Things You'll Need
- High-speed rotary tool
- High-density cut off wheel
- Medium grit sand paper
- Rubbing alcohol
- Clean rags
- Slow-set epoxy or cyanoacrylate glue
Carbon fiber rods are used in a number of ways in model building, both for static kit builders looking for additional support for their structures and by RC modelers who use them to reinforce airplane wings and strengthen car frames. Carbon fiber rods are are made by tightly combining carbon fibers with epoxy resin. As a result, they are incredibly strong and lightweight, but they can be a little difficult to bond if you do not know what you are doing. Fortunately, the process is fairly simple.
Cut the ends of the rod flush using a high-speed rotary tool and a high-density cut off wheel, if necessary.
Scuff the surface of both connecting ends using medium grit sand paper.
Wipe down both rods on a clean rag with rubbing alcohol, and allow to dry.
Mix a slow-set epoxy and apply to the carbon rod connection points with a toothpick. You also may use thin cyanoacrylate glue, though slow-set epoxy will give a stronger bond.
Allow to cure for at least an hour before testing.
Slow-set epoxies generally require 15 to 30 minute set times.
A small bit of painter's tape can be helpful in holding the rods together while they cure. Lay the tape with the sticky side up, bond the ends, then lower the rods onto the tape and wrap.
Do not use large amounts of epoxy or glue. If there is too much, it will overflow and stick to the surface upon which it rests.
Sean Kotz has been writing professionally since 1988 and is a regular columnist for the Roanoke Times. He has also written for the Blue Ridge Business Journal, The Roanoker, 50 Plus, and Prehistoric Times, among others. He holds a Master of Arts in literature from Virginia Tech.