Types of Carbon Fibers and its Properties

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Since carbon fibers have been embraced in the bigger scheme, it is only worthy to take a closer look at this ingenuous material for our benefit. Nowadays, as it is now called the “new metal,” we have to be seriously informed about this then only known as a piece of metal. From unclassified metal to meticulously studied metal which brings insurmountable uses, carbon fibers are now widely used most especially in the fields of transportation, aircraft – civilian and commercial alike, industrial and even recreational.

But what really are the properties of this magnificent product? Are there specific types of carbon fibers? It is interesting to know that this kind of metal enjoys its luxury of having the property of high-strength material in its new breed. Where there is a need for durability, absolute strength, and light weight applications, this product is almost always present to save the day. For more critical situations like chemical and water inertness and undergoing under uncontrolled and different temperatures, there are also growing demands for such.

As a rule of thumb, the tensile strength of the precursors used in carbon fibers is directly proportional to its tenacity. In a more comprehensive approach, there are four types highly responsible for the strength of this substance namely: the precursor used, temperature under heat treatment, processing conditions, and presence of defects or flaws.

For the precursor of materials used, carbon fibers can be segregated into different types. These are PAN or Polyacrylonitrile-based, pitched-based, rayon-based, isotropic pitch-based, mesophate-pitched based, and gas-phase-grown-based.

Based on the temperature under heat treatment, this material has three types. Type one, or the so-called high heat treatment (HHT) should be above 2000 degrees centigrade for the final heat treatment. This type is highly associated with high-modulus kind of fiber. Meanwhile, Type Two, or the intermediate-heat treatment (IHT) should be above or around 1500 degrees centigrade for the final heat treatment. The second type is almost always associated high-strength kind of fiber. The last type, Type Three, or what is known as the low-heat treatment (LHT) should be not greater that 1000 degrees centigrade for its final heat treatment. Since it applies only smaller amount of heat compare to the previous two, it produces only fibers with low modulus with low strength kind.

Depending on where the carbon fibers are used, these materials display adequate properties to suffice the needs. For the makers of marine, road and even aerospace transportations, the properties include its renowned physical strength and light weight. When dealing with air craft brakes, missiles, telescopes, and the likes, these materials posses stability in its high dimensional form and low abrasion. For audio equipments, especially loud speakers with high fidelity, they need the properties of these materials as strength and toughness with passable amount of vibration damping. Having a property of electrical conductivity, this material became an instant favorite to the manufacturers of electronic equipments and car hoods. On the other hand, this product has a surge in popularity in medical fields as it displays its electromagnetic properties, x-ray permeability and biological inertness. Out of these, sprout the more effective products like radiological equipments, x-ray equipments and surgery applications.

With its new found popularity and effectiveness, truly, carbon fibers are here for good.

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