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Carbon Fibre fuel tanks

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NickyBoy1984 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickyBoy1984 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2016 at 10:21
Wowza, that's nice

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote morepower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2016 at 10:59
If anyone needs to contact me either talk to Nooj or D-Rider. Alternatively I am no facebook and you can get me through P3 Composites facbook page too. 

If I have enough demand for any fuel tank it would be stupid to not look at it seriously. Its just working out if it will be viable and not stupidly expensive to make. I am guessing it would be about the same as the Falco tanks so I have a good idea of costs to make it..

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote redratbike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2016 at 11:23
Originally posted by morepower morepower wrote:

If anyone needs to contact me either talk to Nooj or D-Rider. Alternatively I am no facebook and you can get me through P3 Composites facbook page too. 

If I have enough demand for any fuel tank it would be stupid to not look at it seriously. Its just working out if it will be viable and not stupidly expensive to make. I am guessing it would be about the same as the Falco tanks so I have a good idea of costs to make it..

and we are as silly as the falco riders to want to buy one tooLOL


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote legend88 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2016 at 12:19
They do look the business and not wanting to put a spanner in the works (I spent the other night slotting the rear mounting bracket for my tank) but given that a fuel tank carries - well fuel - are there any certification/insurance requirments/implications here?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fugly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2016 at 12:44
Originally posted by legend88 legend88 wrote:

They do look the business and not wanting to put a spanner in the works (I spent the other night slotting the rear mounting bracket for my tank) but given that a fuel tank carries - well fuel - are there any certification/insurance requirments/implications here?


As far as I am aware the answer is "no"  but if there is an option that doesn't suffer from ethanol swelling then I am interested, if that option is carbon then I am in
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote redratbike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2016 at 13:24
Originally posted by legend88 legend88 wrote:

They do look the business and not wanting to put a spanner in the works (I spent the other night slotting the rear mounting bracket for my tank) but given that a fuel tank carries - well fuel - are there any certification/insurance requirments/implications here?

 
I think you'll find these are fit at your risk type of thing ...


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote morepower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2016 at 13:41
Fugly is right there are no requirements for a fuel tank. So it is up to the manufacturer to make sure they are fit for use. So if someone made a tank which is not sealed for ethanol it can still be sold. If the tank is plastic and swells it can still be sold. It is up to the customer to decide if the part they buy is suitable based on what information they get from the manufacturer. Tanks did at one point have to be made from steel and bikes like the original KDX Enduro bikes came with steel tanks for the UK but other countries had plastic. 

I do take photos of the manufacturing process of every tank I make so both the customer can see his tank being made and that I do all I promise with regards sealing them and doing what I set out to do..

Regarding fitment..The Falco seems an odd one in some regards which D-Rider can confirm too. They have a broad tolerance on the fit of them so when I made the first one D-Rider checked it for fit and it did but it was possibly up at one end of the limit on the OEM brackets slots. As the mould is made directly from a brand new tank this seems odd. So we fitted the brand new tank which Nooj purchased from AF1. It fitted exactly the same as the carbon one.. (It should as it was made to copy that exact brand new tank). So it seems some suffer swelling more than others but this could simply be the original one was made at the upper limits of the tolerances for the actual part from Aprilia.

The carbon ones will not swell or expand in the heat as the material has very little expansion and is very stable. Strength? I can and have stood on the tanks which is not something you would do to an OEM tank..

It is up to the person making the parts to decide if it is suitable.  


Tank base now covered in sealer so you cannot now see the pattern of the weave.


I think a fuel tank has to have every major step covered with photos on every tank made. It just gives the person having some reassurance and gives them some ownership and they know how much work is involved with their own tank... 



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jond58 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2016 at 20:49
God someone tell me there's one for the gen1 coming soon!! I need the carbon !!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote morepower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2016 at 22:17
Originally posted by jond58 jond58 wrote:

God someone tell me there's one for the gen1 coming soon!! I need the carbon !!!!


Regardless of doing stuff on or off the forum. I simply need to cover costs of moulds and at least break even on the first batch.....

I dont cut corners I make them as well and as strong as possible.. So they would not be cheap though..

