Originally Posted by Judah
Yes, carbon fiber is woven into a fabric and so is fiberglass when used for structural purposes,( the same glass fibers just longer strands). Repairing CF is NOT like fixing a garment. I understand what you mean by, "like fixing a chip in a windshield" but that pertains to the repair of chopped FG which is very heavy on resin. Chopped fiberglass doesn't have near the strength of fiberglass fabric(woven). The same basic procedure used to repair multi layered FG is how multi layered CF is repaired. A great deal of the strength is in the resin and fabric orientation. The repair requires bonding to each individual layer and in some cases the core, resulting in a strong, smooth and almost invisible repair.
I'm not just stating that it can be done. What I'm saying is that it's not as expensive or as laborious as some people may think. There will be training but it's not rocket science.
Ok, fair enough, I see what you are saying. I was really thinking about non-strucutual fiberglass, so I see your points. To be honest, I am not really familiar with fiberglass as a structural material, since to my knowledge it isn't really suitable for a chassis material or in many other applications where carbon fiber is.
This is really no different that CF chassis repair. When you look at autos of the past with CF chassis construction,(MP4-12C & Aventador) you'll find that the occupant cell is the CF structure and the impact zones remain aluminum, magnesium and/or steel. The impact zones are easily replaced or repaired. In the event of damage to the CF occupant cell see my comment above. However, if the cell is severely damaged to the point of no repair then chances are the occupants are dead. The cells are just that strong....
I hear you.
I don't think the i3 will be like those cars you mention in that, my understanding is that the body shell will be virtually all carbon fiber. I could be wrong about that, however that is my recollection from reading the press material and looking at the pictures that BMW release back when it was still called the "Megacity". In any case this won't effect the 7 series since it won't be nearly that carbon intensive - but as things evolve and time goes on it will no doubt gradually move in that direction assuming that the whole CFRP revolution within BMW has legs.
I would be interested to see the outcomes of structural carbon fiber repairs in today's cars and also other applications. Can you repair a carbon fiber ski or ski pole, for example? I have to admit I'd be surprised if you could. Well, not that you'd want to anyway, but it was just an off the cuff example to establish a base-line. What about a broken carbon fiber bicycle frame? Or a a brake rotor (I think they make those now, right F-599X)? Are they making carbon fiber suspensions now days? I think maybe in race cars right? Do they repair those? Not that you'd necessarily even want to repair such things if they were made from steel or aluminum either, but you probably could with success if you really needed to. Just some thoughts.