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News from sponsor Valence USA (carbon fiber)

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by Valence, Apr 1, 2004.

  1. Valence

    Valence Formula Junior

    Jan 20, 2004
    875
    Charlottesville, VA
    Full Name:
    Chris& Brian Coffing
    Hello f-chat friends - it's been several months since I posted here. In response to great interest in our carbon fiber products from this community and other Ferrari owners around the world, we spent the winter months expanding our product line and overhauling our production process.

    The first day of the 2nd quarter 2004 marks my personal return to FerrariChat, and I'll be devoting time on a daily basis to answering questions about carbon fiber, fiberglass, and other composites in general, as well as those specifically pertaining to Valence's Ferrari product line.

    If you're interested in carbon fiber, please visit our website,

    www.valenceusa.com

    Be on the lookout for new interior and exterior composite components for the 328, 348, 355, 360, Challenge Stradale, 550 and 575.

    I'm open to any and all suggestions for future products and custom projects - just drop me a personal message or phone call or post a thread on the board.

    Thanks to all of our past, present, and future F-chat customers for bearing with us during our re-organization time.


    Sincerely,

    Chris Coffing
    Valence USA, LLC
    434-977-7951
    www.valenceusa.com
     
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  3. lotustt

    lotustt Formula 3

    Aug 28, 2002
    2,026
    Full Name:
    TRM
    You look like you have some great products! Nice website and continued success.
     
  4. wazza

    wazza Formula Junior

    Oct 9, 2003
    614
    Welcome back Chris,

    Glad to see you're expanding the range.

    Let me know as soon as you have any new CF bits for the Stradale.

    Theres no such thing as too much CF on a Stradale you know:D:D

    Wazza

    Ps. I presume my dome light will be here any day now.
    Can't wait.
     
  5. nzo4re

    nzo4re Karting

    Mar 13, 2003
    197
    San Jose, CA
    Full Name:
    Tom Lassen
    Chris,

    Nice start. I would like to see you round out the F355 interior panel offering like you have with the 360. Also, is it really necesary to charge so much? I mean, is the material cost really that high?

    Thanks.
     
  6. lotustt

    lotustt Formula 3

    Aug 28, 2002
    2,026
    Full Name:
    TRM

    R & D is not cheap. Im sure his prices are the best they can offer right now.
     
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  8. madturk

    madturk Formula 3
    BANNED

    Nov 2, 2003
    1,509
    Williston, ND
    Full Name:
    Seyhan Kilincci
    I would be very interested if those prices were about at %50.
     
  9. Valence

    Valence Formula Junior

    Jan 20, 2004
    875
    Charlottesville, VA
    Full Name:
    Chris& Brian Coffing
    Material costs are not the driving force in our pricing schedule. These materials are indeed expensive, but our primary costs are labor, machinery, and rather expensive tooling for what ultimately amounts to very small production volumes.

    Finishing time is immense on our cosmetic parts because they are clear-coated and hand-sanded multiple times.

    Most carbon fiber fabricators sell parts with no clear-coat or only a clear gel-coat, but I feel that a deep liquid-like gloss and long-term durability are of paramount importance, and our prices reflect this extra work.

    A typical Valence carbon fiber part undergoes a 14-step production process. The parts are out of the molds and trimmed by step 5, while the rest of the time is dedicated to making them beautiful.
     
  10. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Sep 25, 2002
    11,559
    MO
    #8 Auraraptor, Apr 1, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Hi Chris, great to see you participate more in the site!

    2 quick things:
    WWOC should either have shipped or will ship very shortly the parts, I will be in touch with what they tell me.

    The other thing. I am going to lower my car soon and I was wondering if CF would offer a better structural switch for my front skid bumper? (the I believe fiberglass black panel on the bottom that takes the abuse from 90% of bottom outs) (pictured below) Would it be practicle to have a custom CF bumper made (that is slightly shorter then stock, and thus higher off the ground by about an inch, so I can increase ground clearance, only to lower the overall body to the ground with the lowering springs)
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  11. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Sep 25, 2002
    11,559
    MO
    On second look, that one part looks like the top of the dash... I wonder why that was removed. I have to call them tomorrow. It should be the coin holder as well. (The top of the dash out of CF would definately be a safety hazard to say the least)
     
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  13. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 6, 2003
    22,746
    Las Vegas, NV
    Full Name:
    Ryan Alexander
    I thought of that pic of the crashed MB SLR in South Africa, where the VW was totalled and the MB barely a scratch.

    Then, someone's noggin slamming against something that hard.

    Ouch.
     
  14. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    20,575
    socal
    Chris,

    When someone makes the typical very shiny CF parts with the thick shiny resin glaze is that part really pretty heavy now due to all the clearcoats of resin? CF seems to be just a strong when it is cured into resin but yet without all the resin clearcoats. It just does not lokk as good. And from a funtional standpoint isn't the cf part with all the clear resin just as heavy as a fibreglass part that can be filled sanded and painted?
     
