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Vacuum Infusion

There are several ways of producing carbon fiber hoods such as traditional hand laid, hand laid then vacuum bagged,vacuum infusion and dry carbon.

Traditional hand laid is the most economical way of producing carbon fiber parts. Reinforcements(carbon fiber, fiberglass mat, etc..) are laid into a mold and manually wet out using brushes or rollers. An improvement on traditional hand laid method is to add vacuum bagged method to reduce air pockets to the minimum during final curing. However, this method can only reduce the use of resin by 5-10%. Dry carbon is the best out of all carbon fiber products and is used in professional racing series such as F1 and Super GT Japan. However, the cost of dry carbon is extremely high for daily car enthusiasts.

AIT chooses the vacuum infusion method to produce carbon fiber hoods because the finished product will be similar to dry carbon in quality and will also be more affordable for the everyday car enthusiast.

The Vacuum Infusion Process (VIP) is a technique that uses vacuum pressure to drive resin into a laminate(fiberglass, carbon fiber, and kevlar). Materials such as fiberglass, carbon fiber, and kevlar are laid dry into the mold and the vacuum is applied before resin is introduced. Once a complete vacuum is achieved, resin is literally sucked into the laminate via carefully placed tubing. This process is aided by an assortment of supplies and materials.

Major Advantages – Vacuum infusion can produce laminates with a uniform degree of consolidation, producing high strength, lightweight structures.

Following illustration shows how VIP setup works:


Honeycomb Core Technology

AIT also use honeycomb panels as core of our carbon fiber hoods. Why use honeycomb core instead of more layers of reinforcement? Because honeycomb core will give you up to 90% weight saving and it is high strength to weight and stiffness to weight ratio.



Actual Images of Manufacturing Steps

AIT Carbon Hood Vacuum Carbon Hood Vacuum Infusion
1.First layer of Carbon Fiber Fabric is laid down into the mold without any resin. 2. Additional layer of fiberglass fabric is used to add support. Yes, the hood is not full carbon like most of the CF hoods in the market because of cost. Full carbon fiber hood is available through special order.
Carbon Fiber Hood Carbon Fiber Hood
3. Honeycomb core is the secret of high rigidity without sacraficing the weight. Look at a cardboard box, the concept is simple. 4. Last layer of fiberglass fabric completes the sandwich effect.
Carbon Fiber Hood Carbon Fiber Hood
5. Vacuum bag is place over the multi layers of reinforcements. 6. Let the vacuum begin.
Carbon Fiber Hood Carbon Fiber Hood
7. The dark part of the mold is the resin started to flow from one end of the mold to the other. 8. The mold is now filled with resin and ready to be cure.
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