A composite is a material made from two or more different materials that, when combined, are much stronger than those individual elements by themselves. These combinations of components are used throughout industries and within the scientific community.
Carbon fibers are are popular materials for civil engineering, military, and other uses due to their versatility and durability. Some of the advantages of carbon fiber include high stiffness, high tensile strength, high chemical resistance, high temperature, as well as low weight and thermal expansion.
Here are some frequently asked questions pertaining to carbon fiber:
- How small are carbon fibers? — Carbon fibers are very small, roughly five to 10 microns in diameter. They are only a little wider than spider silk.
- What is the carbon fiber design process? — In any composite material, the fiber carries the majority of the load, and is the main contributor in the materials’ properties. The carbon fiber resin helps transfer loads between the fibers, as well as prevents them from buckling, subsequently leading to all kinds of versatile carbon fiber design opportunities.
- How is carbon fiber actually made? — Carbon fiber is made from organic polymers, consisting of long strings of molecules held together by carbon atoms. Roughly 90% of carbon fibers are made from the polyacrylonitrile (PAN) process and about 10% of them are manufactured from rayon or the petroleum pitch process. During the composite engineering process, the raw materials (precursors) are drawn into long strands of fibers, which are then woven into fabric or combined with other materials to produce all kinds of carbon fiber products.
- What are some of the manufacturing challenges — Some of the challenges include cost-effectiveness, strict regulations, health and safety risks, and arcing and shorts in electrical equipment. Because of these challenges, it’s imperative to work with a trusted and skilled carbon fiber design company.
If you’re working in the composites industry and want to learn more about the carbon fiber process or work with trusted carbon fiber manufacturing services, give trusted manufacturers a call right away!