Is carbon fiber always black? All the paddles I’ve seen advertised in carbon are always listed as available in black only. Is this because a single manufacturer makes the fiber in black only, or is there an inherit reason that it must be black?
not always!.. novorca greenland paddles
Novorca carbon greenland paddles come in a variety of colors. www.novorca.com
Here’s a great picture of some of the colors… http://www.novorca.com/images/paddles_03-02-07_1.JPG
It is my understanding that the raw material itself is a matte, dull grey to black color. The pigmentation you see is in the clear/epoxy coating as a tint. My wife is the art director for a bicycle manufacturer and they’re experimenting with different pigmentation effects all the time. Even the cloth-like weave you see on paddle and blade shafts is often for decoration only. It’s fascinating to visit her creative dept. and see hundreds of sample tubes done up in different ways-metallic, pearlescent effects, even ‘flips’, where the color changes subtly dependent upon how the light hits it-all effects caused by the particulate matter suspended in the clearcoat.
I don’t think so
"Even the cloth-like weave you see on paddle and blade shafts is often for decoration only."
Many “high end” paddles including carbon, are made just like fiberglas and kevlar boats. That is, epoxy is pushed into a fabric. Thus -often-, the weave you see is real.
The coloring in the picture of the greenland paddles is a colored “clear coat” over the black carbon fabric (or color in the epoxy).
Those paddles are coated with colored epoxy. I probably should have clarified my post. I was responding to the comment that you only see black carbon paddles and not the actual color of the material itself.
On that note, you should see Ron's latest carbon paddle creation which is rainbow colored and glittery. It's out of this world.
"rainbow colored and glittery"
Yikes! Takes all kinds I guess - but little girl/clown colors?
I think my appreication of the two pieces of WRC I have on the porch just shot up darmatically.
In the far reaches of one of the northern areas of the USA …where it’s cold and snowy many months (like in Greenland) Since I couldn’t paddle without getting a dog team to carry me and my boat across the pack ice to open water (Lake Superior)I spent some time making a truely packable (inside a suitcase) for airplane travel…
It’s not quite finished yet…needs a little tweeking and then the finish has to be put on.
wow…lendal buttons???had to ask-
how did you do that?!
Very nice work! NM
Generally, but not necessarily
Colored products aside, I have seen white/silver carbon fiber and graphite products (the two are not the same thing). I have some "Graphwhite" dry lubricant that is a white powder. It's not PTFE, but I don't know exactly what it is and the company is apparently no longer around.
The white/silver "carbon fiber" is apparently composed of glass and/or carbon fibers coated with aluminum to change their color. It's purely cosmetic and I would imagine that they're more expensive than uncoated products, which is probably why we don't see them used in paddles, but it's an interesting idea.
Upon further research…
…I discovered that the “Graphwhite” I have is probably ground mica, not graphite, which makes sense, since carbon is always black, except in the case of diamonds.
Might be a talc like substance ?
‘White Carbon’ = Texalium
Aluminum coating on glass is the Silver stuff........ comes in black too of all things ...... would be easy to pass as carbon if one did not know. Its black but not carbon ..... huge difference in performance.
Beware some, new -from X plastic paddle manufacturers, low cost, heavier, almost cannot see it through the thick super heavy / glossy clear coat paddles ...... 50% and it can be called carbon.
Slightly stiffer parts due to aluminum .... harder to work with out using vacuum on tight radius stuff ......
Hexcel company ..... two main weights and weaves of cloth. Other variations using same material from overseas.
* " Colored " carbon is clearcoat over carbon.
*Pigmenting ( even white ) will still yeaid a mottled blackish part.
* Some cool hybrid weaves using colored kevlar out there but really a poor waste of each material characteristics IMO.
Stil asking for colored Fiberglass for Christmas year after year.