What Industries and Applications Use Carbon Fiber Parts?
02.09.22 | Industry News
When you are looking for materials to use in your business’s products, you need to supply yourself with the sturdiest, most reliable, and most applicable components possible.
As you might already know, that is significantly easier said than done.
Amongst the many possibilities for product materials, one stands out above them all in composition and overall reliability: carbon fiber.
Before we dive headfirst into explaining optimal utilization of carbon fiber across numerous industries, let’s briefly break down what carbon fiber is along with what makes it so highly sought after and so highly versatile.
What Is Carbon Fiber?
Carbon fiber is a polymer, specifically a synthetic fiber, that is both exceptionally sturdy and lightweight. Carbon fiber is ten times stronger and 5 times lighter than steel and 1.5 times lighter than aluminum.
Carbon fiber can vary in size and thickness. For just one example, one carbon fiber tow can be even thinner than a human hair! Carbon fiber parts are typically comprised of carbon fibers strategically interwoven, which provides the final product with unequivocal strength. Carbon fiber can be laid over a mold then coated in plastic or a resin, resulting in various sturdy parts.
How Is Carbon Fiber Made?
The creation of carbon fiber is meticulous and involves both chemical and mechanical processes. First, fibers are laid out and heated at a very high temperature, usually near 1800°F/982°C. The fibers are deprived of any oxygen exposure in order to keep them from burning.
This high heat process is where carbonization occurs, which essentially means almost all atoms are expelled from the fibers except for carbon. What then results is tightly-locked carbon atoms with only a small amount of other atoms present. The result is carbon fiber tows that are bundled together and woven into fabric in different weights and weave patterns.
What Are the Benefits of Using Carbon Fiber?
As mentioned above, carbon fiber exemplifies numerous qualities most manufacturers of various products are looking for, such as strength, lightweight, and versatility. It also provides them with a material that has high chemical resistance, high tensile strength, is exceptionally tolerant of excessive heat, and has low thermal expansion.
Carbon Fiber in Various Industries
But how exactly are carbon fiber parts utilized in various industries? In short, a multitude of ways because carbon fiber is truly an impressive and adaptable material. Let’s take a closer look at the industries in which carbon fiber is utilized the most often and where it can be applied for optimal performance.
The manufacturing of sturdy and reliable knives is quite heavily reliant on carbon fiber, more specifically the manufacturing of knife handles. Knife handles are made of various materials, some of the most popular being carbon fiber, micarta, G-10, several natural materials (wood, bone, antler, etc.), aluminum, fiberglass reinforced nylon (FRN), and titanium.
Carbon fiber is one of the most reliable materials for knife materials because of it’s chemically stable, light, strong, and not absorbent. It also provides each knife it’s used in with a premium appearance and feel.
When it comes to robotics, there are only a handful of materials that can be effectively utilized, such as steel, rubber, aluminum, and carbon fiber. Carbon fiber supply robotics with exceptionally strong parts to allow for seamless mobility, automation, precision, motor skills, and other tasks.
Plus, carbon fiber provides robotics with necessary lightweight components so that it can have overall increased performance and reliability.
Manufacturing of Consumer Products
When it comes to manufacturing products, not all materials are built the same. Sometimes, common items that are used in the manufacturing industry, like aluminum, steel, and plastic, simply won’t cut it.
Carbon fiber can properly be included in the manufacturing process to supply products with unparalleled durability, strength, and lightweight capabilities. This unique material might just be the saving grace in the manufacturing process for countless products, as it finally provides them with the qualities many products require, whether they be boats or toys.
When it comes to creating aviation products, having sturdy and reliable components is undeniably goal number one during design and development. This is because every aircraft, whether it be an airplane or a spacecraft, needs to be able to withstand various temperatures and high-pressure conditions without a semblance of potential failure or error.
Carbon fiber parts are found in various sizes and applications in nearly all aviation vehicles, including military aviation crafts, in objects such as large panels and gauges along with smaller switches and support screens.
Much like larger aviation vehicles can reap the benefits of carbon fiber parts, as can the smaller ones, such as UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). UAVs require carbon fiber in order to effectively and efficiently accomplish all of the tasks that are necessary, which include taking off, flying, making sharp turns, hovering, and withstanding numerous weather conditions while airborne.
Carbon fiber can be found in nearly every inch of drones, specifically the rotor and fixed wings. This is because these components, among the many, require this particularly versatile material for proper strength, corrosion resistance, and lightweight features.
When it comes to our health, we deserve only the best and high efficiency– and that includes the various pieces of equipment and devices that allow for diagnosis, treatment, and other healthcare processes. That is precisely why carbon fiber is also readily used in the medical industry.
Carbon fiber can be found in large pieces of equipment, such as MRI and x-ray machines, but also in more practical applications for day-to-day life for some patients, such as prosthetic limbs. Since there is an exceptionally low tolerance for error in this industry, only the most reliable of materials are allowed, hence the high prevalence of carbon fiber.
Where to Purchase the Best Carbon Fiber Parts
As seemingly perfect as carbon fiber can appear, there are common issues that befall it when there are poor creation tactics used. Some of these issues include porosity, voids, and pinholes. That is why you should purchase high-quality carbon fiber from the most reputable carbon fiber parts manufacturer, which is us here at Protech Composites.
We guarantee that none of our carbon fiber parts, sheets, and other carbon fiber products have such issues so you can purchase and utilize them with the utmost confidence. Give our dedicated and knowledgeable customer service team a call today at 360-573-7800 to get started on your next project!
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