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jond58 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2016 at 22:53
A carbon tank is never gonna be cheap, I appreciate that!! It seems strong enough unless there is some 'Dynamo' magician tricks going on?!?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nitroargi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2016 at 05:16
Carbon tank for Gen1 Mille???? Yes please.... Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote redratbike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2016 at 06:02
Trouble is there are 2 different shapes for the gen1



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Slackey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2016 at 06:51
Originally posted by redratbike redratbike wrote:

Trouble is there are 2 different shapes for the gen1



Surely the later shape would be the better model to manufacture as they are the ones with the ethanol issue.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nitroargi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2016 at 06:53
TRue....

I am talking about the original 20lt tank


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote markrsvr15 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2016 at 06:54
Look brilliant that mate really does. To good for my trackbike if there's any black gen 1s tanks going spare give us a shout everybody hahaha.

Am guessing RR is the same aswell haha.

Good job there mate look spot on
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bigchris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2016 at 07:09
Gen 2 please to complete my carbon sl*g!!ClapWink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote redratbike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2016 at 07:43
Originally posted by Slackey Slackey wrote:

Originally posted by redratbike redratbike wrote:

Trouble is there are 2 different shapes for the gen1



Surely the later shape would be the better model to manufacture as they are the ones with the ethanol issue.
so the early guys don't get one ..on yer bike Wink


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fugly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2016 at 08:58
Rather than all the Gen 1 guys fighting over which version is best lets go straight to a 20L Gen 2 LOL

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote morepower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2016 at 09:13
I know there was a steel tank and then a plastic one... Been told there were some bodywork changes too where the tank meets the plastics on for the seat. Although the steel one would be easier to copy and bond the base to the shell as the steel one has flat seams that were welded. 

Its sort of a numbers game with some bikes though... How many will sell is the first one? How many different versions are there and how many will work on multiple versions? If there are multiple versions where one tank will fit which one will look the best on the most bikes? If there is a toss up between a couple of them then the last decision is which is the easiest to produce. That really is the last one on the list. Seems I never back down from a challenge.. lol..

The RS250 Aprilia is like that. The MK2 is the bike most people want. Both tanks will work on each bike. BUT fit a MK2 onto a MK1 and there is a gap under the back of the tank you can slide a pizza box through. Fit the Mk1 on a MK2 the gap barely a shadow line. On both bikes there is about a 10mm gap so one way it is about 20mm and looks awful the other way it looks snug and very neat. I have had some ask for a MK2 tank simply because it has to be a MK2 for them. I have a brand new MK2 tank in the garage but it seems more people are happier with a MK1 tank on their MK2 now they have seen them. I have done 14 of the RS250 tanks now so quite a few have been seen on forums and facebook etc. 

So its sort of working out which tank has the most potential to sell.. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote redratbike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2016 at 09:19

there is a steel and a plastic one in the same shape 98-00 then just a plastic one 01-03

 
then of course the gen2 plastic tank 04-09


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jollygiant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2016 at 13:23
Originally posted by redratbike redratbike wrote:

there is a steel and a plastic one in the same shape 98-00 then just a plastic one 01-03

 
And it's the plastic one that deforms with ethanol....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote morepower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2016 at 14:16
Yes but if the steel one works with several bikes then it would be easier to produce and make a mould from. If you see what I mean. A plastic tank has to be filled with something solid to allow a possible pre-preg tooling material to work and the vacuum not crush the tank. The alternative is a single use wet lay mould to then make a master in carbon and then make a pre-preg mould from that master. This means two moulds have to be made to start making parts. As some of you know this was what I ended up doing with the Falco tanks after the original £2500 mould cracked up and had to be replaced after only 3 parts were made. 

Now you sort of see when I had been asked before via Facebook I have not simply jumped at the chance.  It is a lot of work to get a perfect tank or expensive to get a brand new one. Then have to spend a few grand to get a mould made before I even make a single part... 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote legend88 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2016 at 14:46
Just to clarify, and you probably know this already, but when everyone is talking about plastic tanks they are actually referring to a resin construction. Do the same mould limitations apply re vacuum crushing?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote redratbike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2016 at 15:22
Originally posted by morepower morepower wrote:

. As some of you know this was what I ended up doing with the Falco tanks after the original £2500 mould cracked up and had to be replaced after only 3 parts were made. 

