I’ve been asked many times “How do you seal your carbon fiber?” I’ve finally made a step-by-step video and now blog on the process – How to Seal Carbon Fiber. It’s simple to do and can increase the life of your expensive carbon fiber upgrades on your RC vehicle.
Why Seal Carbon Fiber
So why seal the edges of carbon fiber on RC vehicles? In its sitting state, Carbon Fiber is lighter and sometimes stronger than metals including aluminum. The RC industry uses carbon fiber as a means to lighten areas of the vehicle to effect the amount of horsepower the vehicle has. Lighter car equals a faster car. If never touched, carbon fiber is fine….but in the normal RC world, crashes, curbs, and brushless power effect the RC. Simply sealing the edges of the carbon fiber with super glue (CA ) will potentially lengthen the life of the carbon fiber and prevent it from de-laminating or splintering/exploding.
What to Seal
What carbon fiber pieces need to be sealed? Anything that can be hit in a wreck or crash in off-road or on-road vehicles including shock towers, chassis plates, body panels, etc.
Step-by-Step on How to Seal Carbon Fiber
Here’s a step-by-step method on how I seal the edges of my carbon fiber in my RC vehicles or simply view the video at the end of this blog.
- 220 grit sandpaper
- CA (Cyanoacrylate) glue (10-15 sec set up time is best) like Pro-Line tire glue
- Dull or used Xacto blade
- Paper towel
1. Remove any items that may be near or close to the CA seal area (in my case, I removed the shocks to not accidentally bond the shock cap to the shock tower).
2. Lightly sand the edges of the carbon fiber item knocking the edges slightly – this creates a bit more surface are for the CA glue to bond to. Less is more in this step.
3. Clean off any dust with a shop rag or a quick blow with an air compressor
4. Add a small bead (about 2mm width) of CA glue (I’m using Pro-Line tire glue) across the item. Once again, less is more.
5. Using your dull or used Xacto blade, spatula the CA glue across the entire item using all the excess (think buttering bread).
6. Wipe up any excess CA glue (if it happened to drip down the item) immediately with the paper towel. Some CA glues set up quicker than others.
7. Let set over night to fully cure – it may turn white in some areas – that’s normal and can be cleaned off.
Pro-Tip: Make sure not to CA glue areas where parts of the RC are touching like on my shock tower. Don’t CA glue near the gear box as it will bond the two together. Ideally sealing carbon fiber is best done when assembling your RC kit.
Have you lost an expensive carbon fiber item due to not sealing? What’s your method to sealing carbon fiber? Please feel free to share below!
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