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Old 02-21-2017, 03:26 PM   #1
20_rc51_00

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Default Composite Envisions- Prepreg any dry fabric they sell

They seem to offer a service that enables them to turn any of their dry fabric into prepreg.

Anyone ever use them for this? How did you like the material?

Any general feedback regarding their customer service e
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Old 02-22-2017, 11:31 AM   #2
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I haven't used their prepreg but I do order materials from them.
A few years ago their prices weren't the best. Lately I have seen that they are sourcing materials and getting custom runs made specifically for them. The outcome is their prices have dropped. Not everything is the cheapest but when you combine prices on multiple items and factor in shipping, the total is less than shopping around from multiple "cheaper" sources elsewhere.

Customer service has improved a lot as well compared to in the past. I call for info and they answer, find someone that can answer, or source the answer and call back rather quickly.
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Old 02-22-2017, 05:47 PM   #3
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Solarcomposites also does this. There is a minimum though. I find solar has the best pricing but I don't typically shop around anymore. Once been using them for about 5 years now for their carbon.
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Old 03-12-2017, 12:07 PM   #4
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I agree with what Boomerize said. Their delivery times used to be the issue for me. They were the last place I would order from for anything time sensitive but credit where it's deserved, they have improved a lot recently with my orders.

Importantly, when I had an issue, they seemed to care and take noticeable steps to make it right which makes me want to keep dealing with them.

I don't buy their prepregs but I buy their dry fabric and use it to make my own prepreg. Heat cure resin is easily available on eBay and making your own prepreg is very easy. It works out a lot less expensive than buying it ready made and my diy prepreg is significantly better than stuff I was paying $200 per yard for.

There is a good video on YouTube which shows how easy it is. Once you try it a few times, you'll realize what a rip-off ready made prepreg is. I add a few simple steps to make mine better:

- I weigh the resin and fabric properly to get the exact proportions where this is important

- I run it through a cold role laminator sandwiched between two release liners to remove any trapped air before it gels. This can be achieved with a simple squeegee if you don't have access to a laminator

The end result is certainly no worse that any bought in pre-preg I have used and it usually works out a lot better.
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Old 03-12-2017, 05:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zebra View Post

I don't buy their prepregs but I buy their dry fabric and use it to make my own prepreg. Heat cure resin is easily available on eBay and making your own prepreg is very easy. It works out a lot less expensive than buying it ready made and my diy prepreg is significantly better than stuff I was paying $200 per yard for.

There is a good video on YouTube which shows how easy it is. Once you try it a few times, you'll realize what a rip-off ready made prepreg is. I add a few simple steps to make mine better:

- I weigh the resin and fabric properly to get the exact proportions where this is important

- I run it through a cold role laminator sandwiched between two release liners to remove any trapped air before it gels. This can be achieved with a simple squeegee if you don't have access to a laminator

The end result is certainly no worse that any bought in pre-preg I have used and it usually works out a lot better.
Well now you peaked my interest in making my own pre-preg. I searched for heat cure epoxy on e-bay and got no hits. Do you mind sharing what resin you use? Does it need a special ramped/stepped cure cycle?

I see that Composite Envisions sells single sided or double sided pre-preg. I assume that that means that the resin is spread on either one side or on both. What is the difference between both regarding how they are used in a layup?
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polaraligned View Post
Well now you peaked my interest in making my own pre-preg. I searched for heat cure epoxy on e-bay and got no hits. Do you mind sharing what resin you use? Does it need a special ramped/stepped cure cycle?

I see that Composite Envisions sells single sided or double sided pre-preg. I assume that that means that the resin is spread on either one side or on both. What is the difference between both regarding how they are used in a layup?

I've used a few high temp resins off eBay but the last one I bought was called Max HTE high temperature epoxy. It was easy to use and came with temperature instructions (different timings depending on the cure temp).

I had trouble finding them on eBay initially too, not because they aren't there, it was because none of them were intuitively named or keyworded. Try using a few other search terms like "thermo resin" high temp resin" etc until you find what you are looking for.

$25 got me enough heat cure resin to make a hell of a lot of prepreg compared to the outrageous prices everyone charges for the premade stuff.

I am happy to help anyone that wants it on this topic. I feel compelled to tell as many people as possible because the price of prepreg bugs me so much.

The part that bugs me the most is the justifications they use for the price and the exaggeration of the value they add to it.

If you use some cheap digital scales to measure the proportions / ratio of resin to fabric properly, spend a little time making sure you remove all the air bubbles before it gels and store it properly, you'll have prepreg that is every bit as good as the $200 / yard stuff.

In addition to the truely massive cost savings, you'll have the added benefit of being able to tweak and tailor your resin ratios to get the best results for your project. How annoying is it when you get bad results from expensive bought in prepreg when all you can do is try a different brand.....

