Why carbon fibers are used in light weight composite applications:
A carbon yarn is a composition of thousend(s) of extremely thin carbon fibers. These fibers have a thickness of about 5-10 microns. Carbonfibers are made from acrylic fibers which are carbonized through pyrolysis at temperatures up to 3000 °C. Carbon fibers consist of elongated carbon crystals, which are oriented parallel to the fibre axis. A carbon fiber is characterized by a very small stretch before the carbon fibre breaks (typically 1.5% – 2.5%). Thousands of carbon fibers are combined to form a yarn that can be processed into different fabric substrates like: - woven carbon fabrics and tapes, - multi layer (Non Crimp) fabrics and tapes, - braided sleeves, - non-woven carbon materials, - special fabric patterns (design fabrics) like diamond, fishbone, satin, more lines etc.
These carbon fabrics are used as reinforcement material in combination with a synthetic resin for the production of very strong and lightweight composites, also called Fiber Reinforced Plastics. Carbon fibers used in all kind of reinforcements are widely used as composite (machine) parts: light weight and yet very strong. Especially ideal for serial production in all kinds of normal production processes like: - hand lay-up, - resin transfer molding, - resin injection etc. The black carbon color and gloss together with the fabric surface pattern gives a very distinguished look to the products.
Important properties of carbon composite materials are: - they do not oxidize under the influence of water and oxygen, - they have a much lower density than steel, - high tensile strength, - high stiffness (tensile modulus), - high temperature resistance, - they are electrically conductive and have a low expansion coefficient. These properties make carbon fiber composites very suitable for applications where low weight, high strength and high stiffness are needed. Carbon fiber parts can be applied in various structural and non-structural end-uses and applications:
- aviation (aircraft private planes, commercial planes);
- the automotive industry; F1 and rally car parts;
- yacht building, canoes, surf boards, skies;
- sporting goods, carbon bikes, hockey sticks, golf clubs, motorbike parts;
- orthopedic parts, wheelchairs
Source: WikipediA, The Free Encyclopedia