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Industry

Designers noted carbon fiber composites in automotive applications for eye-catching appearance and properties that let turn creative ideas into reality.

The industry started using carbon fiber reinforced plastics not so long ago. Carbon fiber production growth and net cost reduction promote a wider use.

Intricate shapes

Advantages

Carbon fiber composites offer an advantage of creating items with desired properties. For instance, an item can be lightweight and strong, or heat resistant and waterproof, or elastic and strong, and so on.


Designers appreciate the opportunity of creating large but lightweight and strong items from this visually attractive material.

  • Low specific weight
  • High strength
  • High rigidity

Carbon fiber reinforced plastic is 5 times lighter than steel


Carbon fiber reinforced plastic is 2 times lighter than aluminum


Carbon fiber versus other materials

Fiber type




Tensile strength, MPa Tensile modulus, GPa Elongation at break, % Density, g/cm3
Carbon fiber made of PAN precursor high strength, standard modulus 3500-5000 200-280 1.4-2.0 1.75-1.80
high strength, intermediate modulus 4500-7000 280-325 1.7-2.1 1.73-1.81
high modulus 3500-5000 325-450 0.7-1.4 1.75-1.85
ultra high modulus 2500-4000 450-600 0.7-1.0 1.85-1.95
Glass E-glass 2500-3800 70-75 4.5-4.7 2.5-2.7
S-glass 4000-4500 80-90 5.0-5.3 2.5
Organic Aramid 3000-3600 60-180 2.4-3.6 1.45
Polyethylene 200-3000 5-170 3-80 0.96
Steel high strength 1200-2800 200 3.5 7.8
stainless 800-2000 190 3.0 7.8
Basalt 3000-4800 90-110 3.0 2.6-2.8
Boron 3500-4000 350-400 0.5-0.7 2.6

Applications


Carbon fiber can now be seen in everyday life more often. Designers use it to make fancy items of interior ranging from tables and armchairs to bath tubs and wash basins.

Currently, its presence grows rapidly among general merchandise: jewelry, watches, phones, laptops, and ultrabooks with bodies completely or partially made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic.

Historical background


Designers started using carbon fiber not so long ago, just in the early 2000s, when it became available to mass-market consumers.

Experience


In 2008, Nokia brought their 8800 Carbon Arte phone to the market. It was the first phone with a carbon fiber composite body.

In 2014, Splinter Works from the UK introduced a hammock shaped bath tub. It resembles a hammock by shape and no-leg design for hanging between two opposite walls. The designer bath tub effectively complements a fancy interior.

Summary


Designer items are made for people to make life better. They would be just decorations outside the social context.

Carbon fiber composites allow for combining aesthetic appeal and practicality in designer items due to their eye-catching appearance and exceptional properties.