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WHAT IS CARBON FIBER?

Join Date: 2021-03-29


Carbon Fiber is a polymer and is sometimes known as graphite fiber.Because it is a microcrystalline graphite material obtained by carbonising and graphitising organic fibres such as flake graphite microcrystals stacked in the axial direction of the fibres, it is very strong and at the same time very light. Compared to steel, carbon fibre is not only five times stronger and twice as rigid, but also much lighter than steel. This makes it an ideal material for the manufacture of many parts. These are just a few of the reasons why carbon fibre is favoured by engineers and designers in manufacturing.

Carbon fibres are thinner than a human hair, and when twisted together like yarn, they provide added strength. So they can be woven together to form a fabric, and if a permanent shape is required, a simple process of laying the carbon fibres on a mould again and applying resin or plastic is all that is needed.

Because of its high rigidity, high tensile strength, low weight to strength ratio, high chemical resistance, high temperature resistance and low thermal expansion, carbon fibre is very popular in many industries including aerospace, automotive, military and recreational applications.

Carbon fibre

A Brief History Of Carbon Fibre:

The history of carbon fibre can be traced back to 1879, when the Englishman Swan first used carbon filaments to make filaments for electric light bulbs, and later Thomas Edison made practical incandescent carbon filaments by baking cotton or bamboo silver at high temperatures and then carbonising it into full carbon filaments. However, early carbon fibre research was put out of business when the filament was completely converted to tungsten in 1910, thanks to Coolidge's invention of a method for drawing tungsten filaments. By 1958, high-performance carbon fibres were invented outside Cleveland, Ohio. Although these fibres were inefficient, they contained about 20% carbon and had low strength and stiffness properties. 1963 saw the development of a new manufacturing process at a research centre in the UK where the strength potential of carbon fibres was realised. after the 1950s, viscose based carbon fibres were developed in the USA to address problems such as high temperature and corrosion resistance in missile nozzles and warheads. Although it has been developed for quite some time, the technology is still immature in the civilian sector. The high cost of manufacturing truly high-strength carbon fibres has made it extremely difficult to promote them.

An Overview of The Carbon Fiber Manufacturing Process

Carbon fiber is made from a process that is part chemical and part mechanical. It starts by drawing long strands of fibers and then heating them to a very high temperature without allowing contact to oxygen to prevent the fibers from burning. This is when the carbonization takes place, which is when the atoms inside of the fibers vibrate violently, expelling most of the non-carbon atoms. This leaves a fiber composed of long, tightly inter-locked chains of carbon atoms with only a few non-carbon atoms remaining.

A typical sequences used to form carbon fibers from polyacrylonitrile involves spinning, stabilizing, carbonizing, treating the surface and sizing.

What can I do with carbon fibre?

Because carbon fibre is a lightweight alternative to many materials, it can replace almost all products such as bicycle frames, aircraft wings, automotive drive shafts, pipes, cargo containers, propeller blades, automotive parts, sports equipment and more.

Carbon fibre is now having a significant effect on automotive manufacturing, as carbon fibre composites can reduce the weight of passenger cars by up to 50%, which will increase fuel efficiency by almost 35% without compromising the performance of the car or the safety of the occupants. This is another milestone in the history of vehicle manufacturing.

carbon fiber bikes


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