By Mark Morrison – Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation
On the surface, the span looks like any of the thousands of small, narrow two-lane bridges across America. This new, high-tech bridge in Morgan County, Tennessee uses G/flex® Epoxy in a fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite material deck embedded with fiber optic sensors. It replaced a damaged, decades-old concrete crossing which, like thousands of low-volume bridges across the nation, was structurally deficient and outdated.
Looking for an entry-level composite project? One that needs a minimum amount of materials and construction space, costs less than a boat, but still lets you travel on water? If you live in snow country, why not build a pair of composite snowshoes?
These snowshoes are made from a rigid foam core between two layers of carbon-fiber cloth, edged with 1″ Kevlar tape. A carbon-fiber wrapped wood spar runs across each snowshoe under the ball of your foot. This provides a solid mounting point for a couple of stainless steel eye-bolts to attach a simple toe-and-heel strap for a binding. Fiberglass tape reinforces the top and bottom edges, and the upper surface of the snowshoes where your winter boots contact them.
Carbon fiber has very high strength-to-weight ratios and higher stiffness compared to many other reinforcing fabrics. These special properties make it ideal for applications in aerospace, automotive, military, and even sporting goods. When combined with a WEST SYSTEM Epoxy it can be used to build high-end composite parts. Continue reading →
I was talking to my friend Blake Rivard about doing something different for his motocross bike. We settled on a carbon fiber airbox (air filter cover). On his bike, the airbox sits just below the handlebars where the gas tank usually is. I started with removing the plastic piece and cleaned it so no dirt would be present in the final product. The original airbox would serve as a mold for the finished piece. Continue reading →
”Typically, people gather to drum in drum ‘circles’ with others from the surrounding community. The drum circle offers equality because there is no head or tail. It includes people of all ages. The main objective is to share rhythm and get in tune with each other and themselves. To form a group consciousness. To entrain and resonate. By entrainment, I mean that a new voice, a collective voice, emerges from the group as they drum together.”Continue reading →
I will start by saying that, in my opinion, most carbon fiber bicycle frames that have sustained damage from an impact should not be repaired—there are too many damaged fibers that are typically unseen. The two repaired frames featured in this article had damage caused by operator error, not impact. The last two bicycle frames are prime examples of parts that should not be repaired for safety reasons. Continue reading →