CARBON fiber

Uses

Carbon fiber is used in many areas where a combination of high strength and low weight are required. These include public and private transport, such as cars, airplanes, and spacecraft; sports equipment, like racing bicycles, skis, and fishing rods; and construction. The material’s relative inertness make it well suited for applications in the chemical industry and in medicine — it can be used in implants as it will not react with substances in the body. In civil engineering, it has been determined that old bridges may be spared from destruction and rebuilding through simple carbon fiber reinforcements, which are comparatively cheaper.

Economics

As of 2013, the uses, and demand, for carbon fiber have been limited by its cost. A bicycle made from composite typically costs around a few thousand US dollars (USD). Formula One racing cars, which travel at speeds over 200 mph (320 kph), may cost over $1 million USD to build and maintain, a cost determined in no small part by the generous use of this material. Demand has risen significantly, however, due largely to the increase in production of large commercial airplanes. If the cost can be significantly reduced, it may become a universal material for vehicles and small products designed for extreme durability and lightness.

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