You have probably seen it, the distinctive black pattern on high-performance cars. All high-performance race cars spot the black carbon fiber pattern that is a hallmark of performance. But, have you ever asked yourself why auto racing uses carbon fiber parts?
In the high-performance environment of auto racing, a carbon fiber car can mean the difference between winning and losing. If you read on, you will know exactly why carbon fiber is the material of choice in auto racing.
What Matters in Auto Racing?
To understand why auto racers prefer carbon fiber car parts we first have to get into the mindset of auto racers. Everything an auto racer does is geared towards achieving one thing, speed. Speed wins trophies, and trophies validate auto racers. The driver does half of the job in achieving speed, the car does the other half, and this is where carbon fiber parts come in.
Weight to Power Ratio
The ideal car that is able to achieve speed and win auto races is lightweight but powerful. A light and powerful car enables auto-racing mechanics to make the car nimble enough to go quickly through corners. Light and powerful cars can also obliterate the competition in a straight line.
Steel is often adequate for meeting the weight and power needs of auto races. But, in a race where everyone is using the same materials, carbon fiber parts provide that extra edge needed to get more performance out of a car.
To achieve speed, cars need a big engine. Big engines tend to be very heavy which can be counter-intuitive to speed. The weight of the engine combined with other car parts can make a car very heavy. It is possible to fit a car with enough horsepower to counter its weight. But this ends up creating a car that is only good for going fast on straight lines but is terrible at navigating corners.
The ideal situation in auto racing is a vehicle that is lightweight but still powerful. A light and powerful car is not only fast but can quickly navigate corners without the drivers losing control or the vehicles going belly up. Thus, auto races need power but do not need the weight that comes with adding power through heavier parts, this is where carbon fiber comes in.
Another thing that matters to auto racers is durability. Drivers need to be confident that their vehicles can make it through a lap without breaking. Because auto racing is very strenuous on the cars, they need to be made of a super durable material that can withstand constant beating. A durable car with durable parts saves on cost because auto racers do not need to keep changing parts after every run.
Another important decision that auto racers make when choosing the right materials for their race cars is strength. The car parts need to maintain their integrity when subjected to high pressure. Making strong car parts often means choosing steel. However, for the races where every ounce of weight matters carbon fiber car parts are a better alternative.
How Carbon Fiber Car Parts Meet the Needs of Auto Racers
Carbon fiber car parts are the number one choice in auto racing. They enable racing teams to build fast vehicles that are lightweight and easy for a driver to maneuver.
One of the most important qualities of carbon fiber is that it is very strong and stiff. Carbon fiber has the highest strength and stiffness per density than metal or any other material. The strength of carbon fiber makes it the right material for racing teams that need strong car parts.
Racing car parts made out of carbon fiber can withstand the high-energy forces that a car experiences during a race. The fact that carbon fiber has more strength than metal means that carbon fiber car parts can go the extra mile. Carbon fiber car parts achieve higher levels of performance than parts made out of steel.
Another benefit that carbon fiber has over ordinary metal, which makes it the choice in auto racing car parts is that it is very lightweight. Carbon fiber is 5 times lighter than steel. Carbon fiber is even less dense than aluminum, which is one of the lightest metals. Thus, carbon fiber has a dual advantage because it is strong but light. The weightless nature of carbon fiber makes it the material of choice in aerospace.
The strength and weightlessness of carbon fiber makes it the perfect material for race car parts. This is because speed matters in auto racing. The best way to achieve speed is to use high strength materials that can produce power. Carbon fiber can withstand the strong forces, making the car easy for the driver to operate.
Heat Conductivity and Expansion
Race-cars produce a lot of heat. Carbon fiber in race cars is ideal because carbon fiber is poor at conducting heat, unlike other metal materials. The lowered ability to conduct heat means that it’s easier to manage the heat coming from race car parts.
As such, race cars become easy for drivers to manage. Thus, another reason why carbon fiber cars parts are the number one choice in auto racing is that they keep everything at a normal temperature despite the car parts produce a lot of heat.
Another benefit of carbon fiber in race cars associated with its inability to conduct heat is that it has low thermal expansion. Carbon fiber car parts having low thermal expansion mean that they will not expand or weaken when exposed to heat. Racing teams use carbon fiber because they know that the high amounts of heat produced by their cars will not make the car parts weak.
The Best Deal
Auto racers are guaranteed that when they use carbon fiber in race cars the cars become light and strong vehicles. Selecting carbon fiber also means that but the parts will last longer. As such, a carbon fiber car is perfect for auto racing because the driver can push the car to its limits without worrying that the car will come apart.
Check out our website to learn more about carbon fiber and how it is used in performance cars.