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Re: Intercooler coolers...

>I used to know a guy that worked for Bell in Philadelphia, working on
>the Osprey Project. He said that Carbon fiber must be refrigerated at all
>times until its laid up. When they take a roll out of the fridge it can only
>stay out so long, and can only be taken out somany times. Once this has been
>violated they sell the stuff as scrap for pennies on the dollar to companies
>that make car and motorcycle accessories etc. Its doesn't have the integrity
>for aircraft use, but its perfect for non-structural body parts etc.

He was talking about a particular pre-preg carbon not carbon in general.

>_ So I ask you, why is it so expensive?
>- Cause it's trendy!

Partly true, people are willing to pay more for carbon at the moment, even
though they have no idea about its relative strengths/weaknesses.
Personaly I would prefer a carbon/kevlar sandwich construction.

But a large part of the reason that carbon is expensive relates to the
virtual cartel/monopoly of the producers. I was hoping that this would
change with the Berlin wall.  The ex "Eastern bloc" used to produce over
50% of the worlds carbon fibre, mainly to supply their military
requirements. Now that they no longer have the funding to build militaty
equip on the same scale, you'd think the world market would be flooded with
the stuff. Unfortunately a couple of the major players bought the plants,
hence the static pricing.

In Todds case, he also has to build into his prices room to make mistakes,
it doesnt take much of an error to produce a very expensive piece of
intractable waste!


John Firkins