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Carbon Fiber

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Published on Jul 25, 2009

*I do not own the rights to this video. This is not my video. I got it from Dailymotion.com to share here on youtube.


Explore the inner compounds of a carbon fiber.

Carbon fiber is the common name used to refer to plastic reinforced by a graphite textile. Less frequently, the term is used to describe the textile itself, but it is pretty much useless unless embedded in plastic. Carbon fiber is known alternatively as carbon fiber reinforced plastic or carbon fiber composite.

Carbon fiber is very expensive, but has a fantastic weight-to-strength ratio. Attempts to put it into mass production have so far failed, due to inadequate demand, the customized nature of most carbon fiber parts, and a lack of skilled craftsmen. The material is employed in high-quality cars, boats, bicycles, and planes, including popular Formula One racecars.

Depending on the orientation of the fiber, the carbon fiber composite can be stronger in a certain direction or equally strong in all directions. A small piece can withstand an impact of many tons and still deform minimally. The complex interwoven nature of the fiber makes it very difficult to break.

In terms of weight-to-strength ratio, carbon fiber composite is currently the best material that our civilization can produce in appreciable quantities. Introducing carbon nanotubes into the fiber is currently in research stages, and may offer improved ratios of 10 times or greater a space age material indeed. Carbon fibers are chemically grown on smaller frames with a high surface area, designed to bond to deposited carbon atoms. The frame typically constitutes 2% of the total fiber produced.

In civil engineering, it has been determined that old bridges may be spared from destruction and rebuilding through simple carbon fiber reinforcements, which are comparatively cheaper. If the cost of carbon fiber can be significantly reduced, it may become a universal material for vehicles and small products designed for extreme durability and lightness. The current strategies used for manufacture vary based on application and quantity.

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