Carbon fibers have been available since Thomas Edison used them in the light bulb in the late 1800s. Carbon fiber production took off during the 1960’s but the high price of the material limited its initial usage.
Traditionally, carbon fiber tows were used in thermoset composite applications but are being incorporated into thermoplastics more and more. Today, there are several types and manufacturers of carbon fiber tows, which has broadened the materials usage to a vast number of applications and markets.
The majority of production carbon fibers are made from the precursor polyacrylonitrile (PAN). The precursor undergoes several processes including carbonization and oxidation which produces high tensile & modulus carbon fiber filaments.
Carbon fiber can also be produced from other carbon-rich precursors such as Pitch & Rayon. Typically, higher carbon purity yields greater conductive and modulus properties but in turn produces a less flexible and stiff tow.
Common Types & Filament Counts
Hexcel™ Types: AS4, AS4C, IM7, IM8
Filament Counts: 1K, 2K, 6K, 12K, 24K
Synthetic fiber strength members - lightweight and incredibly strongLearn More
Lightweight, strong and flexible twisted and corded reinforcementLearn More
|Breaking Tenacity (g/d)||23.0|
|Specific Gravity (ratio)||1.80|
|Elongation at Break (%)||1.5|
|Tensile Modulus (g/d)||1480|
|Equilibrium Moisture Regain at 55% RH (%)||0|
|Creep at 40 - 48% ult tensile strength (%)||0|
|Shrinkage dry air 177 ̊ 30 mins (%)||0|
|Carbon Fiber||Product Bulletin||Explore product information and technical properties||View|
|Fiber Selection Guide||Product Selection Guide||Compare fiber properties and technical data||View|