Technical Specifications

Composite FAQs

 

Below please find answers to frequently asked questions on our composite products. These are focused on the most common questions our team is asked regarding composites, recommendations, and instructions. Check out our Technical Specifications page for tolerances and guides on our most popular products. Plus you can find more specific technical information related to an individual product on its individual detail page. If you have questions about our order process, read our Order FAQs.

 

UV Resistance

Are RWC composite tubes UV resistant?

No. The resin systems used in composite materials are rarely suited for prolonged UV exposure. In order to achieve UV resistance, we recommend you select to have us sand the tubing smooth and then you can have an automotive shop paint the tubes to your liking. If your need is for more than 10 tubes, we will happily provide pricing for us to do it for you.

Forming Tubes

Can I form carbon fiber tubing/plate by heating it up?

No. The carbon we offer is made using a thermoset resin chemistry which provides greater stiffness and strength properties. If you want something that can be heat formed, you must look for a thermoplastic based resin system. This is not common in our industry (yet).

Cutting Carbon Fiber
Fabric Uses (Clothing, Masks)

Can RWC dry fabrics be used in face coverings?

No. Our dry fabrics are for industrial use and not for textile use.

Carbon Fiber Stiffness

Which is the stiffer carbon fiber tube:
Unidirectional Tubing, Fabric Tubing, or Filament Wound Tubing?

Unidirectional and Fabric tubing will be slightly stiffer (in bending) than the Filament Wound tubing. Each of these processes inherently produce different tube stiffnesses due to different fiber wrap angles (or lay-up).Filament wound tubing is generally better for torsional (twist) applications while Unidirectional and Fabric tubing is generally better for bending.

How much stiffer is a carbon fiber tube than an aluminum tube?

Carbon fiber is typically 1.4-1.5 X stiffer than aluminum, everything else being equal.

Carbon Fiber vs Aluminum

How much stiffer is a carbon fiber tube than an aluminum tube?

Carbon fiber is typically 1.4-1.5 X stiffer than aluminum, everything else being equal.

How much lighter is a carbon fiber tube than an aluminum tube?

Carbon fiber is 2/3 the weight of aluminum (or 1/3 less).

Tube Finishes: Sanded Vs. Unsanded

What's the difference between sanded vs. unsanded "Cello Wrap (gloss)" tube finishes?

The biggest difference between these two finish options is surface smoothness and visual appearance.

Unsanded Cello Wrap (gloss)

This is offered as our standard finish. The texture of the tube can be described as "ribbed" and is dark gloss black.

Pros: Hard/tough surface, great for general abuse, looks good too.

Cons: Outer diameter tolerance not as easily controlled.

Twill Fabric - Unsanded Cello Wrap (Gloss)

Twill Fabric - Unsanded Cello Wrap (Gloss)

Uni - Unsanded Cello Wrap (Gloss)

Uni - Unsanded Cello Wrap (Gloss)

Filament Wound - Unsanded Cello Wrap (Gloss)

Filament Wound - Unsanded Cello Wrap (Gloss)

Sanded

Provides a smooth surface finish and a matte gray visual.

Pros: Sanding enables us to dial in an outer diameter however this may distort the pattern on the fabric tubing if a specific OD is requested.

Cons: Sanding removes the "protective" outer layer of cured resin, exposing the raw fiber. This does however provide a paint ready surface so that you can apply any type of UV resistant / clear gloss paint coat.

Twill Fabric - Sanded smooth matte

Twill Fabric - Sanded smooth matte

Uni - Sanded smooth matte | Bicycle Tubing

Uni - Sanded smooth matte | Bicycle Tubing

Filament Wound - Sanded smooth matte

Filament Wound - Sanded smooth matte

Stock Product Finishes

What about other finishes on stock products?

Read about our Stock Product Finish Options.

 

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