Applications of Carbon fibers on leisure goods and musical instruments (5)

Hang glider: Center of Gravity Inc. has developed a hang glider harness with a rigid carbon fiber frame in an aerodynamic shape and a smooth finish. The pilot can cause some 30% of the drag on a hang glider and utilizing a tapered tail and solid surface in the design contributes a 10% increase in efficiency in straight flight.

Canoe paddles: Olympic competition canoe paddles with tapered oval shafts weighing less than 200g are made by Zaveral Racing Equipment. Two layers of carbon fiber epoxy prepreg are laid at 0 and 90° to the shaft axis and a braided carbon sleeve is then pulled down over the prepreg using a 75mm diameter ±45° braid, which draws down to the 33mm diameter shaft, producing a ±18°braid angle with desired bending strength. The paddle is then taped with oriented PP film and oven cured.

For the recreational canoeist, a 425g blade is made using RTM, which enables the dry braid to be kept in position until it is thoroughly wetted out by the resin.

Wind surfing: A carbon/glass hybrid epoxy construction is used by Glasforms to make a stiff, resilient and light weight tube for the masts and battens of wind surfers. The tapered masts and the constant cross-section battens are made by filament winding with the continuous hybrid reinforcement multiple construction of axial and biaxial plies.

Musical instruments and Hi-Fi: An early application for carbon fiber was by Decca, to make a carbon fiber dust brush to clean vinyl records, but the author has always considered this a dubious practice due to the possibility that stray carbon filaments could cause damage to electrical circuitry of the Hi-Fi system. Expensive tone arms using cfrp provided increased rigidity with low weight.

Loudspeaker cones: Castle Acoustics has developed a 170mm bass/midrange, which uses a cone fabricated from woven carbon fiber reinforced resin to produce a diaphragm, which is light and stiff, with negligible energy storage potential, resulting in rapid sound transmission and dynamic sound quality, with virtually no coloration.

Sound Domain market 10 and 12 in subwoofers with woven carbon fiber cones and cast Al baskets.

Sennheiser has used a carbon fiber housing, acting as an excellent absorber of energy and cutting out non-musical resonances.

Carbon fiber cable: carbon fiber has been used for Hi-Fi cables.

Satellite reflectors: Nippon Granoc high modulus pitch based carbon fiber has been found to be an ideal choice for the manufacture of Ku-Ka band reflectors due to a near zero coefficient of thermal expansion over the operational temperature, and low electrical resistivity and high reflectivity at high RF frequency.

A light weight graphite fabric has been developed specifically for satellite reflectors.

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