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What Is Carbon Fibre?

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Introduction

What is Carbon Fibre? Carbon Fibre is a form of graphite in which the sheets are long and thin. You might think of them as ribbons of graphite. Bunches of these ribbons like to pack together to form fibres, hence the name Carbon fibres. Context Many Sports utilise the physical properties of carbon fibre, for example in golf the traditional materials such as steel used in the shaft of the club have been replaced with Carbon fibre producing a strong yet lightweight club. Original Tennis rackets used to be made of wood, but since then, metals have lead the way in creating powerful rackets, however due to their weight it was hard for the players to move around. Now carbon fibre tennis rackets are constantly being tweaked to increase power and manoeuvrability, and designers have now turned to carbon fibre as a lightweight alternative to titanium or aluminium. ...read more.

Middle

Highly resistant to thermal shock and fractures due to temperature change. However the main reason that makes carbon fibre desirable, is that it is strong, and extremely lightweight. This is what allows objects like rackets and clubs to hit ball with great force and power, and being lightweight makes it easy to do so. Structure Carbon fibres are polycrystalline and consist of a large number of small crystallites. They are made up of two-dimensional layers of carbon atoms as in the graphite structure and are about 10-8m thick and about 2.5 x 10-8m in diameter. Then undirectional fibres, woven or knitted into a polymer matrix, usually in resin form; an example would be a thermosetting resin such as epoxy or maybe a thermoplastic such as PEEK. While woven carbon fibre is available un-coated, the majority of carbon fibres have the polymer pre-coated. ...read more.

Conclusion

These ribbons can again be heated to merge and remove the majority of nitrogen, leaving an almost pure carbon fibre. Other Uses It is the same, lightweight properties and high tensile strength that allow aircraft to utilise carbon fibre in designs for wings and engines, as the strength is the same as steel so reduces the overall mass of the planes saving fuel and increasing efficiency. One of the more interesting uses is the use of Carbon fibre in musical instruments. MATIT is company in Finland, which has developed the first carbon fibre flute, made of a high modulus fibre that improves the acoustics of the instrument. They also are looking at using Carbon fibres in guitar strings. Carbon fibres are widely used for scientific purposes and the most obvious seems to be use of carbon electrodes. It is known for single fibres to be used in neurology due to the diameter of each fibre being only 8 microns. They also can absorb poisonous gases so have military applications. ...read more.

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