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Old February 4th, 2011, 02:57 PM   #1
Kick Me
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Default Carbon Fiber Quad Plates

Hello everyone! I've just completed and tested my first prototype of some carbon fiber skate plates! They are built to use the DA45 truck set, as I've fallen in love with the action there, but realized that there aren't really a whole lot of lightweight options for them, and I've never seen a fully composite skate plate on the market. So I started drafting, working the angles and shape of everything to where I could best use the strength of the carbon fiber. My background is Aerospace Engineering, and I've worked on and designed aircraft using composites, which demand light weight, and rigidity. This was a natural extension as that is what we need out of a quad skate plate! I've been working this project for awhile now, and I finally have something to show for it. So now I'm ready to post!

These were made by Fiberstar Industries with the molds I designed. I used to work with Mikey and he's a wizard with composites. The first layup went pretty well, but keep in mind, this is just the prototype. The finish wasn't perfect, so the plates were painted gloss black. I will be making aluminum molds next, and according to Mikey, with those the finish will be as good as the sprint car body panels that he's been building. They are absolutely gorgeous bare carbon fiber!

Anyhow, here are some pics of the process, and the prototypes! Enjoy!






Size 4 invaders, 351 grams...

ZOMGWTF??? I didn't expect to be THAT light! The final versions will likely be closer to 70 grams






Note the lowered deck height - Doc Sk8 told me to be careful not to let the wheels hit the boot, however that can't happen even with the top bushing (which is the one on the bottom of the skate) fully removed. The pivot ball bumps into the cup at this point in the travel, and I still have 0.25" clearance. Whew! Measure 100 times, cut once!

Last edited by Kick Me; February 4th, 2011 at 03:09 PM. Reason: oops, meant top bushing
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Old February 4th, 2011, 03:01 PM   #2
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Wow those are light. Looking great.... keep up the good work, and let us know how they skate.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 03:01 PM   #3
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Default Jump test

For anyone curious about the strength, here's my "jump test."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VM8PAYK6Mmg
I was slamming them so hard my feet hurt! I ended up stripping the front kingpin threads, but I plan to use a machined metal insert there instead of just tapping the composites. Doc Sk8 recommended this and he couldn't be more right! We just did it this way for the prototype. The rear ones held up fine and I suspect the front only gave out because the mold was drilled slightly off, and the kingpin holes had to be "fixed" which means re threaded at a different angle. Oh well, live and learn. I won't be selling any of these unless they are bulletproof!
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Old February 4th, 2011, 03:03 PM   #4
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Wow those are light. Looking great.... keep up the good work, and let us know how they skate.
Thanks! As far as the limited skating I did on them, they don't feel any different than the invaders they replaced. Just about 3/4 pounds lighter on each foot! I have to get my new molds made since the error won't allow me to use a metal insert - molds were drilled wrong. Hopefully I can get a deal cutting the new ones since the guy doing it is the one who made the mistake!
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Old February 4th, 2011, 03:08 PM   #5
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I also noticed the 4 boot mounting holes are cut-out. Did you do this for a particular reason? Or just something that happened during testing...
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Old February 4th, 2011, 03:09 PM   #6
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I know exactly zilch about carbon fiber so ignore this question if it's a bit stupid Is there any particular reasoon you opted to have slots on the plate for mounting rather than actual holes? With CF the extra material surely wouldn't add noticeable weight, so the only thing I can think is that the small amount of material around a mount hole would be more prone to breakage...
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Old February 4th, 2011, 03:20 PM   #7
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I also noticed the 4 boot mounting holes are cut-out. Did you do this for a particular reason? Or just something that happened during testing...
Quote:
Originally Posted by daisydowrong View Post
I know exactly zilch about carbon fiber so ignore this question if it's a bit stupid Is there any particular reasoon you opted to have slots on the plate for mounting rather than actual holes? With CF the extra material surely wouldn't add noticeable weight, so the only thing I can think is that the small amount of material around a mount hole would be more prone to breakage...
Good questions! The "nub" to mark the hole in the mold was too small, so when Mikey pulled the part he couldn't really see it. Also the trim line was not defined enough, so the final plate doesn't match the shape in the pics of the mold. Because of this he had to eyeball the parts when he cut them out, and ended up cutting too far for us to drill a proper hole. The new molds will fix this issue, but we had to make a prototype to find these problems
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Old February 4th, 2011, 03:31 PM   #8
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One other thing I'll add is that there WILL be a toestop locking bolt. It was just filled in for this, we had an issue in that area and it didn't happen for the prototype. You can see the location for it in the molds, there is a cutout behind the toestop.

