What is Carbon Fiber?

Have you ever seen a race car streak by like a lightning bolt, or stared up at a spaceship launching into the sky? Those machines need to be super strong to handle all that speed and power, but they also can't weigh them down.  

That's where carbon fiber comes in! It's like a magic material that's both super tough and incredibly light, making it perfect for all sorts of high-tech uses. We're going to dig into what carbon fiber is, why it's so awesome, and where you might find it in the real world. Buckle up and get ready to learn about the future of super materials!

What Is Carbon Fiber Made Of?

Don't be fooled by the name, carbon fiber isn't actually made of tiny diamonds. Instead, the main ingredient is something you already know: carbon atoms. These are the same building blocks that make up things like pencil lead and even your hair!  

In carbon fiber, these carbon atoms are tightly bonded together in long, thin strands. Think of them like microscopic straws, but way stronger. Thousands of these strands are then twisted together to form a yarn, kind of like how you might make a thicker rope from thinner string. This yarn can then be woven into a fabric or even molded into different shapes for all sorts of uses!

Is Carbon Fiber Stronger Than Steel?

Steel is known for being tough stuff, right?  Well, believe it or not, carbon fiber can actually be way stronger than steel in certain ways. 

Here's the cool part: imagine a piece of steel that's as strong as a bicycle frame made from carbon fiber, but it would also be five times heavier! That's because carbon fiber is a champion when it comes to strength-to-weight ratio. 

This means for its weight, carbon fiber packs a serious punch. That's why it's perfect for things like race cars and airplanes where every pound counts.

Is Carbon Fiber Metal? 

This is a common question because carbon fiber is so strong! However, even though it shares some similar properties with metal, carbon fiber is actually a completely different kind of material.  

Metals are typically heavy and bendable, while carbon fiber is surprisingly lightweight and very stiff.  So, while they both offer advantages in terms of strength, they come from totally different scientific backgrounds.

How Strong Is Carbon Fiber?

Carbon fiber's weight-to-strength ratio is astonishing, especially when you consider its formidable strength. It is stronger than steel and lighter than aluminum. The strongest carbon fiber is five times stronger than steel. 

The fact that it is lightweight and strong makes carbon fiber an excellent choice for producing vehicles such as cars, planes, and boats. Low weight reduces friction, increases speed, and decreases fuel consumption, this is good for both consumers and the environment. 

Carbon fiber also has other valuable qualities; It resists corrosion, is both moisture and heat stable and has super energy absorption. Its sleek appearance and unique woven texture give it a feeling of timeless luxury, as Carbon Fiber is the New Black™.

The key to carbon fiber's properties is its unique microscopic crystalline structure. It is composed mostly of carbon atoms that are bound together in microscopic crystals which are linearly aligned and parallel to the long axis of the fibers. 

When carbon fiber is produced, thousands of thin strands of carbon are twisted together to form a yarn. This yarn is then woven into a flexible fabric that can be molded into many different shapes. To give you an idea of just how lean carbon fiber is, a single strand has a diameter of 0.005-0.010 mm, less than a human hair.

Carbon fiber's unique properties, durability, and luxe looks make carbon fiber material lifestyle products and accessories an excellent choice for any occasion. It's a luxury you can't afford to miss.

Why Should You Care?

  • Very strong
  • Ultra lightweight
  • Modern, high-tech look
  • A next-generation luxury material
  • Used in really cool applications like exotic cars (Ferrari, Lamborghini), NASA/Aerospace, high-end sporting equipment, yachts and more.

Carbon fiber is a super-strong fabric that's used to make diverse products, where light-weight, strength and modern looks are valued. Some examples would be Formula One, Ferraris and Lamborghinis, yachts, MotoGP, and even items from luxury brands like wallets such as Chanel, Gucci, Montblanc and more.


Wow, you made it this far, nice job! Still interested in delving more into carbon fiber? Take a look at the below video that does a great job of explaining the history and future of the wonder material:

Double Bonus!

You're still here, huh? Here's one more for ya. Watch Jay Leno geek out about carbon fiber with this modified all carbon Mustang GT350R: