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.


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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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Zoltek carbon fiber featured in around-the-world yacht racer CompositesWorld

Zoltek commissioned construction the Spirit of Hungary in 2012; it competed in the Barcelona World Race and circumnavigated the globe in just over 110 days.

Carbon by Design receives award from Lockheed Martin CompositesWorld

Carbon by Design has provided Lockheed Martin its manufacture of unmanned systems and advanced composite structures since 2007.

Turning ideas into innovative composites CompositesWorld

From helmets to harps to the new Formula Lites all-carbon race car, Crawford Composites pursues perfection in a wide array of carbon fiber parts.

Munich Composites celebrates four years in business CompositesWorld

The company has won two Innovation Awards from JEC.

Hexcel expands French carbon fiber, weaving, prepreg capacity CompositesWorld

Hexcel will invest $250 million in the construction of a new carbon fiber plant in Roussillon, France, and another $22 million to expand nearby weaving and prepreg facilities.

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