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GCSE Chemistry Notes: The properties and uses of carbon fibres

 

 Doc Brown's Chemistry Revision Notes - Smart Materials and Materials Science

Part 8 CARBON FIBRES


ALPHABETICAL LIST of materials, effects etc. mentioned on these pages: Smart Materials Science INDEX * CARBON FIBRES * CHROMOGENIC MATERIALS * ELECTROCHROMIC MATERIALS * GORETEX * HALOCHROMIC MATERIALS  * HIGH PERFORMANCE POLYMERS * KEVLAR * LYCRA * MAGNETIC SHAPE MEMORY ALLOYS * MAGNETOSTRICTIVE MATERIALS * NITINOL * pH SENSITIVE POLYMERS * PHOTOCHROMIC MATERIALS * PHOTOMECHANICAL MATERIALS * PIEZO ELECTRIC EFFECT-MATERIALS * PTFE * SELF-HEALING MATERIALS * SHAPE MEMORY ALLOYS * SHAPE MEMORY POLYMERS * SPANDEX * TEFLON * TEMPERATURE-RESPONSIVE POLYMERS * THERMOCHROMIC MATERIALS * THINSULATE *



 

Part 8. CARBON FIBRES

  • Carbon in the form of its allotrope graphite is soft, slippery and easily broken solid.

  • However, very thin filaments or strands of graphite-carbon (carbon fibres) are very stiff and strong.

  • Precursor fibres of polyacrylonitrile are carbonised under extreme heat is one method of making carbon fibres.

  • Carbon fibres are useful for reinforcing other materials to make them tougher i.e. strengthening composite materials.

  • Carbon fibres can be incorporated into strong plastics to make an even stronger composite material.

  • Carbon fibre materials are not only strong but very lightweight e.g. compared to strong metal alloys like steel.

  • So carbon fibre composites are used for skateboards, boat hulls and high performance sports equipment like tennis racket frames.

  • However, these high performance materials products don't come cheaply, you may pay 7000 for a mountain bike, made from carbon fibres and titanium, that weighs just 6 kg (quote from BBC News website in 2006).

 See also carbon nanotubes in nanochemistry, and the revision notes on ..

... covalent Bonding - covalent structures including diamond, graphite plus fullerenes, nanotubes

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WHERE NEXT?

INDEX of SMART MATERIALS PAGES

PART 1 CHROMOGENIC MATERIALS - Thermochromic, Photochromic & Electrochromic Materials

PART 2 SHAPE MEMORY ALLOYS e.g. Nitinol & Magnetic Shape Memory Alloys

PART 3 SHAPE MEMORY POLYMERS, pH and temperature sensitive-responsive polymers, Self-healing materials

Part 4 LYCRA-SPANDEX

PART 5 High performance polymers like KEVLAR

PART 6 GORETEX, THINSULATE and TEFLON-PTFE

PART 7 PIEZOELECTRIC EFFECT (PIEZOELECTRIC MATERIALS) and PHOTOMECHANICAL MATERIALS

PART 8 CARBON FIBRES

See also INDEX NANOSCIENCE-NANOCHEMISTRY pages

Nanomaterials including carbon nanotubes, carbon fibres and silver nanoparticles are on a separate page

More on chemistry applications: Uses of 220+ chemical elements, compounds, mixtures & Formulation chemistry

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