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Wood pulp for racing applications?


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#1 munks

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 01:35

I'm not much of a materials guy, but any experts want to weigh in on this as a possible material for automotive purposes including racing?

Wood pulp stronger than kevlar and carbon fibre

Looks pretty competitive if you can keep it from getting wet.

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#2 Greg Locock

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 02:41

I'm not much of a materials guy, but any experts want to weigh in on this as a possible material for automotive purposes including racing?

Wood pulp stronger than kevlar and carbon fibre

Looks pretty competitive if you can keep it from getting wet.


Not racing in particular (I'd guess that raw materials are only a tiny part of the cost of building a racing car), but that is a great idea. The benchmark cost for mass production is say $2000 per tonne, they are closing in on that.



#3 MatsNorway

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 13:47

Looks pretty competitive if you can keep it from getting wet.


Would a epoxy resin or similar be considered to be water tight/non breathing?

The base material might be cheaper but the prepping might cost more.

That said i think having a controlled atmosphere might be cheaper than using carbon fibre if the price is only 1/10. what is the kg price for carbonfibre?



#4 gruntguru

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 00:07

I doubt that water sensitivity is a game breaker. The cost of water proofing would surely be low compared to the savings.

The article doesn't say but I think the very short fibre length might be the main drawback. Without some way of aligning the fibres, composites of CNC's are going to be isotropic. Further, unless the length and shear strength of the bond into the matrix approaches the breaking strength of individual fibres, the strength potential cannot be realised.



#5 Rasputin

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 03:56

I doubt that water sensitivity is a game breaker. The cost of water proofing would surely be low compared to the savings.

The article doesn't say but I think the very short fibre length might be the main drawback. Without some way of aligning the fibres, composites of CNC's are going to be isotropic. Further, unless the length and shear strength of the bond into the matrix approaches the breaking strength of individual fibres, the strength potential cannot be realised.


I was thinking the same thing, a fiber-length of less than one mm means that the composite will rely heavily on the matrix for strength, the individual 7.5 GPa strength of the fiber itself doesn't mean much really.

Same thing with a spider-web I guess, a xtreme tensile strength in GPA, but what do you do with it?

If you look at a tennis-racquet made from what they call "Graphite" with their un-oriented carbon fibers in a plastic matrix, how long are those fibers?