Home Forums General Karting Discussion Carbon Fiber Components

This topic contains 7 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Walt Gifford 1 month ago.

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  • #73680

    JD Wagner
    Participant

    Hello Everyone,

    My company specializes in custom built cars that are designed for the track but are road legal. At the same time, we are currently getting into the aftermarket product industry for cars like BMWs.

    I also do some Karting on the side and wanted to ask this forum if there are components for your karts that need to be redesigned or just need to be lighter (say made out of carbon fiber) to give you more play in ballast. Please reply with your comments and thoughts of different components and your preferred material and/or what is wrong with them.

    We appreciate your input and feedback!

    Thanks.

    Engineering Consulting
    JD@Team-Renegade.com
    Team-Renegade.com

    #73681

    Charles Kaneb
    Participant

    If your parts are of good enough quality, performance, and price, and you can deliver on time, you’ll amortize your molds faster by being an original-equipment supplier than by selling them by ones and twos. Call Keith at Margay in St. Louis, Missouri.

    Off the top of my head:

    1) If you’ve got the stones for it, a mechanical rear brake system using a pair of CFRP levers and the clutch cable from a passenger car would be a welcome improvement over the leaky hydraulic systems we use now. Hydraulics’ advantage is in equalization of pressure across multiple points in the system, which isn’t as much of an issue with one brake.

    2) CFRP seats that are made-to-measure and last several times as long as ‘glass ones would go for a premium price. Adjustability through steel plates laminated into the carbon would help avoid the drilling of extra holes. That would be a good application if your company is good at short production runs or custom parts.

    3) A carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic front bumper that absorbed a LOT of energy in a frontal impact by completely disintegrating would be welcomed by both sanctioning bodies and insurance companies, especially if you were able to get the price well down through mass production.

    #73685

    Aaron Hachmeister
    Participant

    I haven’t found any problems with my braking systems before, so I’m wondering where you’re getting this from? As far as seats go, I figured carbon fiber was really stiff and wouldn’t allow a whole lot of flex through the chassis. Can you elaborate on the weights idea though? I would think possibly carbon wheels could work, and like steering columns possibly. My thoughts would be mostly anything in the steering or anything that rotates since rotational inertia is ever harder to overcome than static. Possibly the axle, if you can make them soft enough while still being lighter than what we use now. Regarding the bumpers, the plastic ones already absorb a large amount of energy, and I wouldn’t want bumpers that just disintegrate, especially when most impacts are not with large solid objects. Foam bags and Tec-pro barriers work pretty well in all the accidents I’ve seen.

    #73686

    JD Wagner
    Participant

    I haven’t found any problems with my braking systems before, so I’m wondering where you’re getting this from? As far as seats go, I figured carbon fiber was really stiff and wouldn’t allow a whole lot of flex through the chassis. Can you elaborate on the weights idea though? I would think possibly carbon wheels could work, and like steering columns possibly. My thoughts would be mostly anything in the steering or anything that rotates since rotational inertia is ever harder to overcome than static. Possibly the axle, if you can make them soft enough while still being lighter than what we use now. Regarding the bumpers, the plastic ones already absorb a large amount of energy, and I wouldn’t want bumpers that just disintegrate, especially when most impacts are not with large solid objects. Foam bags and Tec-pro barriers work pretty well in all the accidents I’ve seen.

    I have personally not come across the brake issue either but that is just me.

    I was thinking more in line with parts like the Steering Column rod, Steering Rods, Pedals, Heel Stops, Seats, possibly Wheels, etc.

    Thanks for the input guys. Keep it coming!

    Engineering Consulting
    JD@Team-Renegade.com
    Team-Renegade.com

    #73687

    Aaron Hachmeister
    Participant

    I think wheels would be in interesting idea, if only because I’ve thought about it before as well. Typically wheels cost about $250 a set for Douglas Mags but I know in the Route 66 race at Badger everybody was running the cheap polished aluminum wheels because they were reacting to the heat better. If you can get carbon wheels that work well for at most $200 you’d do pretty well selling them I’d say. Tie rods are a little iffy since I’d rather have a weak tie rod rather than a more complex and expensive component, but a steering column would be noticeable I think. I never put thought into pedals or heel stops so I’m not sure about them

    #73688

    Nik Goodfellow
    Participant

    Specifically talking about sprint racing –

    If you want to sell internationally, you are fairly limited as composites can only be used in certain locations;

    “CIK-FIA Technical Regulations

    2.1.7 Composite Parts All parts made from composite material are forbidden on the kart, except for the seat, the floor, the chain guard and the rear brake disc protective pad.”

    Rules in the US are somewhat more free but different for each series and in some case the series will ban a device as soon as they see them (for example SKUSA banning aero wheel covers).

    So you will probably want to look into non-performance enhancing devices, like chain guards, datalogger mounts, chassis protectors, engine mounts(?) etc.

    Some already exist;

    http://koene.com/kart-parts/carbon-parts

    I would personally like to see a well thought out seat application by someone who knows composites rather then someone who is from karting. Or tuning bars with flexibility in one plane but not the other.

     

    #73689

    Nik Goodfellow
    Participant

    I believe Righetti Ridolfi tried to do wheels and couldn’t make it work because there is little heat transfer when compared to metallic wheels. This may be possible to overcome, or a combination of metal and composite.

    #73851

    Walt Gifford
    Participant

    A seat that actually fit a human being would be nice. A carbon fiber nose that explodes on impact not so much. You’d have everyone with a flat tire wanting to kill you.

    Gif

    FAA certified jet engine and aircraft technician,
    Nicholson Speedway class champion 2001,
    Yamaha KT100 Service Center,
    41 years karting experience

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