When it comes to the defence industry, Kevlar® is one of the most widely used composite materials. Suitable for a wide range of defence-related products, Kevlar® is an affordable, practical, and versatile material that has become a necessity for performance and safety needs. Kevlar® is also used in other applications for industries such as the aerospace and automotive industries. With so many uses, it can be hard to understand what Kevlar® is and how it relates to other composite materials such as carbon fiber.
At Spartec Composites, we have specialized in the design and manufacture of composite materials for more than 40 years. In this post, we help you understand the differences between carbon fiber and Kevlar® to help you know which material is best suited for your project’s needs.
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What is Kevlar®?
When looking into composite materials you may have wondered, is Kevlar® carbon fiber or a standalone composite material? Kevlar® is a high-strength material made of synthetic fiber that is also heat-resistant. It can be used in a variety of applications and differs from carbon fiber as it is able to be used in unique applications such as rope, clothing, and in applications such as stab and spike-resistant protective gear. Kevlar® is distinctive and is not the same as carbon fiber. For a better understanding of what carbon fibre is see our previous post, Common Questions about Carbon Fiber.
Is Carbon Fiber Stronger Than Kevlar®?
Kevlar® and carbon fiber are both strong materials and due to their different properties and manufacturing costs, are often used in different applications. When it comes to overall strength, high-quality carbon fiber can be stronger than Kevlar®. However, it is important to understand that carbon fiber and Kevlar® cannot always be used interchangeably. Kevlar® vests used by law enforcement agencies are one example of a high-performance application for this material that would not be as suitable for carbon fiber, despite carbon fiber technically being a “stronger” option. There are many variables to be considered when choosing a composite material and a composite engineering specialist may be your best option when looking into manufacturing a new product.
Is Kevlar® Lighter Than Carbon Fiber?
When it comes to lightness, Kevlar® takes the lead over carbon fiber. Though carbon fiber is still a very lightweight material, Kevlar® is lighter which is just another reason why it is suitable for different applications than you would typically see for carbon fiber.
If you are looking into composite manufacturing for a project and are unsure which material is right for you, your best option is to speak with an experienced composite manufacturer. At Spartec Composites, we take care of your composite manufacturing needs from start to finish. Ensuring that you achieve the highest quality possible and on the timeline you desire.