Lightness and Strength
Lighter than aluminum, stronger than iron, and with higher elasticity than titanium, CFRP is increasingly being used in aerospace industry.
CFRP materials have high resistance to strain and abrasion. This feature is extremely useful for aircraft, which are subject to repeated takeoffs and landings.
Extremely Low Thermal Shrinkage / Expansion
CFRP has extremely low shrinkage and expansion against heat, which is a strong benefit for satellite parts such as panels and tubes.
Sheets of carbon fibre “cloth” are layered into a mould
Mould is filled with epoxy to hold the layers together
Filament winding (difficult or convoluted shapes)
Fibres are winded around a core
A350 built of 52% CFRP, 787 50% (incl. fuselage)
Longer life (less fatigue)
Reduces jet lag
Improves fuel efficiency
Other high-end automakers have made liberal use of CFRP parts in their cars in order to shed weight, including the likes of Daimler, BMW (i3 and i8) and Lamborghini (Aventador and HYPERLINK “https://www.just-auto.com/analysis/bentley-lamborghini-bugatti-future-models_id173003.aspx” Huracán).
For example, the Toyota Prius PHV is claimed to be the world’s first mass-produced car fitted with a CFRP tailgate
The chassis of the BMW 7-series combines steel, aluminum, and carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic. In the image above, the black parts around the door frames and across the roof are carbon fiber.
Applied to reinforced concrete structures for flexure, CFRP typically has a large impact on strength (doubling or more the strength of the section is not uncommon), but only a moderate increase in stiffness (perhaps a 10% increase). This is because the material used in this application is typically very strong (e.g., 3000 MPa ultimate tensile strength, more than 10 times mild steel) but not particularly stiff (150 to 250 GPa, a little less than steel, is typical). As a consequence, only small cross-sectional areas of the material are used. Small areas of very high strength but moderate stiffness material will significantly increase strength, but not stiffness.