Carbon fiber

material fibers about 5–10 μm in diameter composed of carbon

Carbon fiber (British English: carbon fibre) is a type of fiber that is made of carbon atoms. It is also sometimes called graphite fiber. It has the highest compressive strength of all the reinforcing materials (composites), and it has a high strength to weight ratio and low coefficient of thermal expansion. The density of carbon fiber is also much lower than the density of steel.[1] Carbon fiber is in the form of several thousand long, thin strands of material that is composed of mostly carbon atoms.[2]

A cloth of woven carbon filaments


Tail of an RC helicopter, made of Carbon fiber reinforced polymer

Carbon fiber is most notably used to reinforce composite materials, particularly carbon fiber reinforced polymers. Reinforced carbon-carbon (RCC) is used structurally in high-temperature applications. The fiber is also used to filter high-temperature gases.

Molding a thin layer of carbon fibers significantly improves fire resistance of polymers or thermoset composites. This works because a dense, compact layer of carbon fibers efficiently reflects heat.[3]

The increasing use of carbon fiber composites is displacing aluminum from aerospace applications in favor of other metals.[4][5]

Related pagesEdit


  1. Mr. Jeremy Hierholzer, Assistant Professor of Aviation Technology, Purdue University, 2007.
  2. "How carbon fiber is made - material, making, used, processing, parts, components, composition, structure".
  3. Zhao, Z. and Gou, J. (2009). "Improved fire retardancy of thermoset composites modified with carbon nanofibers". Sci. Technol. Adv. Mater. 10: 015005. Bibcode:2009STAdM..10a5005Z. doi:10.1088/1468-6996/10/1/015005.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. "Design for Corrosion."
  5. Warwick, Graham and Norris, Guy (May 6, 2013) "Metallics Make Comeback With Manufacturing Advances."Aviation Week & Space Technology Archived 2015-04-27 at the Wayback Machine

Other websitesEdit