Carbon Fiber-better than steel


by [R.P.]


Carbon fiber is a strong, light synthetic fiber used in plastics, made by carbonizing acrylic fiber. Leslie Phillips, a female British working to replace metals in fighter planes for the military invented carbon fiber. It was invented in 1963. Carbon fiber is now used in not only jets but now in sports cars also.

Carbon fiber replaces heavy metals in these viechles making them lighter, faster, and cooler. This is good for planes (to dodge projectiles) and for cars ( to go faster), but carbon fiber is more expensive. Cars with carbon fiber price can go up to 1,000,000 dollars! (Like the McLaren F1). There also carbon fiber parts for cars that you can buy and put on your car, like a carbon fiber hood. There are many cars with carbon fiber; some popular ones are the 2004 Porsche Carrera GT ($440,000), 2005 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren ($350,000-$400,000), 2000 Mitsubishi Lancer evolution (a.k.a. evo 5 and evo 7) ($50,000-$90,000), 2000 Nissan Skyline GTR spec ($80,000-$90,000), 2003 Acura NSX-R ($89,000), 2004 Dodge Viper ($82,000), 2004 Chevrolet corvette ($56,000-$70,000).

The process of making carbon fiber is very complicated and involves many materials and elements. Carbon Fiber is a form of graphite (pure carbon). Carbon fiber is long thin sheets. They use epoxy resins and other thermosetting materials (objects that become strong when heated). All the materials used are lighter and stronger than materials used in steel. Another material used is polyacrylonitrile, this is another thermo setting material. This is the process for making carbon fiber: First you have polyacrylonitrile, then you heat it up, when heating it up it the polyacrylonitrile makes thousands to millions of cells called cyano, these cells are super strong and sometimes makes the honey comb shapes on carbon fiber.


Return to 7th Grade Inventions Main Page