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Carbon Fiber Composites: A Revolution in the Technology Industry

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Auto grill

(Bold Value Tech)

25 May 2019. Are you wondering what is carbon fiber and how has it become so important in many industries? Carbon fiber is a worldwide used material considered as one of the strongest (or possibly the strongest) material in the planet.

There are many companies who nowadays work with carbon fiber. One of them is Bold Valuable Tech, which is based in the UK and is specialized in consulting, designing and manufacturing composite products, being carbon fiber one of them.

Want to know more? Keep reading!

What is carbon fiber?

Carbon fibers, also known as graphite fibers, are formed by a 5 to 10 micrometers diameter fibers of organic polymers. Carbon fiber has many properties that, altogether, can’t be found in any other material. That is why it has become so essential in many sectors such as motorsport, aeronautics or many other industries.

Carbon fiber is made of thin strands of the element carbon. Surprisingly, it can be thinner than human hair but it is one of the strongest materials in the world.

Its strength, weight or stiffness are the key of the success of carbon fiber which is now widely used worldwide to manufacture endless products.

How is carbon fiber made?

The process of making carbon fiber is part mechanical and part chemical.

To make carbon fiber the precursor needs to be drawn into long strands of fibers. Then it needs to be heated using a high-temperature and without being in contact with oxygen, which would burn the fibers. Now is when a new process starts: carbonization. During this process the atoms inside the fibers vibrate and expel the non-carbon atoms. This is how the fiber becomes practically non-carbon atoms free and is then composed of chains of only-carbon atoms.

There are some typical sequences or stages that are used to create carbon fibers:

  • Spinning
  • Stabilizing
  • Carbonizing
  • Surface treatment
  • Sizing
Carbon fiber close-up

Close-up view of carbon fiber (Pexels.com)

Properties of carbon fiber

As we have previously said, carbon fiber has properties that can be found in other materials separately. When we merge two or more materials to make a composite or advanced material, like carbon fiber, we can achieve properties never imagined.

Some of this properties are:

  • Carbon fiber is one of the strongest materials.
  • It has a very low weight, it is like a feather even considering its strength.
  • This material tolerates very well excessive heat.
  • Carbon fiber has low thermal expansion, which means that it doesn’t expand or reduce its size when applying heat or cold.

Are you surprised? Let’s see some applications of this magical composite material.

Applications of carbon fiber

There are many industries that have considered all the benefits of carbon fiber and have introduced this material to their products. We find some of its applications in planes or satellites, but we can find them too in everyday products such as tennis rackets or bicycles.

The automotive and motorsport markets are the ones that have taken advantage of carbon fiber the most. The automotive and motorsport markets are the ones that have taken advantage of carbon fiber the most. Many car components, especially in Formula 1, are made of this material.

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