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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CAMX 2015 preview: Coats Group CompositesWorld

Industrial threads specialist Coats Group plc (Stockley Park, UK; Marion, NC, US) will emphasize its commingled carbon fiber/thermoplastic fiber yarn, which results in what the company calls a "flexible thermoplastic prepeg."

Clemson developing composite vehicle front-door CompositesWorld

The $5.81 million research project looks to reduce the door’s weight by 42.5 percent.

Carbon fiber auto body panels: Class A paint? CompositesWorld

As tougher emissions standards loom, this supplier’s study sheds light on the challenges of applying flaw-free primer and paint to production CFRP exterior body panels.

Composites tackle concussions CompositesWorld

The launch of the first commercial composite football helmet and new research thrusts show FRPs could play a critical role in mitigating head injuries.

Fokker Aerostructures: Hoogeveen, The Netherlands CompositesWorld

This Dutch aerospace supplier leverages its founder’s pioneering spirit from a century ago to lead the way, today, in thermoplastic aerocomposites.

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