7 REMARKABLE REASONS TO CHOOSE CARBON FIBER
HIGH TENSILE STRENGTH AND STIFFNESS
The strength of carbon fiber comes from the reinforcing fibers: thousands of microscopic strands of bonded carbon which by themselves are strong in tension, but lack stiffness and resistance to compression. By suspending them inside epoxy resin (a strong and lightweight plastic) they become stiff along their axis and strong in both tension and compression. This creates “non-isotropic” strength, meaning the strength of the material varies depending on the direction and orientation of the fibers. This contrasts with an “isotropic” material like steel which has the same properties regardless of alignment. When properly aligned, a carbon fiber part can have a strength comparable to the best steel at a small fraction of the weight. This makes carbon fiber a great replacement for metals like aluminum and steel because it’s strength can be tailored exactly to its load scenario.
Most materials react poorly to air and water, corroding, oxidizing, or simply breaking down unless protected. Not carbon fiber. Both the carbon and the epoxy resin are extremely stable and non-reactive, even when submerged in water! Ideal as a replacement for steel under conditions of extreme moisture or even submersion. There’s no need for expensive anti-corrosion treatments or continual re-painting.RESISTANT TO CHEMICALS
Carbon fiber (in its rigid form) is typically used in unison with a polymer matrix. Most commonly carbon fiber is paired with an epoxy resin system. Epoxy is formed from a two-part chemical reaction of a resin and a hardener. Once cured, epoxy is a thermoset that will not melt or return to its former constituents. This makes for a highly chemical resistant plastic that will not corrode, dissolve, or melt over time. This epoxy is what makes carbon fiber so chemically resistant to most alcohols, acids, and other chemical compounds.
Carbon Fiber has High Strength to Weight Ratio
Strength of a material is the force per unit area at failure, divided by its density. Any material that is strong and light has a favorable Strength/weight ratio. Materials such as Aluminum, titanium, magnesium, Carbon and glass fiber, high strength steel alloys all have good strength to weight ratios.
Carbon Fiber is very Rigid
Carbon fiber reinforced plastic is over 4 times stiffer than Glass reinforced plastic, almost 20 times more than pine, 2.5 times greater than aluminum.
Fire Resistance/Non Flammable
Depending upon the manufacturing process and the precursor material, carbon fiber can be quite soft and can be made into or more often integrated into walking sticks. Because carbon fiber is also chemically very inert, it can be used where there is fire combined with corrosive agents.