Our Hybrid™ line is our proprietary material mix we researched and developed to create flexible composite parts. We are well-known for our flexible HybridFRP™ material incorporated into select parts such as bumpers, lips, and sideskirts since 2005. Since flexibility is a key to added durability, our HybridFRP™ line of products is the preferred choice over conventional FRP (fiberglass) parts, which tend to be rigid and brittle.
We have been asked in the past, “Why can’t you build flexible carbon parts if you can build flexible fiberglass parts?” The short answer is – our Hybrid™ mixture is sticky during production application (wet lay-up). Technically, we can build a flexible carbon with our Hybrid™ mixture, however, since the material is sticky, it tends to distort the carbon fabric and give it a mushy look. So yes, we could have built flexible carbon parts in the past, but it would not have looked appealing. This problem was overcome when we integrated a vacuum infusion process.
Our new Vacuum Infused HybridCarbon™ & HybridKevlar™ technology allows us an opportunity to finally introduce to the automotive after-market a flexible carbon fiber product. Vacuum infusion allows us to infuse our Hybrid™ mix into the carbon while keeping the carbon fabric relatively intact. This solves the mushy carbon issue, while also providing other added- benefits:
• Vacuum Infusion helps carbon fabric, which tend to be less pliable than fiberglass fabric, conform and press tightly against molds with complex tight and sharp curvatures and hard-to-reach areas resulting in a high-end “pressed-to-the-surface” look very similar to parts made using a pre-preg carbon process. This helps give the carbon a very nice uniform and flat surface effect, which is what is ultimately desired for a visually appealing carbon part.
• Vacuum Infusion produces stronger and lighter parts compared to the same parts built using a conventional wet lay-up process. Mechanical property is within 70-80% of pre-preg carbon, which is outstanding considering the significantly lower cost of production.
For iOS users, click “here” to watch a video demonstration of our Vacuum Infused HybridCarbon™ flexibility.
We will only be applying this new-found process to select parts – mainly Carbon or Kevlar front lips. The vacuum infusion process can only be consistently executed with molds built a very specific way, which means we can’t apply the infusion process to our current molds unfortunately. To expand our HybridCarbon™ line, we will have rebuild old molds a new way and move forward building new molds the new way.
We will provide a list (here) of products currently offered in HybridCarbon™ & HybridKevlar™:
Mazda FD3S RX-7:
Toyota SW20 MR-2:
Mazda FC3S RX-7 Type-1 Front Lip