Carbon fiber is graphite. In crystal chains.
Carbon fibers are thin, only 5-10 micrometers in diameter, and consist of carbon (graphite) atoms bonded in an elongated crystalline formation. The crystals align parallel to the fiber axis, giving the fiber a high strength-to-weight ratio. When bundled together, such fibers form larger filaments. Carbon fibers possesses high modulus, high tensile strength, stiffness, temperature resistance and chemical resistance, along with low weight and low thermal expansion.
Carbon composite precursors.
Carbon fiber manufacturers use a variety of organic or petroleum polymers such as polyacrylonitrile (PAN), rayon, or petroleum pitch as a precursor material. They employ a variety of chemical and mechanical processes to align the polymer and to isolate the carbon by driving off non-carbon atoms. Once refined, collected and processed into filaments, the carbon fibers are ready for incorporation into a composite material.
Carbon reinforced polymer (CFRP).
To create a composite material, carbon filaments are embedded into or impregnated with a resin, typically a polyepoxide, although other resins may be used. The resultant composite, carbon fiber reinforced polymer (or, alternatively, carbon fiber reinforced plastic), is colloquially known as carbon fibers or simply carbon. For purposes of this website, Advanced Composites will revert to the common usage, carbon fiber, to reference CFRP.
From armaments to architecture.
The versatility, low weight and high strength of carbon fibers make it the ideal material for more commercial, military and industrial applications than perhaps any other substance. Advanced Composites has manufactured specialty carbon fiber components for missile systems, aircraft, artificial limbs, ballistics applications, nuclear submarine propulsion systems, load-bearing architectural assemblies and much, much more. For us, carbon fiber technology, and the uses to which it can be applied, offers an exciting frontier of discovery.
Carbon plays a large role in Advanced Composites Inc. manufacturing processes.
Advanced Composites Inc. incorporates carbon fiber into many filament winding, compression molding and lay-up processes. Carbon’s incredible modulus and low weight make it the ideal composite material.