The specialised use of the material in the world of competition, as well as the advance of the technology has resulted in carbon fire being more common in the automotive field.
Until a few years ago, this synthetic material was exclusively used in aeronautics and the world of top competition. Now, we can find this material anyway from supercars to everyday objects such as bicycles, watches, etc.
First, we must remember that carbon fibre is a synthetic fibre made up of filaments which measure from 5 to 10 µm in diameter. Each one of these is the union of thousands of carbon fibres manufactured from polyacrylonitrile.
The properties of carbon fibre are:
· High mechanical strength (3 times greater than that of steel) with a high modulus of elasticity.
· Low density in comparison with other materials: The density of carbon fibre is 1750 kg/m³, while that of steel is 7850 kg/m³.
· Resistance to external agents (corrosion, oxidation, etc.).
· High thermal insulation capacity.
· Resistance to temperature variations, it maintains its shape only if a thermostable matrix is used.
· It is a semiconductor.
· High price in comparison with other materials. Currently, a kg of carbon fibre is around €100, while the price per kg of steel is 2 to 5 € approximately.
· The main application is the manufacturer of composite materials with thermostable polymers such as epoxy resin, although it can be associated with others such as polyester or vinyl ester.