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Intercooler coolers...

In message <v02140b00afd3dbae899e@[]> firkins@eis.net.au (John Firkins) writes:

> 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.

I had similar hopes for some special purpose semiconductors, but when the 
economic environments were unified the Eastern product turned out to cost three 
times as much - the East German social system was amazingly inefficient.
Back when carbon fibre was first introduced, in the late 1960s, I was helping 
to build a kit car - a Cox GTM.  The Mini's engine is actually in front of the 
front wheels - by putting the subframe in the _back_ of a car, you get a cheap 
mid-engined layout.  My colleagues were all working for Rolls-Royce, who 
intended to make the RB211's turbine blades out of carbon fibre until a 6lb 
chicken fired into a set dissuaded them.
All of a sudden, carbon fibre was a drug on the market.  We had so many boxes 
of it in the hall that you had to enter the house through the back door. 

 Phil Payne
 Committee Member, UK Audi [ur-]quattro Owners Club