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      01-02-2017, 12:49 PM   #1
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Carbon Fiber ?

Consensus opinion has it that the CF on the interior panels and handles is the real thing and not plastic imitation. If so, are these pieces actually made of the stuff, or is it just a sheet of material stuck on top of metal base like vinyl of wood trim? If the right side dash and center console are actually made of CF, that would be cool, and save a few ounces of weight, but if it is just stuck on for looks, it is kind of pointless, IMHO.
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      01-02-2017, 01:18 PM   #2
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I was wondering the same thing, I mean regarding the whole piece being made out of carbon, but Im sure its carbon since i have worked with it before, but the thing that got me wondering is that it doesnt seems like the whole pieces are made out of carbon, but rather plastic with real carbon fiber skinning/wrapping. But maybe some big pieces are actually just carbon, I hope :P so I could be wrong.

I bought the Carbon & Alcantara Trim Kit, and took a good look at it, at in fact seems like its just a plastic piece with real carbon skin. I like it tho.
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      01-02-2017, 01:34 PM   #3
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BMW calls it naked carbon fiber, not plastic. Are they lying?

Replacing the plastic rear diffuser with the carbon fiber M Performance part costs around thousand dollars to save a few ounces of weight. That's the very definition of pointless.

Like the interior bits, some people do it for the aesthetics.
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      01-02-2017, 04:04 PM   #4
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Mechanical Engineer here who works in the aerospace industry. I see/handle a lot of carbon composites. Every. single. day.

It's real carbon fiber. If you feel it on certain areas where the fiber curves (top of the door handle, near the edge) you can actually feel some of the individual fibers, I'm actually worried this might lead to fraying of the fibers in the future.

But to answer this question - Yes, it's real.

Last edited by Mint; 01-02-2017 at 04:10 PM..
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      01-02-2017, 04:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ried View Post
BMW calls it naked carbon fiber, not plastic. Are they lying?

Replacing the plastic rear diffuser with the carbon fiber M Performance part costs around thousand dollars to save a few ounces of weight. That's the very definition of pointless.

Like the interior bits, some people do it for the aesthetics.
Yeah, I got it because I got a good price, and because I like rear ends . Did not even think about weight until I read these posts.
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      01-02-2017, 07:59 PM   #6
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It's just weird to lay CF on top of something, rather that build that thing out of CF. I mean, CF is not very attractive, the whole point is to replace heavier alternatives like metal or plastics, then it's beautiful. The M4 CS has a carbon hood and roof for that reason. No one slaps CF on top of a metal roof, that would be silly. Same for a dashboard, IMHO.
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      01-04-2017, 12:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpfaber View Post
It's just weird to lay CF on top of something, rather that build that thing out of CF. I mean, CF is not very attractive, the whole point is to replace heavier alternatives like metal or plastics, then it's beautiful. The M4 CS has a carbon hood and roof for that reason. No one slaps CF on top of a metal roof, that would be silly. Same for a dashboard, IMHO.
Using CF on interior components is silly by nature if you want to look at it from
a function over form perspective. There are lots of lightweight polymers and other materials that would suit just fine. The fact is all car makers use CF on interior bits just because it's the fashionable thing to do for luxury vehicles. So to me it makes no difference if a interior bit is CF wrapped or actually made of CF.
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      01-04-2017, 02:23 PM   #8
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This misconception drives me nuts and A LOT of reviewers kept referring to it as plastic imitation or whatever.

It is real carbon fiber, you can feel the individual fibers in certain spots. It just looks and feels different because we're not used to seeing it that way.
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      01-04-2017, 02:28 PM   #9
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Curious since it is real carbon fiber, is it possible to epoxy coat to level the bumps out and clear coat to give it the depth and shine?
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      01-04-2017, 02:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GC_F87 View Post
Curious since it is real carbon fiber, is it possible to epoxy coat to level the bumps out and clear coat to give it the depth and shine?
Yes, but why? It's so unique.

To be honest, it's probably cheaper to just buy 2-series parts dip-coated rather than dip these (unless you know a shop of course).
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      01-04-2017, 02:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GC_F87 View Post
Curious since it is real carbon fiber, is it possible to epoxy coat to level the bumps out and clear coat to give it the depth and shine?
It should be. A body shop might be willing to try it out for you
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      01-05-2017, 12:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GC_F87 View Post
Curious since it is real carbon fiber, is it possible to epoxy coat to level the bumps out and clear coat to give it the depth and shine?
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmzanatta View Post
Yes, but why? It's so unique.

To be honest, it's probably cheaper to just buy 2-series parts dip-coated rather than dip these (unless you know a shop of course).
^

This, While you can do it, it's unique. I have been trying how to actually make that dry carbon look, but so far im not happy with my results, seems much harder to make it look really good like that, than just do a clear coat and call it a day. Since I do want to make some extra interior parts just like the oem carbon parts for the m2.

Even just doing a quick wrap and putting some epoxy I dont get that same look, not yet anyways :P
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      01-05-2017, 02:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josepi123 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by GC_F87 View Post
Curious since it is real carbon fiber, is it possible to epoxy coat to level the bumps out and clear coat to give it the depth and shine?
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmzanatta View Post
Yes, but why? It's so unique.

To be honest, it's probably cheaper to just buy 2-series parts dip-coated rather than dip these (unless you know a shop of course).
^

This, While you can do it, it's unique. I have been trying how to actually make that dry carbon look, but so far im not happy with my results, seems much harder to make it look really good like that, than just do a clear coat and call it a day. Since I do want to make some extra interior parts just like the oem carbon parts for the m2.

