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How to Identify High Quality Carbon Fiber Sheets

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So you’re in the market for carbon fiber sheets. Maybe you like the way it looks, or you’ve got a project that requires a material that’s strong and lightweight. You’ve looked online and seen the websites selling carbon fiber sheets and you’re ready to pull the trigger. Carbon’s not cheap, so once you’ve made the purchase, how will you know if you got your money’s worth and received a good quality product?

Here’s what to look for:

  • It should lie absolutely flat on a surface.No waves, warping, bends, or creases. Flat!
  • The surface should be as smooth as glass.Sheets with a gloss finish should have a completely smooth, level surface – no bumps, ridges, or fabric indentations.
  • You shouldn’t see any scratches. Not even a little one. No nicks or marred edges either. The standard you should expect for your purchase is “perfect”.
  • You shouldn't see pinholes.If you reflect light off the surface of a gloss finish and you see tiny imperfections as if it were poked by a pin, you’re looking at “pinholes”. They’re caused when gas bubbles are trapped during the production process. One of our competitors states on their website that pinholes are a normal part of carbon fiber sheets that have “optimal resin content.” We strongly disagree – you should neversee pinholes in a top quality carbon fiber sheet.
  • The backside of the sheet should be slightly textured and flat.There should be no rough spots or clumps from excess resin. These will create visible irregularities when adhering the sheet to another surface.
  • The dimensions should be correct.Cutting tolerances should be no more than ± .125 inch. In other words, your sheet should be within 1/8” of stated dimensions.
  • If you order a carbon fiber sheet online and it has any of the problems above, consider returning it to the company. By doing so, you hold manufacturers to a higher standard and you’ll get the high quality carbon fiber sheet you’ve paid for!