Is carbon flammable? Only one way to find out...

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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elviento
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by elviento

Some guys in a local cycling group asked this question recently and frankly I don't have an answer. Someone did say resin has a 200-degree ignition temp and fibers have a 600-degree ignition temp.

Since we happen to have a frame from the fatigue test, we are going to try to burn it and see what happens. And also throw in some beer and roast wings and sausages.

You know, to keep it recreational as well as educational.

Stay tuned.
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michel2
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by michel2

I put a six pack on saying it has trouble burning. From reading all the marketing, a good carbon fiber tube should not contain any oxygen ? I think you would to put in a fair bitt of effort to get it started !(;

by Weenie


Schleckond
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by Schleckond

Carbon doesn't burn (there is nothing to burn) but the resin will burn away and you will be left with (basically) the bare fibres/fabric left. The fabric won't stay together though as the binders will have burnt away.

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prendrefeu
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by prendrefeu

You might want to wear a mask anywhere near the burn, make sure it has filters for organic vapours. Basically, don't get cancer.
The resin might not 'burn' like a normal fire, but it may alite and carry a semi-visible flame. You'll certainly smell it. Which is bad.
The carbon won't burn though.
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NiFTY
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by NiFTY

Yeah i saw one guy do down in a crit. Fireball.
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prendrefeu
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by prendrefeu

Also, a quick search on the internet can pull up what I'm referencing: http://www.aviationfirejournal.com/avia ... azards.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Basically, stay the f*ck away from that burn. Don't eat anything you're putting on that fire. Hell, don't even be anywhere near it. Save your life.

How do I know this sht? I worked in a rapid prototyping lab for a few years (part-time). We had laser cutters among the many tools there... and that's a great way to know what the hazards are in burning various materials, even if it is just a laser cut.
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Wingnut
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by Wingnut

I've seen a few carbon surfboards and a paddle board melt due to the way black carbon absorbs heat/sun so readily...
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HillRPete
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by HillRPete

elviento wrote:Some guys in a local cycling group asked this question recently and frankly I don't have an answer. Someone did say resin has a 200-degree ignition temp and fibers have a 600-degree ignition temp.

For the resin, well, it depends on the resin. I'm fairly sure having seen Zipp say they are testing their brake tracks at over 200 degrees. (Kelvin or Celsius, that is the question though).

The carbon fiber itself will take more than 600. Formular 1 brake rotors go into the 4-digit in operation. Probably depends on the type of fiber too.

In any case the resin's and carbon's respective spec sheets would have the details, I suppose.

Schleckond wrote:Carbon doesn't burn (there is nothing to burn)

Well, what about the carbon? :mrgreen:

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elviento
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by elviento

Thanks for the input above. It would certainly be nice to have first hand experience with the result, since I have been asked many times what sunlight or a house fire could do to a carbon frame.

BTW, if it doesnt' burn, we will use the frame as a BBQ rack (just kiddin' Prend:-)).
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dcl10
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by dcl10

It depends on the type of carbon as well. Prepreg layups will typically have a lower melting point and may become soft and pliable before combustion occurs.

madmole
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by madmole

Carbon is what you get left after a fire.
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sungod
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by sungod

carbon burns, producing carbon dioxide and/or carbon monoxide

C + O2 → CO2

2C + O2 → 2CO

an everyday example is bbq charcoal, i.e. lumps of carbon, it burns

Copperband
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by Copperband

Hi Elviento,

I came across this blog post some time ago and I think it should answer your question.

This titanium Seven Aerios frame was caught in a house fire and the carbon seatpost which was on the frame just exploded. It didn't burn.

Some pictures of of the titanium frame after the fire.
Image

The picture of the carbon fibre seatpost.
Image

Source: http://cozybeehive.blogspot.sg/2009/03/can-titanium-frame-be-reused-after-fire.html

HillRPete
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by HillRPete

elviento, you got me interested.

Flammability Properties of Aircraft Carbon-Fiber Structural Composite http://www.fire.tc.faa.gov/pdf/07-57.pdf

by Weenie


artray
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by artray

Carbon is horrible stuff to mess with . Just cutting or tuning bits, the dust is really awful .
Why on earth would you want to burn it . Seems like a stupid thing to do and maybe a health risk .

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