After witnessing the forged composite technology in Italy I got inspired and tried it myself to make a ring for my girlfriend. It was a hard process to master.
The jewelry is hypoallergenic, impact resistant, UV stable, heat and corrosion resistant, lightweight and durable.
Forged Carbon fiber is not a specific material, but an technology developed first by Lamborghini. The process allows the creation of 3D shaped objects through a molding and curing process. By applying both heat and pressure the carbon fiber is sandwiched between layers of resin. It’s this combination of pressure and heat that gives it the name “forged.”The end result is unique jewelry made from Forged composites. To spice things up strontium aluminate makes the jewelry glow after being exposed to sunlight or any kind of light.
Carbon fiber, Kevlar, epoxy resin, strontium aluminate.
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A peek of the end product. The end ring look up close. Since we used different carbon fiber patterns the look will be different and unique. The Kevlar is mixed with the carbon fiber and it has bonded.
For this process we are gonna use different types of prepreg carbon fiber. Prepreg is already infused with resin so we don't have to worry about mixing and bonding the material. Kevlar aramid fiber usually comes in yellow. I am using a white one for a different contrast to the black carbon fiber.
Cut the carbon fiber and kevlar into shreads 4x4 cm. To form the rings you need to create cylindrical logs. Those are then shaped into the desired end product in this case a ring. For this process we need a mould.
The mould for the logs is filled with the prepreg carbon fiber and Kevlar. On each peice of prepreg there is an additional piece of added Kevlar fibers. Both the prepreg and Kevlar are combined into one before pressurized under the heated press for the resin to cure.
The mould is then pressurized under 20 tons with an heated press. The mould needs to be under the pressure of the press the entire time. Apply heat of over 100 °C (212 °F) in order for the prepreg carbon to cure and form. This is a slow process. The longer you heat it the better. More that 2 h is minimal, cause aramid fibers don't bond well with resin.
Trim the inside and outside of the logs. This has to be done at a high speeds and very, very light small cuts on a lathe. Apply water to the log.
Drilled holes, done with the normal lathe tools for drilling, even through they expire on the material very fast.
You cut the log into a preferred width for the ring and trim the outside. Again this is done at high speeds and applying water. I prefer the widths of 9mm to 6mm. Cut the log with a metal saw. Wood tools won't work.
To form a glow ring simply mix the glow powder (strontium aluminate) with the resin until It becomes a thick paste and pour it into the ring. Wait one day so that it's hard enough and start shaping. Use the mix ratio for the resin that you use. Mix 1:1 with the glow powder. Make the ring 1mm bigger as the desired size. The glow insert that you shape and drill on the lathe is about 1 mm thick.
The green and aqua glow powders that are mixed with the resin. These 2 colors are the most intense, so use these two.
You then shape the ring with different sandpapers on the ring mandrel. Following the steps listed below. You start shaping when the ring is trimmed to 3mm. Work underwater the entire time and clean your working area. It will become messy.
You start with the roughest to softest as in the above picture. 1.60 2. 120 3. 220 4. 500 . 2000.
You also have to trim both the outside and inside of the ring. Don't forged to use water.
Trimming the inside before the sand paper finish. Never stick your finger inside. Lathes are extremely dangerous! For a glow ring you need to make a slight curve. For the light to easier reach the inside of the ring for it to charge.
You are then left with your end polished rings. The more you polish the better. This is an extremely sensitive material to light. Use 2 types of polish paste. One rough and the other extra fine.
If you want to know anything more or need more advice let me know. Have fun crafting !
You can find out more here: https://kawelli.com/ I am also preparing for a Kickstarter campaign for this kind of Jewelry. Any kind of help would be much appreciated! Thanks!