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Tim Hancock Tim Hancock is offline
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 9,217
4130 steel tubing is pretty tough to beat in the tube frame dept.

Carbon tubes could not be just "epoxied" together at joint clusters while 4130 steel tubes can be quite readily coped and welded into very strong
cluster joints. With steel tubes, generally speaking it is either broke or is not. With epoxied gusseted tube joints, partial failures would be difficult to detect until it was too late.

Also, the stongest carbon structures are typically made from pre-peg
materials, then oven cured. One would need refrigeration for storage, then huge ovens for curing. Hand laid carbon fiber components are strong, but not as good as the pre-peg made oven cured components.

I have built aircraft fuselages from 4130 and have also built composite wing structures using composites. Both technologies are used in different structures on the same high performance aerobatic aircraft.

Indy cars use carbon for the tubs and other components that are monocoque type structures, yet still use 4130 for things like suspension arms and links.
German autos: '79 911 SC, '87 951, '03 330i, '08 Cayenne

Men do not quit playing because they get old.... They get old because they quit playing.
Old 06-21-2005, 06:52 AM
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