Carbon fibre is the term for carbon filament thread made from carbon or graphite. The term is also interchangeably used for cloth or felt made from these carbon filaments. Synthetic polymer fibres are charred to create carbon fibre. There are numerous types of cloth that can be made from combining carbon and other fibres for different applications. Industrial uses are very broad, from tape to coating on the space shuttle.
Carbon fibre cloth can be woven with polyester resins to create material that is waterproof. This is a vital product for marine uses. Cloth is made into waterproof tape for repairs. A waterproof layer of cloth can be applied over a wooden hull when building a boat. Other products like mats use carbon fibre cloth to seal it from weather. Carbon cloth can also be combined with fibreglass material when strength is required. Surfboards and sailboards are examples of using waterproof carbon fibre cloth with fibreglass.
Graphite Carbon Fiber
Carbon fibre cloth is also made of graphite fibre. Although carbon fibre has greater tensile strength than graphite fibre, there are different uses for both types of cloth. Carbon fibre cloth is used in the automotive industry, and for aerospace and marine applications. More recently, carbon fibre cloth has been used for products like computers and photography equipment. Carbon fibre with graphite fibre is a cloth used when there is a need for high-temperature applications. An example of this is the "leading wing edges" and nose cone of the space shuttle.
Kevlar or aramid cloths were created by DuPont. The material is a synthetic fibre, poly-paraphenylene terephthalamide. According to DuPont, the fibres are five times as strong as the equivalent weight of steel, yet Kevlar is flexible. Kevlar woven with carbon fibre is used for making bulletproof vests.
Carbon Fiber and Fiberglass
Molds can be made using carbon fibre cloth and fibreglass. The carbon fibre helps keep the mould from shrinking, twisting or cracking. Typically, carbon fibre-based moulds are used to create carbon fibre parts.
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