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Thread: What happens to carbon fibre in a crash?

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    Should Get Out More Horse's Avatar
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    Default Re: What happens to carbon fibre in a crash?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Zebedee View Post
    SBF investigated the different manufacturers of bike leathers. Alpinestars refused two separate requests to give "their views on CE approval, how they stitch their products, the leather and armour used, and how they ensure quality."
    When I was looking for leathers some time ago, I took a shine to a two-piece suit made by a German company Schuh. Unfortunately, I couldn't get trews in the correct length. So it was quite interesting to later see a set of their racing leathers on display at the NEC.

    When I say 'their', it was a set for a rider they were sponsoring. On display on the BKS stand!

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    Default Re: What happens to carbon fibre in a crash?

    Anyone who's surprised at those tests doesn't understand how CFC (Carbon Fibre Composite) works. It's a structure of carbon fibres in a resin matrix. The fibres are very strong (weight for weight compared to metal or other polymers) in tension but critically, not in compression. Think of trying to hang a weight of a bit of string, vs trying to support a weight on top of a bit of string... What gives CFC its strength in compression is the resin, and that's not very strong. As you could see in the video the resin just crumbles, leaving all the CF strands intact but no longer arranged.

    When used properly as a structural material, CFC provides very strong, rigid components at a lower weight than metal or GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic), but its strength needs to be designed to be primarily in tension. If in compression it needs to be a 3D form to add stiffness and strength, and may not be lighter than a comparable metal part.

    As abrasion protection the strength of the fibres is beneficial, as they don't easily rub through, but there's a limit to what protection it can give unless you're going to cover yourself and your bike with it.

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    Default Re: What happens to carbon fibre in a crash?

    CFC aka 'High Tech Chickenwire Mesh'

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    Default Re: What happens to carbon fibre in a crash?

    Thanks Tomcat:

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomcat View Post
    What gives CFC its strength in compression is the resin, and that's not very strong. As you could see in the video the resin just crumbles ...
    ... which suggests that carbon fibre composite is a poor choice of material for things like gloves’ knuckle protectors. Consequently, I wonder if it’s used mainly for marketing purposes?

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    Default Re: What happens to carbon fibre in a crash?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomcat View Post

    As abrasion protection the strength of the fibres is beneficial, as they don't easily rub through, but there's a limit to what protection it can give unless you're going to cover yourself and your bike with it.

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    Default Re: What happens to carbon fibre in a crash?

    Have you heard about their party trick during low-side crashes?

    Apparently there were a few slightly surprised - then running for cover - marshals at the Brno event a few years back, when an Ecomobile slid out on a corner. Usually, a bike will keep sliding out from the track, to the outside of the bend.

    But as the Eco slid onto its side, the outrigger wheel made contact and steered it towards the inside of the bend

    Last edited by Horse; 15-12-19 at 21:11.

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    Default Re: What happens to carbon fibre in a crash?

    6:20 for the pick-me-up trick


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    Default Re: What happens to carbon fibre in a crash?

    Quote Originally Posted by Weeksy View Post
    I know of £1000 suits that have been crashed 10+ times and I know of £250 Frank Thomas ones that have done the same and survived, but I've seen both do rubbish in crashes too. It depends on so so many parts in the equation
    I suggest that's more to do with low design specifications, iffy production standards and non-existent quality control than any problem in designing a suit that won't come to bits.

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    Default Re: What happens to carbon fibre in a crash?

    I'd always assumed carbon fibre on clothing on clothing was for abrasion resistance, rather than an impact absorber, where small and light is required.

    Since the MAIDS report and the study of impacts and injury area I believed that leather suits were manufactured deliberately to be strong in some areas and weak in others so that if it gives then critical areas still have some protection; i.e. it is better to burst around the armpit and still have some abrasion resistance around the shoulder and upper arm.

    There will always be scenarios where having good kit is still not enough.

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