Carbon is perhaps the most abundantly found elements on this planet. It is present almost everywhere, and with the advancement in the field of science and technology, different types of applications have been figured out. But, when we talk about the applications of carbon, we usually refer to form of carbon fiber. The inception of carbon fiber sheets has proved to be a boon for a wide number of industries, and as more researchers are being carried out, the number of uses is also increasing. Below are some of the prime applications of carbon fiber.
Applications of carbon fiber sheets
- In the field of aviation, carbon fiber is proving to be an excellent material for the production of aircrafts. Carbon fiber is quite strong in nature, and it is very much light in weight. As a result, the aircrafts made from the sheets of carbon fiber are highly durable and safe as well. Owing to the lightweight nature of carbon fiber, more amount of efficiency is also being added to the airplanes.
- Likewise, in the production of spacecraft also the use of carbon fiber is showing great results. The spacecraft made from the sheets of carbon fiber is much more efficient and capable as well.
- In the arena of sports, there are a lot of things that are being made with carbon fiber, such as badminton, tennis racquet, golf stick, and many more. Even running shoes are being made from carbon fiber. This is the reason why carbon fiber manufacturing is increasing at an impressive rate. There is no dearth of suppliers in the online market.
- Talking about the application of carbon fiber in the medical field, there is a lot that can be mentioned in this regard. Production of artificial limbs has been greatly benefited with the development of carbon fiber. Now the prosthetics are much lighter in weight and they are more durable too.
- In the automobile industry, vehicles made from carbon fiber are getting more popular, and it is due to the durability that the sheets offer to the vehicles.
Composite materials are now widely used in various industries because of the advantages they have over ordinary materials. For instance, they can provide desired high strength of material in aerospace, without adding unnecessarily weight in component.
Prepreg composites should be stored in a cool and dry or in a refrigerator. You also need to allow the prepreg to reach room temperature on removing from the refrigerator, in order to prevent condensation. Prepreg composites can stay for up to 12 months when stored at a temperature of – 18 ºC. The matrix determines the tack life at 23 ºC. Storage and handling are two important factors you need to consider when buying autoclave composites and prepreg composites.
However, prepegs have a low risk when being handled due to the below reasons:
1. Both sides are covered by protective coverings and the coverings are not to be removed until assembly lay-up. In addition, the prepeg composites need to be cut into the desired shapes before the coverings are removed, so no handling will be necessary before that.
2. They do not have any loose fibrous dust. They are also splash-free, do not leak or spill. This is in comparison to the wet lay-up methods involved in the manufacture of fiber reinforced composites. In this case of fiber reinforced composites, the dry fiber and liquid resin are used.
3. They are volatile and have a moderate/low tack level at normal room temperature.
Protecting yourself :-
It is important to learn how to handle autoclave composites and prepreg composites, particularly how to protect your hands and body. You should wear gloves and ensure arms are covered to avoid any skin contact with prepegs. Otherwise, touching them repeatedly touch prepreg with unprotected hands might lead to allergic reactions.
There are also fibrous materials that result from machining cured products and you should be careful when dealing with this because inhaling it can be dangerous. You should ensure to install positive dust extraction and collection systems at the cutting zone. You should also prevent dust formation and ignition sources when machining cured products as thus can cause fire. Dust from products that have carbon fiber parts is a good conductor of electricity.