1. Jun 9, 2012 #1
    I have an interest in learning about taking existing automobile components and turning them into parts made from composites. I am unsure where to start with this specific process. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 10, 2012 #2


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    Wanderzz, Welcome to Physics Forums!

    I don't understand what you have asked. If I hand you a component, a car's wheel, for example, how could you turn that into a composite? It is made of steel...are you suggesting some kind of transformation from one material to a different one?
  4. Jun 10, 2012 #3
    Sorry about that. I will be specific. If I have a sheet metal fender for example, or a typical plastic bumper cover, and wanted to duplicate it by making a carbon fiber version of it, what is the process to do this? How do I create a perfect mold of the existing part so that it will have the same fit as the original?
  5. Jun 10, 2012 #4
    You need to make a cast from fiber glass, then build a wooden structure around the cast.

    You then have a mold which you can wrap the carbon fibre weave around, and use over and over again :)
  6. Jun 10, 2012 #5
    Ah I see. I would imagine though that when you remove a part, say a fender, there is going to be some flex, and that would lead to a distorted mold.

    Do you know of any good books on the subject?
  7. Jun 11, 2012 #6
    I don't know of any books, but this is how most body kits are replicated. Any good body work technician can do this.

    Carbon fibre weave is mighty expensive though!

    And there is no flex, but you will damage the original bumper, you will most probably use screws to bond the wood etc to the fibre glass of bumper #1.
  8. Jun 13, 2012 #7
    I worked as a fiberglass tech for a bit. You could easily make a mold from an exisitng part by laying over it with fiberglass. You could do it in a way as to not damage the structure, the paint would more then likey be messed up due to the heat generated in the curing process. But even with just a shell youd still have to add the mounting points and such so that you could attacth it to the car. This would most likley be the hardest part.
  9. Jun 13, 2012 #8
    How would you create the same edges? Once you lay fiberglass around the edge the part is trapped at that point.
  10. Jun 14, 2012 #9
    You would not be able to wrap it around a tight bend, say like a pinch bend on a fender. All the molds we used at work either broke down in parts or they were able to just pop out. I cant see where on a fender or anything that the mold would get trapped in the work piece.

    I suggest looking into a product called "Partall Paste" and "Partall Film" the paste is like a wax you uses to buff the surface and the film is a liquid that you apply and let dry to assit in mold removal, without these you will destroy whatever mold your using.
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