Posts Tagged ‘carbon tubes’

Hammocks and Other Interesting Ways to Use Composite Rods and Tubes

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

In addition to all of the really cool industrial customers with whom we work (Boeing, Blimpworks, NASA, and so many more), we supply composite carbon and fiberglass rods and tubes to a variety of small businesses and manufactures making some really interesting stuff.  Did you know that you can use Goodwinds carbon and fiberglass as framework for your backpacking hammock?  Check out hammockforums.net for more inspiration.  There are lots of ways to use composites in RC cars, helicopters, and airplanes (especially foamies!).  You can find some really neat RC projects at rcgroups.com and rcuniverse.com.  Some of our customers are also active with LARP, archery, spear fishing, hiking (using composites for hiking sticks), puppet making, and other great hobbies.  How do you use carbon and fiberglass?

Carbon Prices on the Rise

Monday, May 9th, 2011

One of the great advantages to buying carbon rods and tubes from Goodwinds is the absence of minimum orders.  We have fantastic prices for low quantities, and quantity discounts when you order more.  The reason we are able to do this is that we purchase large quantities of rods and tubes at long lengths and then cut them to spec for our customers.  Recently, our carbon manufacturer has raised the prices of carbon rods and tubes – twice within the past 6 months!  The reason for this is a global increase in the price of carbon fibers.

It is possible to still purchase inexpensive Chinese carbon rods and tubes.  Chinese carbon is made with fewer carbon fibers and more vinylester or epoxy (the glue that binds the carbon fibers together) than American carbon, and is less strong as a consequence.

Because Goodwinds supplies many industrial companies with carbon, we have chosen to continue to supply high-quality, American-made carbon rods and tubes to our customers.  We understand that quality is important to our customers, whether you are a hobbyist or one of our industrial partners or an engineer.  You will see prices rise at Goodwinds, but hopefully not very much as we work with these new price fluctuations.  And we will always offer quantity and wholesale discounts.  Please contact us with any questions.

Lazer Mic-ing Carbon Tubes

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Some of Goodwinds’ customers require extremely straight rods and tubes for their applications.  Perhaps their end products are precision tools used in physics labs or aeronautics.  Perhaps a super-straight rod helps their arrows fly true or the airplane stay in balance.

Getting straight pultruded carbon tubes is no mean feat.  Sure, every 48-inch length of carbon fiber tube might look straight to the naked eye, but might in fact deviate more than five hundredths of an inch over those 4 feet.  That minute deviation can be critical do the structure of a design.

We have a couple of different ways of testing our carbon tubes for straightness.  First, we can roll them along a straight, flat surface, like a slab of granite, and check for roll variance.  Though this is low-tech, it is quite effective.

Another method is to use our lazer micrometer to measure the deviation of the tube from the center.  The machine slowly spins the tube as a lazer passes over the center.  A computer interface generates a graph and, with a lot of math, a precise measurement of the deviation.  In this manner, we sort our tubes for straightness, setting aside those that deviate less than two hundredths of an inch over 48 inches in length.

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There are inherent difficulties in created straight pultruded tubes.  During the manufacturing process, the carbon fibers are oriented and drawn through a die with a binding agent (usually epoxy or vinyl ester resin).  They are then pulled to a second and a third die, each time getting closer to the goal diameter.  As this is done over several feet, gravity and other forces can pull the carbon fibers to one side or another of the tube, causing it to lose a small degree of straightness.