Features and Uses of Carbon Fiber
Since the requirement for new material has gone up, there was a new composite material came and it is known as carbon fiber. This is the latest variety of super-strong material and it is lightweight. This is five times stronger than conventional steel and almost double as stiff. Carbon fiber is known as the thin strands of carbon and is sometimes thinner than a human hair. These strands can be easily braided or twisted together like a thread.
Making the process of carbon fiber
One thing is to keep in mind that, unlike steel or material, carbon fiber is not available naturally. It has to be manufacture. There are complex chemical and mechanical processes that are being followed in order to make. The material is strained into long strands of fiber and heated to a very high temperature with the absence of oxygen. During the process, the fiber can't burn when the oxygen is absent and after that, this material pass through a process that is called carbonization. After the end of all these complex processes, carbon fiber is produced.
Properties of carbon fiber
Carbon fiber is strong enough to stand against any type of outer pressure. It has more strength compared to titanium, aluminum, magnesium, and glass fiber. This is the main reason, there is a huge application of carbon fiber panels can be seen at various places.
Carbon fiber is rigid
The rigidity or stiffness of a material is generally measured by the young modulus and it shows how much a material deflects under the stress. According to experts, carbon fiber reinforced plastic is more than four times stiffer compared to glass-reinforced plastic and almost twenty times more than pine. Due to this feature, most applications can be seen carbon fiber as the main component.
Carbon fiber is popular for its corrosion resistance feature. It is true that carbon fibers themselves do not deteriorate and epoxy is sensitive to the sunlight that needs to be protected.
This is another feather on carbon fiber's hat. This material is electrically conductive and while making any equipment, this special feature took to notice. Due to this reason, you can find several electrical types of equipment are being made out of this outstanding composite material.
Resistance to fatigue in carbon fiber is good. On the other hand, when carbon fiber fails, it usually fails catastrophically without an imminent break. Damage in tensile fatigue is seen as the reduction in stiffness with the large numbers of stress cycles. According to research, failure is not a problem when it comes to cyclic stresses that coincide with the fiber orientation. This outstanding material is superior to fiberglass in the term of fatigue.
Good tensile strength
Tensile strength or ultimate strength is known as the maximum stress that a material can withstand while getting stretched or pulled before the necking. This is when the sample cross-section starts to significantly contract. For instance, if you will pick a strip of plastic and stretch it at some point will start getting narrow. This point is known as necking. It is measured in force per unit area.
Carbon fiber is best as fire-resistant
According to the research, carbon fiber can be quite soft and can be made into or more often integrated into a shield for firefighting. Therefore, there is a number of carbon fiber sheets are used for firefighting purposes. This is chemically inert and can be easily used where there is fire combined with the corrosive agents. In some applications, carbon fiber is being used as a fire blanket.
Application of carbon fiber
Due to its outstanding feature, this composite material is being used in various fields. Here are some of the most used applications of carbon fiber mentioned.
Carbon fiber is extensively popular in the aerospace industry. The high modulus of carbon fiber makes it suitable structurally to replace the alloys like aluminum and titanium. Due to its lightweight and rigidness, it is highly used in various components of space crafts and aircraft. This industry is focused on how to reduce fuel consumption by reducing its weight. Carbon fiber is the best material to use to meet these two parameters. This is lightweight and strong enough to withstand any type of outer pressure.
Recreational sports are known as another market segment that uses carbon fiber hugely. There are various sporting items including tennis rackets, golf clubs, hockey sticks, softball bats, and archery arrows and bows are being made from carbon fiber composites. Lighter-weight equipment without compromising strength is a distinct advantage in sports. Lightweight sports accessories increase the performance of the sportsperson by not hindering his performance. Athletes continue to push for an advantage in the equipment. This is the main reason, bicyclists ride carbon fiber bikes and use bicycle shoes that can use carbon fiber as the main material.
Wind turbine blades
Most of the turbine blades are being used fiberglass as the primary material including spare and this is a stiffening rib that runs the length of the blade. These kinds of components are completely carbon and their thickness was few inches at the root of the blade. Carbon fiber is being used to provide the required stiffness without adding a heavy amount of weight. This is crucial because, the lighter the wind turbine blade is, the more efficient is to produce electricity.
Today's automobile industry is extensively using carbon composite as their primary material to make their products more efficient. There are a number of supercars that use these prepreg composites to make their vehicles. They use this material not only for the lightweight but for the outstanding look. There are a number of aftermarket automotive parts being made with the help of carbon fiber. Instead of being painted, they are properly coated. They provide a high-tech and high-performance feature to these vehicles.
Carbon fiber is known as one of the most used composite materials in various sectors. Due to its outstanding feature, it is quite easy to use and produces an appropriate result to meet the current standard.