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Old 07-24-2005, 03:15 PM   #1
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Carbon Fibre vs. Aluminum

Anyone have any thoughts on Carbon Fibre shock towers versus Aluminum shock towers?

I'm sure vehicle size/weight has a lot to do with it (1/10 2wd buggy, 1/18 truck, etc.).

I'm inclined to guess that Aluminum is better for 1/8 and maybe 4wd 1/10, and carbon fibre better for 2wd 1/10 and smaller?

I've got an Ofna Ultra MBX, a Losi XXX-4, and a Kyosho Mini Inferno and all need new shock towers or will eventually, so that's why this came up What I'm concerned with the most is the 1/16 Mini Inferno, so any thoughts on that car will particularly be appreciated!

Thanks!




Now this next bit I wrote because most everyone in the R/C world is out there calling apples "oranges", and they are making fools of themselves to those who know that these "oranges" are really apples.

THIS is carbon fibre, and it is in no way graphite, except that both contain carbon (humans are carbon-based too, but we aren't graphite, are we?).

All the stores on the web and people on ebay listing graphite shock towers are incorrect.

Graphite is what lead in pencils is made of, and what rocket nozzles are made of. Graphite is basically crystallized carbon with some sort of binder, and therefore is molded. A graphite shock tower would snap on the first crash.

Carbon Fibre is typically rayon that has been charred until nothing but carbon is left, soaked with resin, vacuum bagged, compressed into a flat sheet, and baked for a few hours at a few hundred degrees. Completely different in every way from Graphite except that it contains carbon.

A dictionary will back this up.

I think it needs to be stopped because us car guys look like fools to the boat, plane, helicopter, and rocket enthusiasts out there (who all have various things made from carbon fibre as well, and know the difference between carbon fibre and graphite).

Maybe I'm wrong about us looking like fools , but my friends in the helicopter, rocket, boat, and plane world (rocket, plane, and copter the first weekend of the month, boat the last weekend, and car anywhere in between for me) think anyone that calls an apple an "orange" when he could learn what that "orange" really is just by spending 5 minutes reading, is a fool.

Or we could just continue living in the past when no one knew what anything really was so they just made up names for it...
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Old 07-24-2005, 04:14 PM   #2
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yes! finally someone who can enlighten. anyway, i like carbon fiber more on anything. 1st it wont get bent or tweaked, it only breaks so you know when you got a problem. with aluminum you can have a 3 degree c-hub turn into a 10 degree with one crash and not even know it(except for the shitty handling). 2nd C/F just looks pimp! i guess anodized alumium can be cool too. 3rd it is light as hell. i dont know the real comparrison but i believe that C/F is much lighter.
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Old 07-24-2005, 05:48 PM   #3
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You have a point about the bending, and the weight. Those were the 2 things that were making me think CF would be better, but I wanted to see how other people felt.

Anyone have any vehicles with CF on them that has broken at one point or another?

I'm curious what it takes to break or generally how often you break said part. I've never owned any cars with CF on them, only aluminum, and even I have found ways to snap Aluminum, but it took 50mph into a parked car

Thanks again!
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Old 07-24-2005, 05:50 PM   #4
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Ahhhhh....The age old question, Aluminum or Carbon Fiber. Both materials have there pros and cons. First Carbon fiber is A LOT lighter than aluminum, and is good if you want your vehicles for competition. Aluminum is A LOT stronger but is more suseptable to bending, while carbon fiber is more readily to crack on impact. You can get aluminum in many different styles and colors while carbon fiber is more 1 dimensional. So the real question is not which is better carbon fiber of aluminum, it is more of a question of what you will be doing with your cars, bashing or racing. If you are looking into aluminum parts of any type visit http://www.TeamPlatinumRacing.com/products.html and send us an email if you have anymore questions, we would be happy to help.

Last edited by Platinum_Racing; 07-24-2005 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 07-24-2005, 06:00 PM   #5
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Well, my 1/8 buggy has eaten two CF front shock towers, and one rear, since I replaced 'em with some nice fat CNC pieces, I've had zero troubles.
on a lighter car, i.e. my GT, carbon fiber is better for a shock tower, considering it's not hanging out in front of God and everybody like Pee Wee Herman's genitals.

So my official stand is:
it depends. if it's protected, CF, if not, aluminum.
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Old 07-25-2005, 04:15 PM   #6
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Well, I crash a lot, soooo... Guess I'll go with the aluminum! I do suppose I'd rather have a heavier car (so it won't be going so fast when it hits the wall) that is stronger than the lighter car.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 07-25-2005, 04:51 PM   #7
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I'm in the same boat.
I avoid crashing a bit less than most people, but I seem to do it way way harder than anybody else does, LOL
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Old 07-26-2005, 08:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HVAC25000


Now this next bit I wrote because most everyone in the R/C world is out there calling apples "oranges", and they are making fools of themselves to those who know that these "oranges" are really apples.

THIS is carbon fibre, and it is in no way graphite, except that both contain carbon (humans are carbon-based too, but we aren't graphite, are we?).

All the stores on the web and people on ebay listing graphite shock towers are incorrect.

Graphite is what lead in pencils is made of, and what rocket nozzles are made of. Graphite is basically crystallized carbon with some sort of binder, and therefore is molded. A graphite shock tower would snap on the first crash.

Carbon Fibre is typically rayon that has been charred until nothing but carbon is left, soaked with resin, vacuum bagged, compressed into a flat sheet, and baked for a few hours at a few hundred degrees. Completely different in every way from Graphite except that it contains carbon.

A dictionary will back this up.

I think it needs to be stopped because us car guys look like fools to the boat, plane, helicopter, and rocket enthusiasts out there (who all have various things made from carbon fibre as well, and know the difference between carbon fibre and graphite).

Maybe I'm wrong about us looking like fools , but my friends in the helicopter, rocket, boat, and plane world (rocket, plane, and copter the first weekend of the month, boat the last weekend, and car anywhere in between for me) think anyone that calls an apple an "orange" when he could learn what that "orange" really is just by spending 5 minutes reading, is a fool.

Or we could just continue living in the past when no one knew what anything really was so they just made up names for it...

Actually, it IS graphite - a composite material in a binder that is cast or molded, vs the carbon fibre plate many outside the hobby are used to. I suggest you and your sapient helo flying friends visit their local shop and ask to see a GRAPHITE front shock tower for your XXX-4.

What you will find is exactly what you are insisting is so impossible to utilize in such an impact-sensitive area. And yes graphite IS much more brittle than CF and aluminum. It's also lighter than aluminum and stiffer than the more common plastic formulations used in RC car parts. It is used because it is cost-prohibitive to use a laid-up CF part in those applications, but racers want everything as stiff as they can get it, and the graphite composite parts fit that bill. One company (Vantage, I believe?) has started releasing true CF chassis and suspension components for the Revo, but it's the first we've seen of this type of manufacturing, and I haven't heard anything about these item
's durability.

Do graphite parts break more easily than thier typical zytel/nylon/etc. counterparts?
YOU BET!!!

Is it just a cheap marketing ploy to get people to pay extra for a different platic?
maybe...

Will anyone actually release a competition-level electric 1/10th scale without it?
Not if they expect the thing to sell!!

Anyway, just do some quick research, and you'll find that both graphite and CF have found their way into RC at various times. Graphite is the in-vouge material right now, largely I suspect because it's easier and cheaper for the manuf. to deal with, but they can still charge an arm and a leg for the parts...

Mike
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