When I'm done, you'll understand what carbon fiber is, what its properties are, and what it can be used for.
What is carbon fiber? In scientific terms, it is a light-weight material made of microscopically small carbon atoms that are bonded together in a crystalline structure to form a fiber strand.
Thousands of these strands can be woven together to form a thread, which makes it usable in various applications.
Before we get to that though, let's talk about its properties.
What are its chemical properties? The thing that makes carbon fiber so interesting is its strength.
It is light-weight, yet has a very high tensile strength (meaning that it won't break easily).
It is also resistant to heat and chemicals.
What can it be used for? Carbon fiber is widely used in manufacturing for commercial and consumer products.
Due to its chemical properties, it is often used in manufacturing situations where a strong, lightweight material is needed.
For example, racing companies and street racers use it to reduce the weight of their car without compromising the structural integrity.
The decreased weight allows them to drive faster and improve fuel efficiency.
It also serves as a form of decoration.
Carbon fiber hoods and trunks, often made from carbon fiber sheets, add an interesting look to any street racing car.
Some people even use it in their homes to spruce up the look of their countertops or coffee tables.
Here are some other uses for it:
Body armor and helmets made from this stuff are expensive, but they're worth the money if you have the cash to spare (plus, you'll look like Batman).
Nike recently made a line of basketball shoes from it with the tag line "Light like air.
Stronger than steel"
Increasingly, it is being used in sports such as golf or tennis to provide more power to the swing without compromising flexibility.
They use it as an outer paneling, providing strength to protect the internal components.
Current research is being done with it as a means of reinforcing buildings against explosions.
- Artificial limbs.
Oscar Pistorius is a nationally renowned sprinter who competes using prosthetic legs made from it.
Every day, scientists and DIY enthusiasts alike are coming up with new and exciting ways to put it to good use.