A car’s body can be made out of all sorts of substances. The most common material is steel, but that Cold War icon, the Trabant, was made out of compressed cardboard. Other cars have incorporated plastic body moulding into their design. And recently, carbon fibre has become another alternative used by car designers.
Carbon fiber consists of very thin threads of pure carbon. In other words, carbon fibre is made of the same atoms as diamond, the world’s hardest substance is. While carbon-fibre is nowhere near as hard as diamond, it is easier to synthesise and is easily mouldable. <br
The major attribute of carbon fibre is that it is a very strong synthetic that is light and tough. It is this feature that sees it being used in carbon fibre reinforced plastics (also called composites or composite). Carbon fibre is used anywhere that strength and light weight need to be combined (e.g. aeroplanes, sports equipment and more, including musical instruments).
This feature of carbon fibre is great for many sports cars or supercars. Racing car engineers make various sections of a car’s bodywork out of carbon-fiber because they know that carbon fibre is light and strong, ensuring that their car’s design will provide the best power-to-weight ratios. This improved power-to-weight ration will give a car a performance edge in lap times without compromising safety and rigidity.
Carbon fibre is, however, more expensive than traditional body work materials. This is partly because aviation is using most of the supply of carbon fibre in an attempt to build aeroplanes that have a lighter body, thus reducing their fuel consumption.<
We hope that helps answer the question ‘What is What is Carbon Fibre?’!
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