Phantom spars (Removing Al from carbon fiber composite spars)

Phantom spars (Removing Al from carbon fiber composite spars)

Post by Walker Auma » Sat, 25 Jan 1992 10:07:42

Well, I broke my Phantom.  Sigh.  However, I only broke the ferrule connecting
the right leading edge.  No problem, right?

The ferrule is glued/epoxied to the spar, and doesn't want to immediately
come off.  Now here's the question:  What are the spars made out of?

Yes, I know they're graphite.  That's not good enough.  My current plan is
to dissolve the aluminum ferrule off the spar.  There are a variety of solutions
that will dissolve the aluminum, but I'd like to know if they are going to
destroy the graphite (which may or may not be held together by epoxy).  The
best solution I've heard so far is 2M HCl, with some Cu(2)Cl, and hydrogen
peroxide.  Assuming the spar is solid graphite, it shouldn't be a problem, but
I'm not sure, and no one I've talked to (including someone at Cobra (Kobra?)
Kites, a former distributor) can answer this.  

The other favored option is electrolysis.  I'm guessing that it's about 1/10
of a mole of Al, and so it should take less than 10 hours at 1 amp.

Hey, what good's a college education if it can't help you fix your kite?

Walker Aumann