A Quick Guide to Carbon Fiber
We often times take for granted all of the things around us that we use, without understanding the materials in them or the effort that goes into their manufacturing. For example, carbon fiber and custom carbon fiber manufacturing services are a widely used, durable material that is an important aspect of many things we consider vital to every day life. How would our materialistic possessions change without carbon fiber? If carbon fiber ceased to exist, what other objects and inventions that we are accustomed to would go away? Here is a quick guide on what carbon fiber is used for, where it came from, and why it is so important.
What is carbon fiber, exactly? Carbon fiber product is a material that is made of extremely find and thinly woven fibers than be as small as 0.005 millimeters in diameter, which is a very tiny fraction of the thickness of your fingernail. In custom carbon fiber manufacturing, thousands and thousands of carbon threads are twisted together to create a yarn. The yarn is then weaved together into a carbon fiber cloth. The finalized, pure carbon fiber product is rarely used on its own; it is usually combined with a resin to remove some of its natural stiffness and brittleness, due to the rigidity of the carbon to carbon bonds.
There are many different patterns in which all of the yarn can be weaved, and each pattern has varying strength to weight ratios. Carbon fiber is very lightweight and has a considerably lower density than other common materials, such as steel. Due to all of these properties, custom carbon fiber manufacturing products are often used in the aerospace, motorsports racing, and military fields. More and more sports cars feature carbon fiber accents and parts, such as hoods. The combination of a lighter weight than other materials and the high strength allow for lighter cars that are stronger and can accelerate better.
Interestingly enough, the stiffness that is common of carbon fiber products can be reduced by as much as 88% when the temperature of the carbon fiber is increased, but it will return to its original state when it is cooled. The stiffness of a carbon fiber product is measured in a value called a UD factor, where UD stands for unidirectional.
The most common weave pattern of a custom carbon fiber manufacturing product is called the twill weave, and it is so widely used that many people think that it is the only weave that is made. There are, however, two other accepted weaves: the plain weave and the harness satin weave.
Where on earth did carbon fiber come from? It was invented in the late 19th century, by a scientist named Joseph Swan who initially created the product to be used in light bulbs. The design was reinvented by Ohio’s Roger Bacon in the year 1958, who had higher performance in his goals. Five years later, the true strength and versatility of carbon fiber was realized at a British research center, and polished by aviators for use on airplanes.
Rolls-Royce was one of the first car manufacturers to utilize the final product of custom carbon fiber manufacturing.
Most of the raw carbon elements used in the production of carbon fiber comes from Asia. There are only a handful of companies that possess all of the technological capabilities required to manufacture raw carbon, because it is still a complicated process.
Carbon fiber and the process necessary to acquire it are always being researched and advanced by scientists, because it has proved to be an essential element of many things we require for daily use today.