Carbon Fiber Fabricating If Only It Were As Easy As Video Games .pdf
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Carbon Fiber Fabricating: If Only It Were As Easy As Video Games
Being in the composites industry for long as we have been, we know a thing or two about carbon fiber fabricating. We
know that it's not as easy as it looks. Creating high quality carbon fiber parts is certainly not as easy as you might think if
you played The Division 2 video game.
The Gear Nuke website recently published a piece on The Division 2. The piece was intended to discuss carbon fiber as a
crafting material during gameplay. The article's author provides a general description of how to acquire carbon fiber and
how to use it to make certain things. However, it is just a video game. If fabricating carbon fiber were as easy as the
game makes it look, we would have already eliminated steel and aluminum as primary manufacturing materials.
Carbon Fiber in The Division 2
The Division 2 is a military-style RPG played online. Like just about every game in this genre, you are battling your way
through hordes of enemies using all kinds of weapons and your favorite military tactics. You can collect things along the
way to help you in your quest to victory.
This particular game makes carbon fiber available as a crafting material. You collect it by finding it stored away in boxes
or hidden among the rubble. But being that you're not a fabricator yourself, you can't do anything with it on your own.
You have to take it to a designated crafter who can turn it into something you need.
The game itself doesn't spend a whole lot of time detailing how your crafter makes things from carbon fiber. Suffice it to
say you can show up with a handful of carbon fiber and walk away in seconds with something new. If only it were that
easy in real life.
Creating Carbon Fiber Tow
Every finished carbon fiber part starts out as either a thread or fabric. Technicians create thread and fabric by using a
complex process combining high heat and pressure to force carbon atoms to align in a long row. The resulting tow is so
small that it isn't usable until multiple pieces are wound into a thread. This thread can be utilized in a fashion similar to a
ball of yarn or be woven into a fabric.
Creating thread and fabric is just the start. From there, fabricators have to turn the material into some sort of usable
part. This can be done through braiding, pultrusion, or even manual layups.
Fabricating Usable Parts
Braiding is a process that involves putting carbon fiber threads onto a machine that braids them as they are wrapped
around a mandrel. Combining the braided material with an epoxy resin creates a material that can be shaped into tubes
or other products. Pultrusion does something similar, except that the carbon fiber tow is forcibly pulled through an
aperture that aligns the threads and saturates them with resin.
Some parts require manual layups. Take a carbon fiber surfboard, for example. It is created by laying multiple layers of
carbon fiber fabric in a tool (mold) and impregnating the entire set-up with epoxy resin. The saturated tool is cured in an
autoclave where high heat and pressure combine the materials to create what is known as a carbon fiber reinforced
It's kind of interesting to see fictional video game characters running around Washington DC in search of carbon fiber
that can be turned into usable combat tools. But in the real world, making parts from carbon fiber is a lot more