Carbon fiber is often heralded as a miracle material. After all, it offers twice the strength of steel at nearly half the weight. PAN-based carbon fibers can even support strengths of up to 1,000 KSI while still maintaining its high stiffness.
Today, this unique material is being used to create a variety of carbon fiber prototypes and designs. When you want to craft a carbon fiber prototype, here’s why you should always rely on the pros to get the job done right.
There are multiple manufacturing options to choose from
Depending on your desired end-product, you may need to rely on a number of carbon fiber properties to achieve your design. Though almost all your carbon fiber products will result in lightweight structures, there are typically two types of carbon fiber weave designs to choose from: unidirectional and bidirectional.
Unidirectional fibers consist of parallel fibers which offer the final product high bending strength under forces. Having a flexible carbon fiber design is great for athletes, like sprinters, who rely on the bending properties to ease pressure on joints and create a more natural stride.
Bidirectional products are made with carbon fibers that cross at 90 degrees. This offers a medium bending strength and medium-to-high torsional strength, making this design perfect for items like transfemoral sockets.
Both qualities have their pros and cons that can be mitigated with fiber length, number of layers, and type of epoxy resin. All these options can make or break your carbon fiber prototype.
Carbon fibers must be handled with care
Despite a strong end-product, carbon fibers must be handled with the utmost care during the carbon fiber manufacturing process. This is because the actual carbon fiber threads are incredibly delicate before they’re weaved into a strong product. As such, they’re susceptible to scratching and folding that can weaken the final product should a filament suffer from any damage.
There are health and safety factors
Though you won’t experience toxicity from carbon fibers, working with this material might irritate your eyes, lungs, and skin without the proper care. When custom carbon fiber manufacturing comes into play, sanding, honing, and cutting the product relies on a variety of safety measures that must be upheld.
Do you want to craft carbon fiber lightweight structures? Rely on the carbon fiber manufacturing services you can trust to get the job done right. At Element 6 Composites, we’re trained to engineer your product from start to finish. Leave the hard work to us.