I'm quite confident in the next run, we really didn't have any problems with the design, just problems with the molds, which can be fixed easily!
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Old February 4th, 2011, 03:44 PM   #9
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I would be happy with a NTS version
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Old February 4th, 2011, 04:03 PM   #10
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I would be happy with a NTS version
The beauty of the way these will be made is that an NTS version would be simple to create from the molds I will already be cutting! I plan to offer this option, however the prototypes will all have toestops since that section is important for me to test.

It is looking like a set of these plates is going to be somewhere between $350 and $400, though I'm shooting for the lower limit. The NTS will be slightly cheaper, though not a whole lot since the material cost is not much of a factor. I'll have to discuss that with Mikey.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 04:09 PM   #11
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Thumbs up Nice Project KIck Me

You can buy threaded inserts (McMaster Carr, Carr Lane) there called Keen Serts,and you can buy them in many types. Delta grooves,stainless steel etc.

You can locate in the molds by indexing to a properly released stud with like threads etc.

You can purchase pivot brass bushings from Skate retailers that buy from RC Sports. Place a blind carr lane bushing in the molds for the brass pivots etc.

From your pictures I see you are using a "wet lay up" instead of prepreg. How many layers are you using? Are you degassing the resin and auto claving to compress and cure with out voids etc.

The actual weight of a completed plate would still be much lighter than anything else,so a full flatbed boot surface would allow more options for use on different boots and locations.

You could leave large and allow the buyer to trim and drill there own boot mount holes where they desire.

I am not trying to tell you what to do,but I taught FAB classes and used Hexal Composites for over 10 years on Helicopters,B2 Bomber and Cruise Missiles.

Hopefully you are not using Polyester Resins. Many retailers substitute this stuff. You know by the smell if they do. China made.

Check out the KEENSerts. Makes a big problem easy.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 04:09 PM   #12
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400 dollars for a DA-45....anyone else see the Irony here??
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Old February 4th, 2011, 04:24 PM   #13
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Check out the KEENSerts. Makes a big problem easy.
okie
That's a great idea! I was looking at helicoils, but I'm not quite sure they will hold up. The KEENSert looks to be exactly what I need!

As far as the pivot bushings, I am laying the part up over the delrin ones that Sure Grip makes. That seemed to work great! I am thinking I will stick with that for now, maybe offering brass bushings to those who want them though.

I'll ask exactly what Mikey is using for resin, but it's a two part epoxy from West Systems I believe.

Your idea of letting the customer drill holes is interesting - though drilling through this stuff is not easy without a really sharp bit. I suppose I could offer undrilled and untrimmed versions a bit cheaper if someone were to request it, otherwise drill them myself for those who just want to mount and skate.

This is a learning process for sure, and I really appreciate your input! I didn't think I'd get this much feedback this soon after posting
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Old February 4th, 2011, 04:43 PM   #14
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400 dollars for a DA-45....anyone else see the Irony here??
For custom made carbon fiber plates, no! I see forum member that are paying that for Roll Lines and Snyders(just comparing price). I believe this is a projected price for a custom made at present time. Projected pricing is always like that. Being in Research and Development, I cant tell you how much we spend on that alone and I can tell you I dont start a project unless it has 7 figures in it.
Now with new sourcing, availability and quanitity, I really think this would drop another $100 easy if not more.
Since this is a great forum with so much available knowledge, I think we can all help out with sourcing like Okie did, I can see this becoming an off the shelf plate, well almost.
Great Work!!!

