The sleek, black appearance of carbon fiber makes it easy to spot. But most fabricators choose carbon fiber for a combined strength- and stiffness-to-weight that is unmatched in the composites industry. In fact, when looking at strength to weight comparisons, carbon fiber outperforms most traditional building materials.
Graphite fibers formulate this strength. These fibers are made up of nearly 95% carbon and yield the highest ultimate tensile strength in the FRP industry. Tensile strength is the force required to pull both ends of any length until it breaks. What's more, carbon fiber also dominates the industry for compressive strength—the capacity of a material to withstand loads that compress, or tend to reduce size—and flexural strength—the ability to resist deforming under load. These fibers are bundled and then combined in various ways to create carbon fiber reinforcement and parts that take on this strength property.
No matter what carbon fiber product you select, it should always be used with a resin system. To maximize strength properties for your carbon part, use an epoxy like the Fibre Glast System 2000. When combined, they will produce hard, reinforced parts—even complex shapes. They should not be used to produce flexible, or soft, materials.
Do you want to learn more about carbon fiber or other composite materials? Fibre Glast has a free Learning Center with white papers, videos, charts, and photo galleries. You can learn more about carbon fiber with free white papers like: About Reinforcements, The Strength of Patterned Carbon Fiber Fabrics, and About Prepregs.
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