We just got done with the silver “carbon fiber” trim on the oCarbon GLI and it turned out fantastic. I’ll get some better pictures added to gallery shortly. In the mean time, I’ll give a full run down on how we made these pieces for those that are interested.
First we started with the GLI’s original trim pieces and made some molds to help us conform the fabric.
Once the molds were done, the original pieces are ground down to make room for the added material of the fabric and epoxy.
Few quick coats of white paint so that the black pieces aren’t so different from the silver fabric.
Getting a fresh vacuum bag rigged up.
The pieces are laid on the raw fabric and tape is applied so that pieces can be cut out in the correct size.
Mixing up some bonding epoxy and applying it to the pieces.
The fabric is then placed on the pieces. No attempt is made to wrap them around the edges at this stage, as the fabric is way too rigid and will just curl back up.
The pieces are then put into the mold, placed into the vacuum bag, and the bag is sealed up.
The vacuum pump gets turned on, which sucks all of the air from the bag. Within a few minutes, the bag has pulled the fabric tight up against the mold.
The pieces are left to cure under a heat lamp for a few hours.
After a while, the pieces are carefully pulled from the bag.
The parts are starting to take shape.
After the parts have been removed from the mold, the excess fabric is trimmed off.
Epoxy gets brushed on, layer by layer.
After several coats, the epoxy is finally thick enough to allow the pieces to be sanded down without risking cutting into the fabric. The parts are placed into an oven for a post cure for 24 hours.
After allowing ample time to cool off from the heat of the oven, the parts are ready to be trimmed and sanded. All of the extra epoxy is ground off from the edges and the faces are block sanded smooth. This process leaves the parts a litte bit hazy.
Next comes several coats of high solids automotive clearcoat, to give the pieces a traditional carbon fiber gloss.
After clearcoat, a few imperfections are always present, so the parts are wetsanded with a very high grit sandpaper.
After a few passes on the buffer, they are all done and ready to be installed.