Have you heard about carbon fibre but aren’t quite sure what it really is? Carbon fibre composites can seem complex as not all are created equally, yet they can be one of the strongest materials around. Though strength is typically associated with metals such as steel, carbon fibre can be stronger and also significantly lighter too. This makes it suitable for a wide range of applications across industries, including the medical, automotive, aerospace and defence industries.
So, what is carbon fibre anyways, and how is it made? In this post, the experts at Spartec Composites answer some of your most commonly asked questions about what carbon fibre is. Have a specific question about composite manufacturing, or are you looking to get started with a composite engineering project? Contact us today. We look forward to helping you turn your idea into a finished product, all in-house.
Is Carbon Fibre a Metal or a Plastic?
Though it is incredibly strong, carbon fibre is not a metal. Though it might seem surprising, carbon fibre is actually a type of reinforced plastic. Carbon fibre is a general term that often refers to carbon fibre reinforced plastics. This means that carbon fibre composites consist of carbon fibres and another material, often a specific type of plastic. Carbon is a chemical element that is non-metallic, and as such, carbon fibres are also non-metallic.
Is Carbon Fiber an Alloy?
An alloy is a metal that is made by combining two or more metals. This is often done with metals such as gold to reduce softness or even change its colour. Creating carbon fibre involves combining carbon fibres and other materials. It is not considered to be an alloy as it is non-metallic. Carbon fiber can be referred to as a polymer, which is a similar idea to that of alloys but does not involve metals.
How Strong is Carbon Fiber?
Are you surprised to learn that carbon fibre does not contain metal? It can be hard to wrap your head around the fact that a material containing plastic can be stronger than steel, but this is, in fact, true. The strongest carbon fibres are incredibly strong and lightweight. Our post, How Strong is Carbon Fibre, offers additional insight into the strength and versatility of this exciting material.
Carbon fibre is non-metallic and instead made of carbon fibers and other materials. Its unique properties can make it the ideal material for a variety of product applications. If you are considering carbon fiber for your project, connect with a composite fabrication expert. An experienced composite manufacturer can assist you in creating the ideal composite for your budget and project’s functional needs.