The only other thing I would add is that prepreg doesn't necessarily have to use heat cure resin. I only use heat cure prepreg for parts that either need the extra heat resistance, or ones that actually need the max strength to weight ratio. Carbon fiber is so strong (when made right) that the absolute max strength is rarely needed because even parts made with room temp prepreg can be very strong.

If you are just making inside car door panels, you probably don't need heat cure resin. I use heat cure resin primarily for rifle stock bedding blocks to avoid any heat distortion.
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Old 03-17-2017, 07:46 PM   #7
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It's amazing how we are in completely different boats regarding pre-preg and manufacturing companies haha.

It just always irks me a little bit when people complain about pricing and say that it can't be justified, then compare those products to squeegeeing some resin around on plastic. In all honesty, I think if that method works for you then that's great, go for broke!

But it's a bit like comparing off-the-shelf Chinese composite vehicle panels to a top quality, government body approved, Italian made composite vehicle panel. On the face of it, the Chinese panel costs $300 and looks exactly the same as the $2900 Italian panel - so why pay for the Italian panel? It's all the little things behind the scenes that make the Italian panel worth the money; the engineering, the manufacturing, the materials used, the crash testing, the application for government approval to make the thing actually legal and certified safe.

It's a similar thing for pre-preg and other composite products. The manufacturing companies have invested a great deal of money in very high end machines to be able to test and guarantee consistent high performance. The engineering and chemistry that went into designing the product costs a huge amount, then the applications for various certifications like aerospace and motorsport and the associated testing and regular inspections etc. etc.

Anyway, I don't mean to attack your opinion, you're welcome to it and you've found a solution that works for you. I just think it is a little bit unfair to state that there is nothing to these products and their prices can't be justified...

Right, rant over, carry on all!
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanaldo View Post
It's amazing how we are in completely different boats regarding pre-preg and manufacturing companies haha.

It just always irks me a little bit when people complain about pricing and say that it can't be justified, then compare those products to squeegeeing some resin around on plastic. In all honesty, I think if that method works for you then that's great, go for broke!

But it's a bit like comparing off-the-shelf Chinese composite vehicle panels to a top quality, government body approved, Italian made composite vehicle panel. On the face of it, the Chinese panel costs $300 and looks exactly the same as the $2900 Italian panel - so why pay for the Italian panel? It's all the little things behind the scenes that make the Italian panel worth the money; the engineering, the manufacturing, the materials used, the crash testing, the application for government approval to make the thing actually legal and certified safe.

It's a similar thing for pre-preg and other composite products. The manufacturing companies have invested a great deal of money in very high end machines to be able to test and guarantee consistent high performance. The engineering and chemistry that went into designing the product costs a huge amount, then the applications for various certifications like aerospace and motorsport and the associated testing and regular inspections etc. etc.

Anyway, I don't mean to attack your opinion, you're welcome to it and you've found a solution that works for you. I just think it is a little bit unfair to state that there is nothing to these products and their prices can't be justified...

Right, rant over, carry on all!
have you tried making your own prepreg?

If I'm "welcome to my opinion" then why does it "irk" you?

Having used both types of prepreg, I can't find any logic to your analogy. It might be like comparing Italian panels to cheap Chinese ones if the Chinese ones were just as good or better.

If you tried making your own prepreg and didn't get good results it's because you did something wrong. I'd be happy to help you figure out what if your cup isn't already too full. If you haven't, then maybe you should give it a try before getting all "irked".
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:51 PM   #9
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No I haven't, because the bought stuff works for me. I do this as a business, and frequently make parts that are 2-3m or sometimes more. It doesn't make sense to be trying to produce my own pre-preg in those quantities for the sake of a few bucks. The only reason I use pre-preg is because it is easier and quicker to cycle, which goes out the window if I'm making it myself.

Well, to contradict myself, the other reason I use pre-preg is due to the fact that no epoxy I can get here even comes close to the properties of the pre-preg I use. No where near. Australia has very poor access to good quality resins unless you are prepared to buy 240kg at a time, which I'm not.

Look, I'm sorry you have taken this as me being all uppity about what product you are using, though I was expecting that. However I have absolutely 0 problem with home-made pre-preg. If you can get resins that meet your demands, and you can get it to work for you then that's excellent, I love it. What 'irks' me is calling out manufacturers and declaring that they are extortionists because you can make your own stuff cheaper. The stuff you make might be every bit as good, it might be 500 times better for all I know. But you can't say that it is better, because you haven't done the testing that these companies have. I also couldn't just copy your recipe and use it to fix parts on an Australian sailplane because it isn't CASA approved. Certifications like that cost money, and a lot of it. And yes, not all OOA pre-pregs have all those certifications, but those that do tend to be quite pricey. And therein lies my point.

So what I'm saying is, I believe it to be unfair to slam manufacturers for their pricing simply because you have found a way to achieve what you want at a lower cost. If you wanted to go and sell what you are making, I think you would find you wouldn't be able to sell it for much cheaper than these guys already are.
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