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Carbon Fibre || Classification || History || Applications

Updated: Dec 22, 2023


Carbon fibre, also termed “CF, “ is about 5-10 micrometres in diameter and is composed of 90 % carbon atoms in its mass. This fibre is produced by the carbonization of organic fibres. CF has various advantages like Low weight, High Strength, chemical resistance, high stiffness, low thermal expansion, and high-temperature resistance. Due to the above properties, CF has various applications like Military applications, Aerospace, Civil, Motorsports etc.…


Based on various factors like Strength, Heat treatment temperature and Strength carbon fibre is classified as

  • Based on Precursor fibre materials:

    1. PAN-base

    2. Pitch-base

    3. Mesophase Pitch-based

    4. Gas-phase-grown

    5. Rayon-base

  • Based on carbon fibre properties:

    1. Ultra-high modulus, type UHM (Modulus >450Gpa)

    2. High-modulus, type HM (Modulus between 350-450Gpa)

    3. Intermediate Modulus, type IM (Modulus between 200-350Gpa)

    4. Low Modulus and High tensile type HT (Modulus < 100Gpa, Tensile strength > 3.0Gpa)

    5. Super High Tensile type SHT (Tensile Strength > 4.5Gpa)

  • Based on Heat Treatment Temperature:

    1. Type-I, High Heat Treatment Carbon Fiber (HTT), where heat treatment temperature should be > 2000°C and can be associated with high modulus fiber.

    2. Type-II, Intermediate Heat Treatment carbon fiber (IHT), where heat treatment should be > 1500°C and can be associated with high-strength type fiber.

    3. Type-III, Low Treatment Carbon Fiber, where final heat treatment temperatures are not greater than 1000°C. these are low-modulus and low strength Materials.

History of Carbon fibre:

  • Aerospace, road and marine transport, sporting goods.

  • Missiles, aircraft brakes, aerospace antenna and support structure, large telescopes, optical benches, and waveguides for stable high-frequency (GHz) precision measurement frames.

  • Audio equipment, loudspeakers for Hi-fi equipment, pick-up arms, and robot arms.

  • Automobile hoods, novel tooling, casings and bases for electronic equipment, EMI and RF shielding, and brushes.

  • Medical applications in prostheses, surgery and x-ray equipment, implants, and tendon/ligament repair.

  • Textile machinery, general engineering.

  • Chemical industry; nuclear field; valves, seals, and pump components in process plants.

  • Large generator retaining rings, and radiological equipment.


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