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Everything you need to know about carbon fiber is contained in this article!
There carbon fiber, more rarely called "graphite filament ", is an ultralight, rigid and extremely strong material. It has all the credentials to replace steel and is used in the production of high-performance vehicles such as racing cars, bicycles, airplanes or more commonly used for the production of sports equipment: tennis rackets, fishing rods ...
There carbon fiber was developed in 1958, at a laboratory in Claveland, Ohio, although the first real production development was carried out in 1963 in a British laboratory, it is here that the strengths of this material have been highlighted.
Current methods for the carbon fiber production they tend to be slow and high energy consumption. It is for this reason that mass diffusion is not yet possible. Currently, the industry aims to develop a production process low price. Oak Ridge National Laboratory has a section dedicated to the development of the carbon fiber, the Energy Department, with its Carbon Fiber Technology Facility division, is attempting to reduce the carbon fiber production costs 50 percent off. There carbon fiber is the ideal material for the production of clean vehicles, being an ultra-light material, the energy required to provide thrust and excellence is minimal.
To produce the carbon fiber you can start from several raw material. The most common precursor to the carbon fiber production is PAN (Polyacrylonitrile), this accounts for more than 90 percent of all production of carbon fiber. The remaining 10 per cent of the raw materials used are plastic-based materials or wood by-products.
The polyacrylonitrile, before being transformed into carbon fiber, must undergo several processes that require a high energy consumptionThus, PAN is subjected to oxidative processes - to increase the melting temperature -, stretching and carbonization processes that use very high temperatures.
The carbon fibers are increasingly popular in the cycling field and has become a source of pride for the manufacturers, we saw it with the German BlackBraid where a promotional image shows a little girl lifting a bicycle large sports car with very low weight. There McLaren launched the Venge, one hitech bike which weighs only 950 grams, made in carbon fiber and costs 5,000 euros.
It is estimated that the use of the carbon fiber in the automotive field it could reduce the weight of the car by about 50 percent so as to improve thefuel efficiency by at least 35 percent. The advantage of the carbon fiber is that it would not compromise driving performance, both in terms of safety and stability. This use would ensure the motorist a saving on fuel of over 4,000 euros but the initial price of the car, with the current ones techniques of carbon fiber production, it would be extremely prohibitive.
Not only mobility, the carbon fiber it is also used for make clothing special and resistant, fabrics perfect for military environments. In addition it is used for the realization of components of wind turbines, both in the blades and for the towers. There carbon fiber it is indicated for the production of electric accumulators, power transmission instruments and other electronic devices!
In the photo, a phase of the carbon fiber production process, thanks to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory