The main use of carbon fibers is to make structural materials by compounding with resins, metals, ceramics and other substrates. Carbon fiber reinforced epoxy resin composites have the highest specific strength and modulus among the existing structural materials. Carbon fibre composites have many advantages in the fields of density, stiffness, weight, fatigue properties and high temperature and chemical stability.
Carbon fibers were produced in the early 1950s in response to the needs of advanced science and technology, such as rockets, aerospace and aviation. They are also widely used in sports equipment, textiles, chemical machinery and medicine. With the increasingly stringent requirements of cutting-edge technology on the technical performance of new materials, scientists and technicians are constantly striving to improve. In the early 1980s, high-performance and Super-High-Performance carbon fibers appeared one after another, which is another technological leap. At the same time, it marks that the research and production of carbon fibers has entered an advanced stage.
Composites made of carbon fibers and epoxy resins have become an advanced aerospace material because of their small proportion, good rigidity and high strength. Because every one kilogram reduction in the weight of the spacecraft can reduce the launch vehicle by 500 kilograms. Therefore, advanced composite materials are used in the aerospace industry. There is a vertical landing fighter, which uses carbon fiber composites which account for 1/4 of the weight of the aircraft and 1/3 of the weight of the wing. It is reported that the key components of the three rocket thrusters on the US space shuttle and the advanced MX missile launcher tubes are all made of advanced carbon fiber composite materials.
Now F1 (World Formula One Championship) racing cars, most of the body structure is made of carbon fibers. One of the biggest selling points of top sports cars is the use of carbon fibers around them to improve aerodynamic and structural strength.
Carbon fibers can be processed into fabrics, felt, mats, tapes, paper and other materials. In traditional use, carbon fibers are not used alone except as insulation materials. They are mostly used as reinforcing materials in resins, metals, ceramics, concrete and other materials to form composite materials. Carbon fiber reinforced composites can be used as body substitutes for aircraft structural materials, electromagnetic shielding materials, artificial ligaments and other materials, as well as for the manufacture of rocket shells, motor ships, industrial robots, automotive leaf springs and driving axles.