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carbon fiber resiliance

May 16, 2000
i know that a knife with carbon fiber grips will take a lot, but what about chemical resistance? i am looking for a knife to give as a gift and it will be used in a lab a lot. how well will the carbon fiber hold up to mostly mild exposure to acids and solvents? by the way, the knife i am considering is a william henry kestral with, obviously, a carbon fiber handle. if anone has had any eperiance in the matter, i would apreciate any feedback you have. if you would recoment another knife, the requirements are as follows: light, small (i.e. a 2" blade), well built, resiliant, and around that pricerange (about $150-175).

It'll probably hold up as well as any other material would under those circumstances. In terms of solvents carbon fiber tends to be pretty resistant, although aluminum or titanium would fare better under some circumstances. I would say go for it!

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Madpoet (Mel Sorg, Jr.) Tribute page:
I wouldn't worry much about solvents attacking the carbon fiber reinforcement, but the epoxy it's reinforcing is affected by some solvents, including acetone and paint removers like Zip-Strip.

-Cougar :{)
thanks for the replies, i figured it would do alright, the knife wont have to take TOO much abuse, so it should be fine. Thanks once again...

In general the epoxy resin used as a binder for the carbon fibers is fairly solvent resistant. It takes prolonged exposure to really weaken the material. An old Caltech lab rat I worked with would break down epoxied assemblies by wrapping them in a rag soaked in xylene (carburetor cleaner) for a couple days. Lighter exposure to solvents will disfigure the surface of an epoxy coating. It will tend to dull the surface. I would pick a stainless steel handle if I was going to be working with a lot of organic solvents.
Get a skeletonized blade (neck knife pattern) of Talonite
Stainless steel (420, or 318?) and titanium would also hold up quite well, and still retain its nice finishing.