  15. FormulaRacer

    FormulaRacer Formula Junior

    Nov 18, 2003
    261
    Composite work is a science, however its not rocket science...as far as astetic- no load parts, such as these.

    Our Formula SAE team does LOADS of carbon work, from simple Radiator duct's with 3d embedded emblems, to fully hand built seats, weighing in at a whopping 3lbs (maybe less without hardware).

    To get the quality of products Valence is producing usually needs high end mold process (time consuming at most), as well as high quality autoclaves.

    However, we do some amazing carbon work by hand, and other then the materials (highe quality 2x2 carbon) with Resin being very expensive these days, and some Vacuum bagging equipment, its a fairly cheap manufacturing procedure to make quality carbon fiber astetic parts.

    Now we also do a lot of structural carbon construction, however these are considerably more expensive to develop and manufacture. The main structural components of the car are developed from a 4x8' flat sheet of Aerospace carbon-honeycomb sandwich, made into 3d polygon structures that are bonded into a Chromoly Space frame, making for a "hybrid monocoque."

    Anyways, these parts look great, however look at the people who are gong to be buying them, they can do with the high price tags... so I assume thats why they are charging this much. Also, as stated, this is a VERY low run production, meaning its very hard to cover the tens of thousands spent on molding and man hours.

    I am sure Valence will say the same thing, it "CAN" be done for less, but what you are paying for is the work that went into it. Knowing you can pay them and have a flawless product, instead of you taking dozens of hours to make a small astetic carbon part and have the possibility of it coming out half assed...noone wants a half ass peice of carbon on thier ferrari, unless its a racecar, then you just apint over it ;)

    Carbon composites main purpose is for thier lightweight, and in the right engineered environment, it can be an extremely efficient structural component. Whether it be Brake rotors, or mirror covers, Composites are the new age of materials, and other then super alloys being crated, nothing has the potential like composites.

    We're doing some testing thats veyr hush hush right now, so legally I can't discuss it, but I can tell you, there are some AMAZING things coming in the next 3-5years with composites, and beyond that, its really limitless. This is an amazing time to be an engineer, and I hope we can carry this technology as far as we can before a new material forms from it.

    Its companies like these that tend to experiment with new techniques and procedures that usually lead to new devleopments and ideas.

    And just for those interested, this is our 2003 Fsae car, which came in Second place overall at Formula Student in the UK.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Bmyth-FDC

    Bmyth-FDC F1 Rookie

    Oct 4, 2002
    2,742
    Southern California
    Full Name:
    Byron
    Chris,
    Welcome back!! I heard from Jeffrey and Edward that you'll soon be outfitting their cars with some of your quality products!!

    Btw, when I had my 348 challenge, Chris made some great parts for me, including the center shift console (I had serial #001!!) and a great looking front spoiler (series speciale style), and carbon fiber front grill.

    I will soon be outfitting my next car with yet more of Valence's high quality products...

    I've attached a few pictures for you to see his work.

    Byron
     
  17. Carnut

    Carnut F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 3, 2003
    3,711
    Gladwyne PA
    Full Name:
    Morrie
    I have Chris's CF interior parts in my 360, and everyone who sees it says the samething, it is the best looking CF they have ever seen. Chris takes alot of pride in his work and it looks it.
     
  18. Valence

    Valence Formula Junior

    Jan 20, 2004
    875
    Charlottesville, VA
    Full Name:
    Chris& Brian Coffing
    Thanks for the kind words, guys. 355challengem3racer, you seem to know your stuff - it must be fun working on the formula SAE car - I wish my engineering school had participated in this competition. We had Legends cars - still fun, but too nascar-like for me (we are in the south, though). Nice on-track shot.

    Fatbillybob, you're right about globbing on tons of extra resin - it's a bit silly. We actually use urethane clear-coat - same brand as Ferrari uses on new cars, which provides excellent durability and gloss even in relatively thin (and lightweight) layers. It protects the epoxy resins from U.V. degradation, and scratches are easily polished out.

    I've been seeing more and more race car carbon parts clear-coated - the weight addition is negligable compared to the costs and hazards associated with U.V. degradation.

    These parts are still very light - especially compared to the heavy aluminum pieces used in the 360 and the awful rusty steel sills on so many 348's and 355's.
     
  19. thomas_b

    thomas_b Formula Junior

    Sep 15, 2003
    765
    I still think this is Chis's maste piece - moved it into my new car today - stupid me I never took a picture of the inside but it has a complex structure inside - amazing that this could be manufactured in carbon fiber

    and it did fit first time!!!! - attached with 4 screws and the light is snapped in
     
  20. wazza

    wazza Formula Junior

    Oct 9, 2003
    614

    Cheers Thomas

    You sure know how to tease.

    Mine should be here any day

    Can't wait !!!

    Wazza
     
  21. thomas_b

    thomas_b Formula Junior

    Sep 15, 2003
    765
    hi my friend - here is one more to keep you going (how are your attempts to socialize with the dump truck drivers coming along) - you promised some feedback about your track day, didn't you
     

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