Even just doing a quick wrap and putting some epoxy I dont get that same look, not yet anyways :P
Any pics to share on your progress?
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      01-05-2017, 03:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josepi123 View Post
^

This, While you can do it, it's unique. I have been trying how to actually make that dry carbon look, but so far im not happy with my results, seems much harder to make it look really good like that, than just do a clear coat and call it a day. Since I do want to make some extra interior parts just like the oem carbon parts for the m2.

Even just doing a quick wrap and putting some epoxy I dont get that same look, not yet anyways :P
There appears to be some sort of coating on the fibers. They're not conductive.
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      01-05-2017, 03:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ried View Post
BMW calls it naked carbon fiber, not plastic. Are they lying?

Replacing the plastic rear diffuser with the carbon fiber M Performance part costs around thousand dollars to save a few ounces of weight. That's the very definition of pointless.

Like the interior bits, some people do it for the aesthetics.
Like high heels on a beautiful woman. Ridiculous in practice, but damn if they don't look good!

To each their own I guess. I couldn't justify the CF diffuser as a cosmetic add-on, based solely on price. But I did manage to talk myself into the CF decklid spoiler. But hey, that's functional, right?
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      01-05-2017, 07:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mint View Post
There appears to be some sort of coating on the fibers. They're not conductive.
Now that you said that, its true, but I took a few pictures in order to clarify more this point, probably they are really helpful.





So as you can see I got the Carbon & Alcantara Trim Kit, now taking a closer look, on the last picture you can see it actually looks like its wrapped around the plastic part, which make sense, now the hard part is how to actually manage to get that matte dry carbon look, that's what I would like to do in order to make some interior parts like the back center console, as well as the plastic piece around the central A/C vents.

If you simply wrap the CF onto the piece with 1 thin coat of epoxy it's going to look shinny, and you will have the CF feel. But im wondering if you do a CF vacuum infusion probably its going to be super flat. and its going to have a wet finish.

I do have a few thoughts on how to do it, like applying a matte coat with just 1 super thin (Almost dry) coat of epoxy, as well as maybe probably just using glue "Super 77" and see how it looks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by R0ME0 View Post
Any pics to share on your progress?
Yes, well Im making a Screwless Euro Front plate holder. Since I dont want to make holes onto my baby , but having the materials on hand I did a few tests, here are the pictures.





Now on these pictures, Its 2 layers of CF with 1 thin coat of epoxy on the top, so like I said before, it have the carbon feel, but it looks shinny. Anyhow for this piece I wasnt aiming at that anyways, and I did apply several extra coats of epoxy later on.





With the idea of giving a wet look like the other OEM carbon parts, Now the piece is not finish yet anyways :P but I will show it later.
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      11-05-2019, 02:16 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mint View Post
Mechanical Engineer here who works in the aerospace industry. I see/handle a lot of carbon composites. Every. single. day.

It's real carbon fiber. If you feel it on certain areas where the fiber curves (top of the door handle, near the edge) you can actually feel some of the individual fibers, I'm actually worried this might lead to fraying of the fibers in the future.

But to answer this question - Yes, it's real.
Do you think it might start giving off fibers after a while?
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      11-05-2019, 02:50 PM   #18
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I imagine that the fibres are coated to prevent shedding, as CF takes the concept of splinters in your hands to a whole new level...
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      11-05-2019, 02:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mint View Post
Using CF on interior components is silly by nature if you want to look at it from
a function over form perspective. There are lots of lightweight polymers and other materials that would suit just fine. The fact is all car makers use CF on interior bits just because it's the fashionable thing to do for luxury vehicles. So to me it makes no difference if a interior bit is CF wrapped or actually made of CF.
Jaguar put a CF roof panel on the F Type coupe. Noting that this panel is non-structural - and it replaces a painted aluminium item - this is form over function writ large.

In similar vein, remember Jeremy Clarkson suggesting that buyers of a particular Lamborghini who specified the optional CF centre tunnel trim for a mere 5k extra had developed a "flappy paddle head"...
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      11-09-2019, 10:36 AM   #20
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It's real. I've installed some ///M perf carbon stuff (wheel trim, center console, etc) and you can see that when it's not mounted.

As for weight savings? not really. Think about it. IF they really wanted to save weight, these parts wouldn't exist at all....they're not necessary for the functioning of the car (and yeah, can say that about a lot of things). Now assuming the expectation in a road car is that they look nice and have things like trim, CF is lighter.

Oh, and on the wet v. dry carbon fiber.....dry is better\lighter\more $. I think it's cool that this is the way BMW went with our cars.

Good article on dry v. wet.

https://www.drbeasleys.com/blog/2014...-carbon-fiber/

Updated article that has better explanation of the manufacturing process:

https://www.drbeasleys.com/blog/2018...ber-revisited/
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      11-09-2019, 03:35 PM   #21
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100% real, and very nice CF in fact. I have it in my i8 and it has a lovely textured feel.








Last edited by JasH; 11-09-2019 at 04:32 PM..
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      11-09-2019, 04:00 PM   #22
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I’ve been looking at this myself. Possible ways to achieve it, so far I’ve come up with is to mould it on by using a matte finish vacuum bag or spray with a matte clearcoat after curing.

Last edited by JonD; 12-14-2019 at 05:40 AM..
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