Carbon Fiber On Cube Tray?

At our recent competition, we were strictly warned about putting carbon fiber on the Lexan we use in the middle of the cube tray. The basis of the argument is that it changes the surface that the cube slides on. Upon further investigation, I thought i’d seen other teams do the same thing, primarily for decoration. I understand where it could look like a rule violation, as tape isn’t allowed for anything except wiring and decor (nonfunctional). Is this a violation of the rules, or is it just an overly cautious inspector?

This is one that might need an official Q&A posting. You’re correct that in looking at R12 in the game manual (https://content.vexrobotics.com/docs/vrc-tower-takeover/GameManual-20190816.pdf) non-functional decorations, such as a “carbon fiber decal” are allowed (we’re assuming that you were applying the decorative “contact-paper” type of carbon fiber, and not building up a fiber-reinforced plastic), and if the non-functional decoration is also doing something, must be backed by legal material as described in the rule. The question from the inspector was probably arising because the inspector thought the decoration may have been giving some other advantage other than decorating, that is, a surface with a lower coefficient of friction, or possible extra strength. On the other hand, there are other legal plastics besides polycarbonate (acetal, for example) that have low coefficients of friction too, and other plastics that are stronger than polycarbonate. If I were the inspector, I’d pass it as nonfunctional. But unless you have the print of the official Q&A answer, you’re going to see different interpretations of this grey area.

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Thank you. I am using the contact paper type of carbon fiber, and I’ve switched this post to the official Q&A to see if I can get an answer. What you said is what I was thinking, so hopefully we are right.

This is the judging Q&A. The rules Q&A is here, and you must be a contact for a registered team or an EP to post there.

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