Carbon/Kevlar noseguard

I don’t always work and play, I have also many different interests, one of them being home-made stuff. In the spare time (when it doesn’t rain OFC!) I enjoy riding my longboard downhill at quite nice speeds (top speed till now: 72Km/h!). Of course I wear all kind of protections when bombing hills but I thought that if ever should I loose control of my board, it could hit quite hard rocks and probably getting some serious damage.

My (very expensive) solution (also uber cool) was to create a carbon/kevlar noseguard! While I was at it I could have even extended the noseguard backward, where my front foot sit, in order to prevent my foot to go too much forward.

The first thing I had to create was the prototype: actually I ended up shaping and assembling two small pieces of wood together, so I could have something that resembled my board. Since my board has a drop-through design, I had to take that into account. To represent the truck adding height to the central part of the nose prototype, I nailed some metal plates (shaped accordingly) to the prototype, smoothing out hard corners by using clay.

Prototype

Once I finished with the prototype, I moved on the next step: making the mould. Since I didn’t wanted to spend too much time and resources on this I bought 1Kg of DAS and applied it on the prototype. Too bad I thought this was the easiest and most straightforward part of the entire work! It was indeed the most crucial one and from this point on I worked with a wrong representation of the prototype: as DAS was hardening, it also shrunk by as much as 1cm on a total length of 13cm! That’s a lot! Moreover, it required something like 10 days for the entire mould to harden.. and also cracks were visible on the whole surface. With patience, spare DAS and sandpaper I managed to smooth the surface.. Terrible, terrible choice of material for making the mould!

Prototype

At this point I was finally ready to laminate! My noseguard was going to be made out of 3 layers of carbon/kevlar sheets and two of fiberglass for at leasts two reasons: reducing total costs (fiberglass is 5-6 times less expensive than carbon) AND giving the final structure more flex resistance. Be warned though, by putting fiberglass in the composite it will become more susceptible to cracks. In the left photo you can see my workbench with everything needed to create what you are seeing in the right photo: the noseguard 🙂

Prototype

After having finished with the lamination, I waited 8 hours for the epoxy to harden at room temperature. I then put it inside the oven at 60°C for 24 hours. In this way the epoxy I used was certified to have the best physical properties. And here it is! 🙂

Prototype
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  1. November 7, 2011 at 3:39 pm

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