.
that I didn't know ...have you spoken to Griff ? I just spoke to him at the shop so he is there


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nitroargi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2016 at 16:21
i have a steel tank from a 1999 model that I am not using...just saying
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote morepower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2016 at 22:35
Originally posted by redratbike redratbike wrote:

Originally posted by morepower morepower wrote:

. As some of you know this was what I ended up doing with the Falco tanks after the original £2500 mould cracked up and had to be replaced after only 3 parts were made. 

.
that I didn't know ...have you spoken to Griff ? I just spoke to him at the shop so he is there

Yep.... There is a guy who is sorting out some carbon stuff. CKENNEDY I think it is ... He has said he has agreed he can sell carbon exclusively through the forum so as he made that promise ages ago it is up to him to say yes or no if they are actually going to sell stuff.. So as far as the forum goes it is not up to me and I am not going to set up any sales here.. I do this for a living and have for a while now so you know where I am anyway... 

A am up for making almost any fuel tank as it seems I have spent 80% of my time doing fuel tanks with the other 20% being either high performance car parts, GT race car stuff, Aircraft, Diving or EX GP bike parts. 

So the ball as far as the forum is concerned is in Griff's hands and he needs to talk to the other guy. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote redratbike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2016 at 22:40
The other guy as far as I know isnt doing tanks


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote morepower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2016 at 23:01
Originally posted by redratbike redratbike wrote:

Originally posted by morepower morepower wrote:

. As some of you know this was what I ended up doing with the Falco tanks after the original £2500 mould cracked up and had to be replaced after only 3 parts were made. 

.
that I didn't know ...have you spoken to Griff ? I just spoke to him at the shop so he is there


Yep. It was a bit of a pain.. The mould was made using resin and fibreglass in the traditional way using what I was told was a special hybrid resin that works better than any of the resins available off the shelf. Seems it is really not as good for pre-pregs as he claimed so I had to make a tank, lacquer it very lightly to remove the marks where the cracks were then put it back into the damaged mould and remake the mould section by section using the flanges of the original mould to create the new flanges too..

Here is the tank in the original mould side sections with no top. The top was the first section I remade. You can see the sides are a cream colour from the resins he used and a black gel coat on the smooth flange faces. 



Here the material is being laid up and you can see it is black. This material is actually a specially developed pre-preg carbon fibre use to make aerospace moulds. It is not a cheap material but it will last up to 1000 parts.

 

Here is a side being done with the top section left in place. I had to remove one section at a time when I remade it and had to leave the new sections on the part right up until the new mould was finished. 



Here is what it looked like when the section had cured after 18 hours in the oven. Just making this replacement mould meant the old mould had to be in the oven 5 times totalling 90 hours in the oven with each hot/cold cycle possibly risking more and more damage to both the original mould and the carbon tank as the glassfibre expands more than the carbon and contracts tighter and tighter round the part as the bolts will keep pulling the glassfibre mould down onto the part. 



Then this was the last section to remake.


Here is the weight of the original mould. The finished shell from this mould is about 1 KG and about 1.5mm thick with the mould over 15Kg and over 12mm thick. Hard to imagine the thin carbon can crack a mould about 10 times thicker than the shell. 


Here are the cracks.. The mould had dozens of them




The new full carbon mould..

Here is the first finished tank from that new carbon mould. 

Now I do not have to worry about cracking the mould and before I had to remove the tank while the mould was still at its highest temperature and get it out before it cooled enough to lock the mould round it. Now it can go up to 140 degrees C and down to 0 degrees C and not cause any problems. But the material is very particular in how it is laid up and how it has to be cured with several staged temperature changes with the temperature climbing at a very specific rate on each stage. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote morepower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2016 at 23:03
Originally posted by redratbike redratbike wrote:

The other guy as far as I know isnt doing tanks


Nope but it is not my forum and not my call to piss anyone off.. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickyBoy1984 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2016 at 01:35
MP - Fascinating to read this stuff dude, nice one....!!

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