With the outbreak of the global energy crisis and the increasing awareness of environmental protection, countries have implemented policies to reduce fuel consumption and turned eyes on lightweight technology. Carbon fiber and its composites are currently the most advanced materials among automotive lightweight solutions. Especially in the past two years, the rapid development of new energy vehicles has brought a huge opportunity to carbon fibers.
In this article, we will discuss the features of carbon fiber and its application in vehicles.
Carbon Fiber Features
With more than 95% carbon content, carbon fiber (CF) is a kind of high-strength material. It is firstly made from the graphite micro-crystals and other organic fibers stacking alongside the fiber axis and then processed through carbonization and graphitization. It is an aggregate of microcrystalline graphite. According to the source of raw materials, it can be divided into polyacrylonitrile-based carbon fiber, pitch-based carbon fiber, viscose-based carbon fiber, phenolic-based carbon fiber, and vapor-grown carbon fiber. Polyacrylonitrile PAN-based carbon fiber is the most popular type which accounts for about 90% of the market.
After the combination with resin, curing agent, ceramics, metals, etc., carbon fiber is sent to a series of curing treatments and form a structural material called carbon fiber composite. Its metal properties are even high than real metals.
Carbon fiber composites can be also used in various car panels, such as dry cargo vans and refrigerated trucks. They can help these vehicles to keep the temperature more strictly and stably. For dry cargo vans, they can also reduce the weight greatly.
In the next part, we will go on to the advantages of carbon fiber and its composites.