Thursday, April 30, 2009

Introduction to carbon fiber composites

Fibersonixx is a supplier of carbon fiber parts to the guitar industry. We produce parts out of carbon fiber reinforced epoxy that replace and out perform traditional wood products.

First a brief primer on composites. A composite material is comprised of 2 or more materials. In the old days, it was straw reinforced mud that was used to build houses. Another example is rebar embedded in concrete. Now there are very light weight fibers used to create high performance structures. The optimum fiber is carbon fiber because of its extreme light weight, high stiffness, high strength, and relative affordability.

Carbon fiber comes in spools that are processed in a textile type operation to combine the fibers with expoxy resin to create what is known as prepreg. This material is placed into molds and compressed to form the desired shape.

The high stiffness to weight ration of carbon fiber reinforced composites makes it attractive for many types of structures ranging from aerospace to sporting goods. The types of products that can be produced are unlimited. Wild and cool shapes can be molded that would be impossible with wood. Check out some of the examples posted in this blog. We will be updating in future blogs so please check back often.

Zonda Carbon Fiber Supercar

Weds Sport Racing Wheel

Fibersonixx Carbon Fiber Electric Guitar Body

Another cool feature of carbon fiber is that it is impervious to temperature and enviromental conditions. This is why satellite structures are made with carbon fiber because they will not change dimension when exposed or blocked to the sun. This means a carbon fiber guitar will not change in dimension whether it is in a snow bank or in an oven.

Carbon fiber also has great tonal properties. Sound travels as a function of weight and stiffness. For example, a light and stiff structure will have a high frequency resonant ring to it. The fiber angles can be modified to reduce the stiffness and therefore the resonant frequency. What this means is that the structure can be tuned to generate the tonal response desired.

We will continue with more updates on the guitar development, so keep checking back.