First invented in 1958, carbon fiber has made a major impact on the modern world. Since its creation, carbon fiber has been used in everything from sporting gear to spacecraft.
It’s not hard to see why, either. The properties of carbon fiber are perfect for these applications.
What properties are we talking about, though? What makes carbon fiber such a useful material? We’ll discuss that in this article.
1. Strength vs. Weight
Making useful, high-quality materials is the bedrock of many modern businesses. The goal of manufacturing is to get as much as possible while sacrificing as little as possible.
Carbon fiber fits this definition quite well. It’s a strong material that is also lightweight. This means that you can do a lot more with the product, and a lot more people can use it. This expands your customer base dramatically, depending on what you’re selling.
Strength isn’t just a measure of what a material can do, but how easily it breaks. Carbon fiber’s high strength means that it can take a lot before breaking.
However, it’s important to note that carbon fiber is designed in a very specific way. It’s built to be incredibly strong in one direction. If the material is strong lengthwise, it likely won’t be as strong in terms of width.
This has to do with patterns, which we’ll discuss later.
It also doesn’t hurt that carbon fiber is a very low-cost material, and the price keeps dropping.
2. Potentially Eco-Friendly
Another of the amazing properties of carbon fiber is that it’s environmentally-friendly…sort of. At the moment, carbon fiber seems to be revolutionizing the way companies reduce pollution. This material tends to create less pollution than many other materials.
The major issue is that carbon fiber is also harder to recycle than other materials. We don’t even know how to recycle it yet.
The problem has to do with the structure of carbon fiber. Carbon fiber behaves more like a blanket than a metal. Instead of being melted down and molded like metal is, carbon fiber is woven together in a specific pattern.
The pattern isn’t the same for all products, so you can’t just transfer a used section of carbon fiber into another product and have it work the same way. You’d have to figure out how to unravel it and rebuild it with a new structure.
That being said, if we do figure out how to recycle carbon fiber, it could cause an even bigger revolution in eco-friendly products.
Rigidity, much like strength, is a measure of force and response in a material. However, while strength measures how likely the material is to break, rigidity measures how easy it is to bend.
Carbon fiber also happens to boast a high rigidity in addition to high strength. It doesn’t break easily, and it doesn’t bend easily, provided you use it properly.
Useful Properties of Carbon Fiber
The properties of carbon fiber make it a very versatile material. We’ve talked about a few of its properties in this article, but there are more. It never hurts to do more research.
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