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How Strong Is Carbon Fiber?


With practical applications in virtually every field you can imagine, carbon fiber material is one of the most versatile synthetic materials used in the world today—and carbon fiber strength is one of the key reasons why. It’s strong enough for bicycle and motorcycle helmets. It’s strong enough to drive a golf ball 300+ yards on the PGA Tour. And it’s even strong enough to be the reinforcing composite material on a Boeing 787. So just how strong is carbon fiber?
Let show detail as below :

Carbon Fiber vs Metal

To measure a material’s stiffness or resistance to deformation, we use what is called a “modulus of elasticity”. For reference, easily pliable materials like polystyrene foam or rubber have modulus of elasticities of less than 1 GPa (gigapascals) whereas concrete has measure of right around 30 GPa. Both steel and carbon fiber measure upwards of 200 GPa (Zoltek PX35 is 242 GPa for the record) which, at first glance might suggest they are roughly equal to one another in terms of strength.

Carbon Fiber Strength

Because carbon fiber carries a comparable stiffness and resistance to deformation as steel at a fraction of the weight, it is a preferred material when a product needs to be strong and lightweight. For example, carbon fiber has replaced metal alloys in many aerospace applications allowing for lighter weight and more fuel efficient planes. Carbon fiber has become a favorite material for bicycle and motorcycle helmets as well offering steel-like protection in a lightweight package.


Of course we’ve only begun to scratch the surface in terms of the mechanics behind carbon fiber strength. Carbon fiber is a unique and versatile material with a remarkable strength-to-weight ratio and it’s everyday applications are virtually limitless.