Just because the aftermarket part looks like carbon fiber, does not mean it is. The part could actually be died fiberglass, a vinyl sticker, or perhaps just a single layer of carbon fiber with multiple layers of fiberglass below. The point is, it is important to know what you are really buying.
If you want to make profile fast, high quality, and with little scrap. Chances are pultrusion is for you. There are a few industries which have realized this, and most everything in that category is made through the pultrusion process.
If one is designing a product out of carbon fiber or fiberglass, using prepregs can be an excellent choice do to their consistency and ease of manufacturing.
It wasn't too long ago that anything made of plastics was thought to be inferior. Now, with advanced engineering and processing methods, plastics are often far superior to other material options. A great example of this are fleece jackets, which are now made with recycled PET water bottles.
Fiberglass is the reinforcement of choice for bathtubs and spas, and for good reason. Fiberglass is lightweight, non-corrosive, insulative, and low cost to manufacture. Chances are you bathed in a fiberglass structure today...
Carbon fiber is taking over the sporting world, and anyone who has been watching the Stanley Cup sees first hand how carbon fiber is used and abused in hockey sticks.
There is just a little bit of carbon fiber composites in Boeing's 787 Dreamliner. That is, if you think 70,000 lbs of CFRP is considered "a little bit..."
Why are composites used? The answer is fairly simple. It allows for a superior product. Be it higher performance, longer lasting, or resistant to corrosion. The properties of composites are tailor-able to the application...
If you happen to ride a plane, train, or automobile today, chance are a part of that vehicle will be using composite materials. Meanwhile, if you are riding a high-end bicycle, chances are that is made from composites as well.
LRTM - This is an excellent method for manufacturing large FRP composite parts with low labor, excellent quality, and good surface finish.
Does anyone know a good LTRM B-side mold manufacturer?