Composites Classroom

Latest news from the Labs:
  1. Carbon fiber is one of the most popular composite materials chosen to replace metals, woods, and weaker plastics. A carbon fiber reinforced polymer offers excellent tensile strength and rigidity at comparably low weight. As with every manufacturing material, there are right and wrong ways to work with carbon fiber. If you are a seasoned fabricator, much of what you read in this post is probably already familiar to you. But if you are new to the carbon fiber game, the four tips listed here are particularly important. Knowing how to work with carbon fiber is as important as designing the parts you are hoping to build. 1. Handle with Care Carbon fiber materials are quite strong and durable. Still, they can be damaged with improper handling. We always advise customers to handle their materials with care. For example, carbon fiber fabric should be kept in its original packaging until you are ready to use it. If you don't use all the material in a single session, put what you do not use Read more...

4 Tips for Working with Carbon Fiber Materials

Carbon fiber is one of the most popular composite materials chosen to replace metals, woods, and weaker plastics. A carbon fiber reinforced polymer offers excellent tensile strength and rigidity at comparably low weight. As with every manufacturing material, there are right and wrong ways to work with carbon fiber. If you are a seasoned fabricator, much of what you read in this post is probably already familiar to you. But if you are new to the carbon fiber game, the four tips listed here are particularly important. Knowing how to work with carbon fiber is as important as designing the parts

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Yes – That Dinosaur Skeleton Might Be Glass or Carbon Fiber

    Have you ever spent time in a natural history museum gazing at the skeleton of a dinosaur? And if so, did you ever stop to consider whether or not the bones of that skeleton were real? We hate to burst your bubble, but it is highly likely that not all of the bones were genuine. In fact, the entire skeleton could have been made from glass or carbon fiber. Apparently, scientists need only about half the original bones from a dinosaur skeleton to create a complete replica. Furthermore, it is extremely rare for paleontologists to recover 100% of the bones of a particular skeleton

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What Do You Get When You Cross Plantains with Carbon Nanotubes?

One of the most exciting aspects of working in the composites industry is developing new composite materials through science. That is how we came up with carbon fiber decades ago. Scientific experimentation with different materials has brought us everything from glass fiber to Kevlar. Now there is a new kid on the block, a kid our industry is pretty excited about. That kid is the carbon nanotube, and it represents one of the building blocks of a new breed of composites combining carbon molecules with natural fibers and epoxy resin. A project now being developed at the University of

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Why the IACMI's Fuel Tank Project Is So Important

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded some $2.7 million to the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) for the purposes of developing new composite fuel tanks made mostly of carbon fiber. The fuel tanks themselves are nothing new, and manufacturers have been making them for quite some time. So why is the government spending so much money on this project? The DOE's goal is to cut the cost of manufacturing high-performance carbon fiber by up to 25%. With that kind of savings, it would be easier to justify manufacturing the majority of hydrogen and natural

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Tennessee County to Receive New Composite Bridge Deck

When engineers first installed a concrete bridge on Elizabeth Church Road in northern Tennessee's Morgan County decades ago, they were working with the best materials they had at the time. That was then. This is now. The dilapidated bridge is in desperate need of replacement. It will be replaced shortly, but not with concrete and steel. No, Morgan County is set to receive a brand-new composite bridge deck at no cost. The bridge is being designed and manufactured by a consortium of business and research partners that have agreed to cover the costs themselves. They benefit from the opportunity

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