CHROME DRONE! – powder coating a carbon fiber frame with SUPER CHROME
Of course i did. I set you up on this fancy tripod and everything guys welcome. Back. Today we are going to build one of my fpv. Drones were going to go out and fly, but ive got this idea on how to make this thing. Look pretty unique and that is were going to try to powder coat the carbon fiber airframe now powder coating is an alternative to traditional paint where you spray. The part with a wet paint and it dries to a cure with powder coating, you coat the part in a dry powder and then bake it and the powder flows and cures into a very durable finish. Now an example: some pretty advanced powder coating is my custom. Honda ruckus the whole rear frame is done in this custom. Lavender thats got metal flake and an additional coat of clear to make it super glossy. It basically looks like a high end paint job but is more durable. Now i just started powder coating myself pretty recently and thats a lot more advanced than anything. I try to do in my little at home shop. In fact, the only thing ive powder coated so far are the rear sets on my motorcycle and all i did was this really simple flat black. It just looks like flat black paint, but its going to be more durable, which is perfect because feet our rubbing there. The powder coating doesnt necessarily need to look like paint theres, all sorts of finishes you can get out of it.
You can have like a wrinkle finish or a more reflective finish like well see, but you know regardless, if youre doing something advanced like the ruckus or simple, like my rear sets, you do need some specialty equipment. So let me show you how this is supposed to work. Let me uh get my setup set up. So weve got an air compressor, the biggest toaster oven. I could find on amazon the actual powder coating machine itself, all plugged into an extension cord from the living room, not the most ideal setup, but itll get the job done now before we go ahead and try to powder coat carbon fiber. I want to show you how this process is supposed to work on an actual piece of metal. Now ive already got the hopper loaded up with the color. I want to test its, not the not the stuff that were going to be using on the carbon uh. Just something else that i need to see how it actually sprays out anytime, youre testing out a new color. You should just try it on something disposable like a scrap piece of metal or a can, but were just gon na go ahead and go straight for this expensive gas cap for a new scooter build. So i already had it in the toaster oven. Doing a bake cycle to just cook off any oils or any other things that might you know, mess up the adhesion. So weve just got this hanging here for spraying now we hook the air compressor up to the powder, coating gun and thats going to help us spray, the actual powder onto the part, but to get it to stick.
This is the really cool part. The powder is going to be positively charged see the gun has a wire connecting it to this high voltage situation and then weve just got this little ground, connector thats going to go on the part itself, so i just flipped this switch to turn on the system And then down here, weve got this foot pedal and when i step on it, the high voltage activates so that the powder i spray out of here is positively charged and sticks to the grounded metal part Music im just checking that its nice and even it looks Pretty good were going to throw out the toaster oven parts just been in there for a few minutes, and i can already see the powder starting to melt now. It needs to bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, and that means the part itself needs to be 400 degrees. So ive got this little infrared heat gun and im just measuring it still only at 3 30. im going to turn this up a little bit. Music Applause – this came out really nicely. I love this color theres, just so much metallic to it, and it blows my mind that it goes from being this pink bag of powder into this rose gold. Finish ive got all the pieces to my drone frame laid out and ive got an even crazier powder in mind for this, and that is super chrome. So it should go from being this dark gray powder into an actual chrome finish if we can get it to work.
So the reason that i wanted to show you how powder coating is supposed to go is because im pretty nervous about actually getting it to happen. On carbon fiber, so metal works so well for powder coating because it can take the high temperature of the curing process and its also conductive, which means it works great for getting the powder to stick using that electrostatic effect. Now, carbon fiber itself would work pretty well. It can take a pretty high temperature and it is actually conductive. However, these rigid pieces that make up our drone frame are not pure carbon fiber. This is true anytime. You see carbon fiber used practically where its rigid. It is actually a composite where the carbon fiber is held together in a resin matrix and now those resins cant necessarily take a high temperature and they arent conductive. So those are two challenges that were going to have in trying to make powder coating work on these carbon fiber bits. So i did a little bit of research to see if theres a way to get powder to stick to less conductive pieces and i found a technique called hot flocking. So what were going to do is preheat these pieces and then spray them while theyre still hot. So that, as the powder hits the surface, it kind of instantly flows just a little bit so that it sticks to the piece. So with any luck. Well be able to get the powder to stick to the pieces and then were just going to throw them in the toaster, oven and hope that they can hold up to the 375 degrees without breaking down getting soft or catching on fire Music.
It actually work. I look its like reflective. This is look at it. Look at it just look at it: Music, Applause, Music. I kind of cant believe this actually worked, im really happy it didnt catch on fire and the powder actually stuck its, not perfect, and i can tell the heat did have an effect on the resins in the carbon fiber like the resin kind of shrunk, and you Can see it in the surface, the pieces originally were like perfectly flat and after being baked, you can see and you can feel the pattern of the weave. So i think the resins, like kind of shrunk it doesnt, seem to have affected. I dont know this seems it seems fine and it just looks so badass, but we arent just going to look at this thing. We are actually going to flat so lets, take it over to the bench and throw some parts on it. Laughter, Music, all right, weve come out to this spot, where we can do some freestyle guys, it looks even crazier outside so lets. Get a couple. Last good looks at this thing and lets put it up in the air: Music Applause, Music, so Applause, Music, Applause, Music, Applause, Music, so Music Applause, so Music, its looking to me, like the heat of the powder coating process, definitely made the carbon fiber weaker. My frame is pretty tough im, not saying i dont ever break it. I definitely have ive broken arms before, but it is very rare if ever that ive broken an arm on the first day out when its still in pretty good shape.
Normally, by the time i break an arm, ive crashed the quad a bunch of times. The carbon is splintering its starting to feel soft and by the time it breaks im like yeah its about time that it broke. So it did hold up to a few lighter crashes, with what id call normal damage, just some scuffs and a little bit of chipping, but then that whack into the tree snapped the arm. And i still wouldnt consider that a really hard crash for it to break on the first outing like this yeah it was. It was weaker, so it didnt seem to fly any worse. So there werent, really any flight performance downsides, definitely a durability, downside and really no upside other than it just looks so cool, but i think making an aircraft that youre going to be flying first person view anyway, look cooler, isnt necessarily going to be worth it to To do again, but it was a really cool experiment and really cool to get to see it. I just i just dont, think im going to be powder cutting frames again. All right guys just wanted to wrap this one up real, quick kind of a bummer that i broke my project frame right away so surprise. I made myself a second one. I just think this looks so cool. I wanted to have one that i could put up somewhere. The whole reason i actually wanted to do. This is because recently this channel passed 100 000 subscribers and youtube can be kind of slow about actually sending out those silver play buttons.
So i had to make myself a silver drone frame to celebrate so guys. I just wanted to say thank you so much for being a part of this, its an absolute privilege to make videos that over time, so many people have come across so whether youre, a long time viewer or a first time viewer or youre. Not even seeing this video because you dont watch anymore, if youve ever watched any of my videos. Thank you so much for being a part of this journey, so theres a little extra way to celebrate lets do a giveaway im going to give away. One of my drone frames – all you got to do is be subscribed and leave a comment. Just leave any comment just say: hey. I want that frame and ill randomly pick a commenter and you can win one of my drone frames. Im im not going to powder coat it for you, because obviously it makes it significantly weaker and hopefully you can actually build this thing up and fly it and enjoy this amazing sport that is fpv drones. Look forward to many more adventures with you guys. Thank you. As always for tuning in uh happy new year by the way, this is the first video im going to be posting for the year. I hope you had an excellent holiday season. Hope your year is already off to an amazing start, and may this year be your best one.