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Old February 4th, 2011, 04:45 PM   #15
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Very, very cool. Thanks for posting and keep us updated.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 04:53 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Viper4 View Post
For custom made carbon fiber plates, no! I see forum member that are paying that for Roll Lines and Snyders(just comparing price). I believe this is a projected price for a custom made at present time. Projected pricing is always like that. Being in Research and Development, I cant tell you how much we spend on that alone and I can tell you I dont start a project unless it has 7 figures in it.
Now with new sourcing, availability and quanitity, I really think this would drop another $100 easy if not more.
Since this is a great forum with so much available knowledge, I think we can all help out with sourcing like Okie did, I can see this becoming an off the shelf plate, well almost.
Great Work!!!

Viper
Thanks! Yes, that is a projected price. The price would most certainly drop if I were able to sell tons and tons of these. So far the aluminum alone for the molds will be about $300 (the plastic for the last molds was $100, uncut!).

I really appreciate the input here, as I fully intend to produce these. But I gotta work out the kinks first Once I'm able to manufacture them I'll start working on CF trucks! But, first things first...
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Old February 4th, 2011, 05:16 PM   #17
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Very nice work and quite excellent results you have accomplished for being this early in the prototyping process.

I have a few suggestions:

-Increase the width on top of the plate at both the toe ball and heel ball zones, and similarly widen the spread of the mount screw cutouts.

- Design the size & pitch of the kingpin insert threads to allow for using high strength aluminum or Grade 2or 5 titanium kingpins, as is done with the lightest aluminum plates. The 3/8" diameter is just too small and weak for the plate's kingpin thread.

- WIDER (11/16" wrench) thin jam nuts against plate

- Consider not doing a split nose for a bolt locking style toe stop. The split may introduce too many new problems.

How are you going to handle the pivot cup sockets? Same as DA-45? What cup hole size?

This is a great project you have taken on, and I hope it reaches the point soon where you begin to be compensated for your efforts.

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Old February 4th, 2011, 05:31 PM   #18
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This is a great project you have taken on, and I hope it reaches the point soon where you begin to be compensated for your efforts.
Hopefully along with development, you'll give consideration to protection of your efforts, ie patents, etc. Stealing/borrowing/copying of ideas and marketing them as their own are very common in the manufacturing world. Maybe this is enough of a niche market where the big boys won't bother if you're successful - but you never know.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 05:56 PM   #19
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Exclamation Some more ideas.

There is a very simple way to do this and real cheap to.

Since you have a plate that you are trying to duplicate!!!!!!

You can purchase high strength "ULtracal Plaster". It does not shrink and withstands heat and pressure.

Use your existing skate plate: Put bolts or what ever you desire to copy the mount holes.

Wax ever thing with mold release. Mix the desired amount of Ultracal with water as instructions require. It is like high grade plaster of Paris etc to work with.

Cover the skate plate with about 1/2 inch thick plaster. It drys in about 1hour. pop out the skate plate from the plaster mold. You know have your exact skate plate FEMALE mold.

Put in a toaster oven for 1 hour at about 200degees to dry out. Wax this mold with release.

Add the bushings and threaded guide bolts into the plaster ultracal mold.

Do you skate plate layup in the ultracal plaster skate plate mold. Do what ever process to the layup and mold as required by the brand of Carbon you are using. Cure time etc.

So simple its silly. If you have the part you want to make a copy of. Most of the time we need CATIA to make a mold from digital images. But if you got the part,nothing to it. Male to female to part.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 06:38 PM   #20
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Talking I Have A NOS Size 5 Marathon Upper You Can Have...

If you would like to pull Molds from it! NTS 10 Degree D/A with a 6 1/2" Wheelbase. I for one appreciate what you're doing, keep up the Good/Hard Work!

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