The next time you come up with a great idea, think about expressing it through a carbon fiber design: not only will your carbon fiber prototype look amazing, but it will also be strong despite its lightness. But what makes carbon fiber so strong? Keep reading to find out.
Bonds and Structure
When you think of carbon, you usually think of pencil “lead.” It’s that brittle material that’s soft enough to write on a page. However, carbon fiber is another form of carbon that is much stronger than its wooden counterpart. Carbon fiber is made from carbon atoms bonded together in a chain-like pattern. Engineers have to isolate carbon atoms from carbon-rich materials to get the desired structure. The closely linked chains help support the carbon fiber that is later refined to help your carbon fiber design come to life.
When carbon fiber is made, the tightly packed material is resistant to breaking due to its bonded structure. This makes the material strong despite its light weight. There are two primary ways to make carbon fiber, but polyacrylonitrile (PAN), is the most common precursor for carbon fiber. You can also use precursors from wood products and some plastics.
Carbon Fiber is Stiff
Its tightly bonded structure makes carbon fiber is a stiff material. This makes it difficult to misshape so it can be used in a variety of applications. Whether your carbon fiber design is used in simple electronics or is built to strengthen an airplane, your carbon fiber project will retain the rigidity necessary in your lightweight structure.
Carbon Fiber is Heat Resistant
One of the primary benefits of choosing carbon fiber for your project is its resistance to heat. Your carbon fiber product won’t bend or melt under exceedingly high temperatures, making it an ideal alternative to metals and steel. If your fiber is treated with temperatures exceeding 3,000 degrees Celsius, your final carbon fiber design will be able to withstand heat up to 1,000 W/mK. Heat resistance is an important feature to consider when you craft a carbon fiber prototype.
Carbon fiber is in demand by scientists, engineers, and innovators across the globe due to its lightweight and strength. Because the strength of your carbon fiber prototype will rely on the quality of the maker, be sure to trust a reliable source when you want your carbon fiber design to come to life.