Zone: Carbon Fiber
0311HPC_WIP1.jpg Overview

Carbon fiber — by far the most widely used fiber in high-performance applications — is produced from a variety of precursors, including polyacrylonitrile (PAN), rayon and pitch. The precursor fibers are heated and stretched to create the high-strength fibers. The first high-performance carbon fibers on the market were made from rayon precursor. PAN- and pitch-based fiber have replaced rayon-based fiber in most applications, but the latter’s “dogbone” cross-section often makes it the fiber of choice for carbon/carbon (C/C) composites. PAN-based carbon fibers are the most versatile and widely used. They offer an amazing range of properties, including excellent strength — to 1,000 ksi — and high stiffness. Pitch fibers, made from petroleum or coal tar pitches, have high to extremely high stiffness and low to negative axial CTE. Their CTE properties are especially useful in spacecraft applications that require thermal management, such as electronic instrumentation housings. Although they are stronger than glass or aramid fibers, carbon fibers are not only less impact-resistant but also can experience galvanic corrosion in contact with metal. Fabricators overcome the latter problem by using a barrier material or veil ply — often fiberglass/epoxy — during laminate layup.


Most Recent Content: Carbon Fiber
Forged composites replace complex metal parts

Powerhouse manufacturer’s high-pressure compression molding process forms prepregged CFRP components with forged-metal properties.
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Inside a CAMX session on composites recycling CompositesWorld

CW technical editor Sara Black reports on the what some of the composites industry's leading recycling thinkers have to say about carbon fiber reclamation and re-use.

Volkswagen unveils utility truck made with DowAksa carbon fiber CompositesWorld

Volkswagen's Transporter utility truck concept vehicle features DowAksa's 24K tow standard modulus fiber in several composite parts to help increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

Tecnatom presents latest developments at the 11th European Conference of Non-Destructive Testing CompositesWorld

Two papers featured latest developments for more efficient ultrasonic inspection of CFRP parts at this important event, held every four years.

Sigmatex CEO discusses new planned U.S. facility CompositesWorld

South Carolina plant will open in 2015 and offer expansion up to 450,000 sq-ft for growth in aerospace and automotive composites.

Report: MAI Carbon Cluster, BMW pursuing low-cost carbon fiber CompositesWorld

Automotive News reports that Germany-based MAI Carbon Cluster Management is working with BMW and other partners on technology that could reduce the cost of carbon fiber by as much as 90 percent.

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