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Atomic Structure

What are Carbon Fibres?

What are the Properties of Carbon Fibres?

Carbon fibres are very thin (see nanoparticles). They
are less than one hundredth of a millimetre in diameter.
They can be more than three times as strong as
steel but with less than one quarter of the density.

How are Carbon Fibres Made?

Carbon fibres are made by heating long polymer chains
containing carbon and other atoms until there is only carbon
left. The chains are heated where there is no oxygen
to prevent the carbon atoms reacting to form carbon dioxide.

What are the Uses of Carbon Fibres?

  Carbon fibres are used to reinforce a large number
of materials. These materials are mainly
polymers called carbon fibre reinforced plastic.
The carbon fibres make the polymer stronger.

Carbon fibres are used to make an increasingly
large number of products including
sports equipment (fishing rods, tennis rackets, golf clubs)
aircraft, cars, boats, and bicycles.

See also graphite and fullerenes.

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