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Let's say I design a simple piece of carbon fiber to be manufactured, in the shape of a simple cylinder with a diameter of 2cm and a height of 3cm (pretty small).

Is it possible and/or practical to try to mold this piece of carbon fiber in such a way that it could be hollow on the inside?

And if so, is it possible to mold the piece of carbon fiber inside of a vacuum chamber, so the resulting epoxy sealed carbon fiber part contains significantly less air in the hollow when completed?

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If I understand correctly, it sounds like you want to make a short carbon fiber tube. This can be done by wrapping the carbon fiber cloth around a mandrel that has the diameter that you want the inside diameter of your tube to be. There is an excellent video that demonstrates the process. Search for “How to make a roll wrapped carbon fiber tube” on YouTube. If you wrap the carbon fiber with compression tape, no vacuum is needed.

Edit:

I think I misunderstood your question initially. You can accomplish this by using a two-piece mold with a small hole to allow air to escape. Lay up the fiber in the mold, secure the two halves together, then place it in a vacuum chamber. Be sure to slowly pump out the air to avoid having the epoxy sucked out with it.

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting, a two-piece mold. OK. Thanks! I'll look into that. $\endgroup$ – Giffyguy Aug 25 at 1:42
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As far as I know, you can't mold a sphere or cylinder unless the material is on the outside of the mold and you keep the mold in place. Think paper machee over balloons. There is no way to get the balloon out. There is no way to get material to the inside of a hollow mold unless you can spin the material onto the walls, which won't work for carbon fiber.

The easiest solution is the best, which is to create an object via forming two halves together and then evacuating the contents.

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  • $\begingroup$ You can make hollow shapes with rotational molding, but likely not with carbon fiber and not containing a vacuum. $\endgroup$ – Eric S Aug 25 at 12:15

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