Carbon fiber isn’t just for phones and pipes anymore; carbon fiber can be used in just about any application, which makes its use in your carbon fiber project a necessity when you’re making the first prototype. But what makes you want to choose carbon over steel? Steel is one of the strongest metals out there, right?
In short: yes. Steel is one of the strongest metals available on the market. However, your carbon fiber prototype won’t be made out of metal.
What is carbon fiber?
Carbon fiber is a material made from pure carbon, a naturally occurring element with a high tensile strength due to its crystalline structure. This makes it very strong, and incredibly rigid, but the real benefit of carbon is its strength-to-weight ratio: the geometry of the carbon structure results in a low density, enabling carbon fiber materials to harbor a high tensile strength with a light weight. This makes it an ideal candidate for industrial applications, including aerospace engineering, cars, and wind turbines where heavier materials may get in the way.
Steel, on the other hand, has twice the rigidity over aluminum, it’s also two times heavier. Although aluminum is lighter but doesn’t hold up as well as carbon fiber. In fact, carbon fiber materials can be nearly five times stronger than aluminum and steel.
What are its applications?
Carbon fiber can be used to create just about anything. They’re popular options as phone cases since they offer great levels of protection, but they can be used in nearly any application. Your carbon fiber project will result in lightweight structures that offer the protection and rigidity in conjunction with significant longevity. On a vehicle, new advancements in carbon fiber technology have the potential to cut the car’s weight nearly in half. Carbon fiber also doesn’t suffer from thermal expansion like other metals and materials used in similar prototypes.
But I can cut steel
Carbon fiber is as easy to cut, if not easier, than steel. Its low density makes it fairly easy to cut with the proper machinery, leading to carbon fiber prototypes in fabric, fashion, and residential applications. Thusly, cutting is not a concern in your carbon fiber prototype.
While steel is a reliable material, the constant advents in carbon fiber manufacturing make this material an ever-evolving source of innovation. Craft a carbon fiber prototype with Element 6 Composites to bring your design to life.