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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Carbon/epoxy Cadillac hood in production CompositesWorld

While they typically keep their research efforts close to the vest, automakers and automotive Tier suppliers nevertheless are always in the process of evaluating the multitude of materials available for lightweighting.

CIBOR advances aerospace materials in medical applications CompositesWorld

CFRP in surgical instruments and orthopedic implants gets assistance from Wichita R&D center.

Bindatex expands service offering to facilitate recycling projects CompositesWorld

The company is now able to cut scrap carbon fiber material to shapes suitable for compression molding.

EC provides support for carbon fiber project CompositesWorld

The FIBRALSPEC project is being carried out by a consortium of partners and looks to advance the sustainable carbon fiber field.

Composites recycling center signs agreement with Toray CompositesWorld

US-based Composite Recycling Technology Center (CRTC) will collaborate on carbon recycling efforts with Toray Composites (America).

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