Carbon Fiber Poised to Revolutionize Ohio Industries

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Stronger and lighter materials appeal to many industries

Technological advances are having a significant impact on industries involved in manufacturing, improving both products and processes. But something else is becoming just as important: the materials used to make things.

Carbon fiber, in particular, has become the material of choice for several Ohio industries, including automotiveenergyadvanced manufacturing, and aerospace and aviation. Carbon fiber is an exceptionally strong material that's also lightweight. It is five times as strong as steel, but weighs about two-thirds less. Carbon fiber is also resistant to chemicals and tolerant of extreme heat. These qualities make it an ideal manufacturing material for many purposes.

Sometimes called "wonder steel," carbon fiber is not used alone. Instead, it is combined with other materials to create composites, and it is these carbon fiber composites that are used to produce items such as aircraft wings, propeller blades, wind turbine blades, car components, bicycle frames, lacrosse sticks and much more. The cost of manufacturing carbon fiber, however, has made it cost-prohibitive for mass production and cost-sensitive applications.

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