Saturday, December 3, 2022

Re: Carbon Fiber Coloring Reponses

Laura Childs

Hi Everyone,
   Thank you for all the terrific responses. I’ve posted the replies I have received below. 
Laura Childs, CTO
St. Paul, MN
Go to boat or body shop supply house and ask for acrylic pigment. Mix that
into your resin instead of the Caucasian pigment. Use black pigment when
laminating directly over black carbon braid. Looks great!
Good Luck,
Jeff A. Zeller, CP, BOCPO
You could always use Grace-FX for water transfer printing. We can do color carbon for you.Check out our website at
Tony Culver
Grace Prosthetic Fabrication Inc.
I have never attempted to dye carbon fiber any color other than black to darken any lamination materials that would otherwise show through the weave. 
However, I have seen several carbon fabrics available online that come in a multitude of colors and hybrid carbon/Kevlar/fiberglass combinations that would look very cool on a socket.  I don’t know about their cost or specific sites where they are located.
Jacob Townsend
we do alot of color tinted total carbon laminations. we find that automotive paint tint works the best. it is the concentrated color that auto painters add to the clear paint the get their color. it’s thin, mixes well with our acrylic/epoxy resinss. and a little goes a long way. it gives the carbon a very subtle color. we have added things like glitter to it as well. we add 2% per volume of resin.
good luck.
Jim wright CPO
I’d have to figure that the paint wouldn’t survive the lamination.  You could dye the resin with colorant and if it were a tint (rather than a opaque flesh tone) it might be interesting.  (Smooth-On’s “So Strong” colorants come to mind).  I’m assuming that you’re not talking about a cosmetic skin tone color, ’cause burying it in the lamination is the only way I know to achieve that.  Sort of related, I’ve been meaning to add glitter to the resin to see what happens, I’ve have had fabric kick off glitter in the lamination and thought it looked neat, it could add an effect to the layup.  
All sorts of wet transfer design stuff going on of adding a design to the composite after lamination, if that’s a desired design option (I’d talk to a gunsmith – they do camo stuff on guns).  I thought this reply would be more helpful when I started, I think I just babbled stuff you already know . . .Best regards,Charles 
I would be careful about spraying your carbon braid before lamination because that will inhibit the resin from saturating the braid. The only way that has been successful for us is to spray paint the carbon after lamination. You have to use a very fine sand paper or steel wool and then spray paint away.We always use a fabric to conceal the black carbon. We use Fred’s Legs lamination sleeves, T-shirts, all the available stockinets or other fabrics. Hope this help,
Rick Stapleton, CPO  President

Tidewater Prosthetic Center, Inc.
150 Burnetts Way, Suite 300
Suffolk, Virginia  23434
c: 757 639 8286    o: 757 925 4844
email: [email protected]
Not sure if this is exactly what you are looking for but check this company out as they have carbon  and hybrid fabrics with different colors intertwined into them.
Gary Tremblay R.T.P.O.(c)
Troppman Prosthetics
R&D Troppman Grip
Registered Prosthetic/Orthotic Technician
Please see

This company may be able to help you

Coloring carbon fiber defeats the reason for using it. Color pigment is an “imperferction” introduced into the resin and when there are imperfections the resin becomes flexible. Notice that none of the myriad feet in our field have any coloration except for the black which is the carbon itself. When you color the one stage lamination you will have to double or triple the amount of carbon to get the rigidity that you would otherwise get with your planned layup. This was overcome by boat manufacturers sixty years ago. Gel coat (a liquid, pigmented and un-reinforced resin) is first sprayed into the negative mold and allowed to cure; once cured the fiberglass is layed into the mold and un-pigmented resin is forced into the layup. 
The thinnest most rigid lamination that you can do and still have color inside and out will necessitate a three step lamination unless either the inside or the outside doesn’t require color, then a two step lamination will work..  Personally, I stopped using color on all sockets a long time ago.
Good Luck
Jim Fenton, LPO
Miami, FL


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