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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I have been working on a secret project for the last 12 mths in amongst all the other stuff that I have been doing. This project works in with all the composite stuff that I have been doing and this is the pictures of the first tank upper that has come out of the mould. A little on the heavy side for the first one but these are going to be tested to the Eu standards for composite tanks on motorcycles which is going to be done to one of the tanks once I can work out some of the logistics involved with the test procedure. The company that will be selling them is going to be at the Auckland bike show with two of these tanks and a mock up of the first of their bikes Some time in November. Everything is going to be made from a carbon/ Kevlar composite materials similar to the tank. Tanks are manufactured from an alcohol resistant resin, infussed of course and strategic located additional reinforcement for the both strength and puncture resistance as well as been setup for both carb and injection fuel pumps in tank as per normal. Sight window is optional and will be functional. I have already done a base which came out at 1.2kg but a technical fault with it meands that i need to build another one which is going to be done tomorrow.
Enjoy the pictures there will be more to come.

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As with everything you seem to do --It looks great
 

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I like the sight window too, Combi. Great work as usual. Is changing the location of the window going to be an option? I‘d like to see it in the front or back if there isn‘t a problem with changing location.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I like the sight window too, Combi. Great work as usual. Is changing the location of the window going to be an option? I‘d like to see it in the front or back if there isn‘t a problem with changing location.
Yes sight window can be put anywhere you like and the size can be changed as well tahat one to me is a bit small at 25mm wide, I want to do a slightly larger one on the next tank but that is up to the people that i am doing it for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
here are some of the details gfor the base that I have infussed today.

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First layers of carbon down. These have been cut so that they are nicely shaped and give that visual element that everyone is looking for.

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Carbon/kevlar material is place over the carbon outer layers. Again this is orientated a special way so that it gives the greatest amount of strength and resistance to penetration in an accident.

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Final layers of carbon are placed over the top to finish and I use a multitude of different types of cloth for different reasons. But the key to getting a good finish is to make sure that you debulk the laminate down as you go. Sometimes you can get away without doing it if it is a flat object but when you have a multitude of directional changes in the shape you can sometimes only apply 2 layers of material and then have to go through the debulking process before going to mare layers. This material is a layer of heavy carbon cloth which is an absolute pain to work with as it wants to do some wired stuff when you are trying to use it. once I have used thai up i have a better cloth to use in its place.

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All bagged down for a couple of hours another key is to make sure that you have a perfect bag seal. One thing that I have also learned the hard way is to hold it under vacuum for a couple of hours and watch the vacuum gage for any drops in pressure. Get the leaks out before you start. For this component I wanted to get the amount of resin as consistent as possible over the entire component so once the infusion has occurred and the resin is starting to move up the vacuum tube I open a second vacuum line from the other end of the component. This is then left under vacuum until it has cured. In this case I slowed the curing down a bit and also reduced the vacuum pressure which has the effect of allowing a bit more resin in the laminate - this is just personal preference for components that have kevlar in.

Tomorrow afternoon will be the removal of the outer bag and peel ply. The component will be left on the mold for at least another 24 hrs and preferably in the sun to get some heat into it. After it had occurred I managed to get it up to 36c just on my bench. This just allows any solvents that are trapped in the bag and laminate to dissipate and for the component to start the hardening process that takes place with this resin for the next 5 days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Removed the bag , peel ply and manifold material this morning and after slicing a finger open decided that it had cured enough to get it off the mould. Came off relatively easy this time around.

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Bag material off and ready for the demoulding dance to begin

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Came off without to much hassle this time. Trick to it was to make sure that there were no thin laminate areas around the edges - more material made it stiffer and easier to leverage off the mould.

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Little bit heavier than the last one - I place alot more material around the edges and sides for this one.

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Looks good outside in the sun - making the panels of the first layer a lot more precisely cut to shape makes it look that much better once out of the mould

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No just need to leave it for a couple of days before I trim it. The moulds will be prepared this afternoon ready for the next tank upper and lower to be built.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Now that i have left these to cure for a bit it is time to get onto the scary bit - trimming.

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When I did the lay up I placed a lot of extra material around the filler cap area and made sure the the kevlar layers were not taken to the edge just to make it easier to cut the hole.

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Little bit of trimming and did not have the exactly correct hole saw for the job so a bit of sanding to open the hoel up a bit to get it to fit.

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2 hrs of carefully using the jigsaw around the front and the grinder with a stainless steel cut off disc for the sides and it was looking pretty good.

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One of the things that I was most concerned about was access for fittings and fuel pump inside the tank - not a problem.

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Quick weight in. this one is on the heavy side and I have a new layup that should save at least a kilo of this weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So now the real test begins - trying top get the top and bottom to match up

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Managed to get it to roughly fit. This is always a harrowing time, what to cut what not to cut etc.

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I always hate this part and especially when you have to work with anything that has kevlar in it. Spells trouble if you get it wrong. Made this one a bit bulky in places around the edges but will fix that problem next time and will have to be a bit more specific with the cuts of the cloth as well in places. Sight window will be a bit wider ad I will look at a better way to put an edge around the transition between the carbon and glass to tidy it up somehow.

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Just to prove that there is plenty of access to the rear of the tank for servicing purposes.

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Tank sitting on an injected frame...

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Plug sitting on my 94 carb spec frame.

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Clean up tomorrow, promise.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Couple of issue with not been able to bend two of my fingers has slowed me down but managed to get a plug sorted for the rear section of the tank this morning before having to call it quits due to mobility issues.


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Fuel pump roughly in position but need to make a an angled mount for it

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Working out how the inserts for the seat bracket is going to work with the pump in place.

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Found a section of aluminium that needs a bit of a clean up that will be used to build the back section on.

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Start of with #600 then onto #1200 before the polishing phase. I use Simply Green cleaner and water as a cleaner degreaser these days. Also works well with the foam micro pads that I have for #3000.

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All polished and cleaned it is time to cover the area that I want to laminate and glue it all into position with hot glue that can be removed later.

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Rough template of the recess based on the base circle of a plast5ic container that I found.

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After it was cure , popped it out and shaped it to what I needed.

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Glued it in the cut out, now just have to fill some gaps with modelers clay and wax it before applying a water based release compound. This will be left overnight to dry before the application of gelcoat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
After a bit of trial and error I have manged to set the back part of the tank on the jig and laminate it. Vacuumed down and left overnight I have removed the bag and now just need to let it cure for a bit before I remove it

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Had a bit of an issue with the tape lifting so had to clamp it down on the table to seal it. This was wet laminated and vacuumed after it was all wetted out. I hate doing it this way - just hate working with the resin, gets everywhere that you don't want it to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That red tank looks so-o-o good sitting on the carby frame. That tank is just what's needed to make an early fairing look proper on a '90s Supersport.


Yes and that was the idea. The guys who had it built by someone else here in NZ had an aluminium one built which was really nice but there were concerned with the time it took to build each one by hand. I took the original one and faired it up, took a quick mold and built the red one as a plug for future moulds. I am yet to see the fairings but I know one of them is similar to the one in this shot but I have not seen the seat unit, there are two different ones, one for the 91-97 frame and then one for the injected frame. I have seen the initial mock up of the 91-97 frame only at this stage. Don't get me wrong, I really like this style but for me the tank and seat look wrong on this frame for some reason, they are better suited to the i.e frame
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Back into the tanks with the breathers turning up. Just waiting for the wind to die down so I can spray the next base to be done.

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Newton filler caps and breathers for the Imola and standard Supersport tanks.

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Couple of minor internal adjustments needed to be made to get it it fit
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All drilled and fitting perfectly.
 
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