Applications of Carbon fibers in thermoset matrices

Model airplanes: It is not surprising to find that carbon fiber has been used for making parts of model airplanes and Northeast Sailplane products market the quite majestic looking radio controlled Graphite F3J sailplane with a wingspan of 3.1m, carbon fiber is used in the fuselage, wing tips, and trailing edges. Northeast also uses a carbon fiber tube for the FKV Jonny Bee to help achieve light weight.

Knives, fountain pens, watches: Probably as a fashion trend, some models of Boker Klotzli Linerlock knives have been fitted with carbon fiber handles, one of them also being gold plated cfrp. Another fashion trend is the Dunhill carbon fiber/ palladium fountain pen, whilst introduced a pen with Ni plated carbon fiber.

The German company Janghens make watches with carbon fiber watch cases.

Precision instruments: An extendable micrometer can be advantageously manufactured from cfrp with the following advantages over its metal counterpart—less weight, no corrosion, less error due to flexing and less affected by body temperature. It is interesting that a set of measuring rods fabricated from cfrp were requested to be used for the scientific dimensional study of the pyramids.

A spectrometer body made from cfrp relies on the near zero coefficient of expansion of carbon fiber to give temperature range stability for its operation and replaces a 6 mm thick welded steelplate construction.

Tripods: Gitzo have introduced carbon fiber tripods which have proved most advantageous for nature photographers, being more stable and lighter in weight than similar Al tripods.

Optical instruments:

Telescopes: The large Millimeter Telescope in the state of Puebla, Mexico designed by Simpson, Gumpertz& Heger of Arlington MA, is a 50m diameter, fully steerable radio telescope, which uses cfrp tube members to minimize deformations due to gravity and thermal loads. It also has low coefficient of thermal expansion and stiffness to weight ratio that is 40% better than steel or Al.

The main tube, trusses and secondary tube of the amateur portable Uti 8in Newtonian telescope are made from carbon fiber, providing a stable platform for the optics, with virtually no distortion or sagging in the optical path.

Antebi describes the use of cfrp in the design of radio telescope structures.

Nikon feature several sports binoculars with carbon fiber shells.

Furniture: In Malaysia, an Australian company, Talon, manufactures elegant, durable and weather-proof ultra lightweight tables and chairs from metallic coated carbon fiber incorporated in an epoxy matrix. Composite Design also manufactures a range of lightweight furniture from cfrp.

Carbon fiber and wood: Tingley of Wood Science & Technology, corvalis, Oregon patented a technique for reinforcing engineered wood products with a thin sheet of fiber reinforced polymer composite, which could include carbon fiber to contribute stiffness. The glue-laminated wood can be used for structural beams in many applications, ranging from I-beams to skateboards and plywood. Many of these applications require stiffness and carbon fiber is the material of choice. The use of FRP provides added strength at a lower cost as compared to wood alone. The use of cfrp reduces the quantity of wood by 20-40%, giving a lighter product that represents some 2% of the total glulam market.


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