Three Uses for Carbon Fiber Rods
When using rods as structural components in mechanical assemblies, engineers are typically looking for strong, lightweight materials to provide strength and stability. Rods are basic building blocks for many structures, and carbon fiber rods are replacing steel and aluminum rods because they are lighter and stronger than either material. Here is a closer look at three common uses for carbon fiber rods.
Carbon Fiber Rods in Frame Construction
Carbon fiber rods possess a high stiffness-to-weight ratio (specific tensile modulus) that makes them the perfect choice for use in lightweight frame constructions. Frames and trusses are often built using carbon fiber rods as the reinforcing material. Carbon fiber components don’t rust and are resistant to many solvents and chemicals. This makes them great for use in industrial framed structures, and other frame type structures that come into contact with the elements or chemicals.
In the stringed instrument industry, luthiers use carbon fiber rods as truss rods to reinforce their instrument necks. This fixes or prevents the neck from twisting or bowing. Carbon fiber rods are also used to reinforce pegheads in instruments like ukuleles and cellos.
Carbon Fiber Rods in Remote Control Projects
Check out any RC message board and carbon fiber will be on it. Remote control hobbyists are particularly fond of carbon fiber rods for the construction of their projects. Whether they are building RC cars, planes, helicopters, drones, or something else, carbon fiber’s lightweight strength routinely is the difference between the project working or not. Here are a few examples:
RC enthusiasts find many uses for carbon fiber rods in all sizes. Drones, in particular, benefit from this strong, lightweight material. The use of carbon fiber can mean the difference between getting off the ground or not, or surviving a crash. With a high Young’s Modulus (ratio of stress/strain) and a density of 1.5 g/cm3 , carbon fiber is the perfect material.
Carbon Fiber Rods in Engineering and High-Performance Structures
When combined with carbon fiber laminates, carbon fiber rods are an ideal material for use in building engineered structures. They perform particularly well under bending and tensile or compressive loads, though it is important to understand that carbon fiber rods do not handle high torque or crushing loads well. The carbon fiber characteristics of strength and rigidity make it a particularly useful material in civil engineering applications. Carbon fiber rods can be used to strengthen and reinforce concrete, steel, timber, and masonry.
Engineers working in the construction industry are always trying to adopt improved materials for sustainability. One such application is the carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) rebar. This type of carbon fiber rod is often used as an alternative to steel reinforcement in concrete structures such as:
- Parking garages
- Highways located in extreme environments
- Structures that are susceptible to corrosion.
There are a number of reasons that civil engineers are increasingly using carbon fiber. Here are a few:
- Higher tensile strength than steel
- Non-reactive to magnetic fields
- Low electrical conductivity
- Low thermal conductivity
- Resistance to chemical corrosion
From hobbyists to professionals, from bicycles to parking garages, carbon fiber rods have an incredible number of uses in today’s world. With characteristics that include light weight, high strength, rigidity, corrosion-resistance and non-magnetic properties, everyone from athletes to musicians to RC enthusiasts and engineers are finding ways to make use of carbon fiber rods. As is often the case when discussing carbon fiber products, the number of uses for carbon fiber rods is really only limited by your imagination.