The Primary Applications of Carbon Fiber Plates
Carbon fiber plates consist of multiple laminations of carbon in an epoxy matrix. These sheets come in sizes up to 48 inches by 96 inches and thicknesses up to 1½ inches. Carbon fiber plates are often a better material choice than titanium, aluminum, or steel due to their:
- High strength- and stiffness-to-weight ratio
- Extremely low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE)
- Resistance to fatigue
- Transparency to x-rays
- These unique characteristics make carbon fiber plates ideally suited for a number of applications.
Carbon fiber plates are widely used in the aircraft industry where every pound saved is a precious pound that can be used elsewhere for payload. In fact, 30% of all carbon fiber manufactured is used in the aerospace industry. In addition to lightening the aircraft load, it is easier to maintain than metals and other traditional materials. Carbon fiber has even made it to the moon!
Another great use of carbon fiber in the aerospace industry is in the design of tooling. Many tools used in aircraft production are quite large, heavy, and unwieldy. Using FEA calculations, in some cases the weight of these tools can be reduced by as much as 75% when carbon fiber is used to manufacture them.
In the field, military equipment must often be moved long distances with minimal resources in remote locations. Reduced equipment weight means reduced energy to move it. This equates to savings in time, gas, and cost. Carbon fiber plates are used in many military applications, from radar structures to tactical gear to drones used for surveillance missions.
Because carbon fiber is radiolucent, which means it is transparent to x-rays and appears black in radiological images, it is an ideal material for many medical applications. In addition to maintaining critical strength and stiffness under load, carbon fiber will not break down, even after repeated exposure to x-ray or gamma-ray radiation. This makes carbon fiber plates perfect for imaging equipment structures as well as prosthetics. Carbon fiber is even being researched for use in strengthening damaged cruciate ligaments.
Carbon Fiber Plates at Home
Carbon fiber is the new black when it comes to home decor! Sleek, modern, and stylish, you can find all kinds of home products made with carbon fiber plates. Carbon fiber furniture is lightweight, durable, easy to keep clean, and offers a high-end, high-tech look. You can also find everything from phone cases to bathtubs to bow ties made of carbon fiber these days. The applications are limited only by one’s imagination.
Anyone who has worked a corporate trade show knows that your company’s booth needs to be portable, durable, and look better than everyone else’s. Carbon fiber plates once again offer the perfect solution. Booths constructed from carbon fiber offer a high-tech look that holds up to repeatedly being set up, taken down, and moved from city to city.
Additionally, carbon fiber makes a great base material for corporate and executive gifts, custom awards, trophies, medals, and more. These items stand out as high-end and classy, and they will be remembered as such.
Carbon Fiber Plate Options
A variety of types of carbon fiber plates is available. Options include:
- 0°/90° balanced layup carbon fiber plates—offer excellent strength and stiffness in the longitudinal and transverse directions. They are textured on one side for ease of bonding with your choice of gloss, matte, or textured finish on the other side.
- Quasi-isotropic carbon fiber plates—Designed for loading in multiple directions, this 0°/90°/45° fabric is ideal for torsional or off-axis loading due to its extra rigidity in the 45° direction.
- Prepreg carbon fiber plates—For use when maximum strength to weight or stiffness to weight is required. These carbon fiber plates are made from unidirectional carbon fiber prepreg and/or twill fabric carbon fiber prepreg. Manufactured in a heated press, these plates offer higher fiber volume, reduced voids and higher temperature performance. Prepreg carbon fiber plates are available in standard modulus, high modulus and ultra high modulus.
Because carbon fiber plates are lightweight, strong, durable, and easy to maintain, they make the perfect material for all kinds of applications. Those named here are only a few. They can also be used to manufacture musical instruments, sporting goods, a variety of automotive applications, industrial applications, and many others. With a variety of carbon fiber plate options available for purchase, there really is no limit to the ways carbon fiber plates can be used today. To find the right carbon fiber plate product for your project, visit our carbon fiber plate page.