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Carbon fiber home
Carbon history
Carbon structure
Manufacturing process
Main advantages
Carbon applications

Carbon fibers have high tensile strength, and are very light and very stable. Carbon crystals are bonded together in a chain, creating a very strong material, which compared to steel is 5 times stronger on an equal weight basis. Carbon fiber diameter is very small, it ranges from 5-10 microns. Production and consumption of carbon fibers has grown recently because of their great mechanical properties. High manufacturing cost is balanced by its high strength in both tension and compression, and high resistance to corrosion, creep and fatigue, low weight and high performance.

Woven Carbon fabric is used in various applications like marine, sporting goods, defense and many others. The two most common weaving styles are «plain» and «twill». Both have an equal amount of carbon fiber going each direction, and their strengths are quite similar. Other styles are satin, unidirectional, biaxial. Alternatively, fabrics can be added to a resin system (like epoxy) that hardens, and this way structural composite parts are formed. Since resin systems are strong low density materials, the composite part is also very strong and light-weight at the same time.

The dominant raw material for carbon fiber manufacturing is polyacrylonitrile (PAN), pitch follows, and a very small amount of carbon fibers are derived from rayon.

Carbon fibers are usually grouped according to the modulus or strength band in which their properties belong. These bands are commonly referred as: high strength, intermediate modulus, high modulus and ultra high modulus etc. These references for carbon fiber quality are not very clear, as different companies that produce different qualities may consider or evaluate certain quality differently. PAN fiber density ranges from 1.75gr/cm3 to 1.90gr/cm3. PAN tensile strength can be as high as 1000Ksi.

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