Exploring the Versatility of Carbon Fiber Tubing for Engineering

carbon fiber tubing

What if your next tubing project used a material lighter than aluminum and strong enough to stop a bullet? You don’t need to treat the possibility like science fiction. Carbon fiber tubing offers unique properties no other material can match.

While carbon fiber tubes don’t work for every project, the material has become popular in many fields, including bicycle manufacturing and camera equipment. Carbon fiber is a great starting point if you need material that retains strength while looking for a lot much weight.

This article will look at some properties that make carbon fiber shine. Come along as we explore what makes it such a valuable material for engineers.

Carbon Fiber Tubing’s Chemical Resistance

Unlike steel or other metallic tubes, carbon fiber boasts great chemical resistance. Iron-based tubing can rust, and other metals can undergo similar transformations.

If you want a strong example of how engineers can use this to their advantage, look at bicycle frames. A bicycle must resist corrosion from frequent exposure to salty air and water. Carbon fiber frames avoid this problem.

Carbon Fiber’s Low Weight

Carbon fiber tubes weigh much less than aluminum or steel tubes. The exact amount varies depending on the application, but in some applications, carbon fiber can achieve similar results with a fifth of the weight.

For a real-world example of this application of carbon fiber parts, look no further than bridge building and repair. Bridge repairs have to have the strength to support cars and trucks while not weighing so much that the repair collapses under its weight. Is it any wonder engineers would look to carbon fiber as an ideal material for something like this?

For high-stakes applications like this, though, engineers need to make sure they choose the right type of carbon fiber. Different fibers have different strengths.

Carbon Fibers and X-Ray Transparency

While many engineers don’t need to worry about this, those who work in medical device engineering find this an asset. Metals don’t work well when making an X-ray table, for instance. Higher density and higher atomic numbers both lead to blocked X-rays.

Carbon fiber manufacturing for X-ray tables, meanwhile, offers a low atomic number and low density. It also offers better stiffness than other solutions like plastic or wood.

Carbon Fiber and Heat Resistance

Many carbon fiber uses rely on the heat resistance of the material. While the epoxy resin that carbon fiber uses in its construction also plays a role in heat resistance, carbon fiber withstands high temperatures well.

Heat-resistant epoxy makes for a durable, lightweight carbon fiber material in high-temperature applications. It can get expensive, though, so keep an eye on the budget.

Strong and Safe

Carbon fiber tubing has many properties that make it attractive for engineers in fields ranging from medicine to architecture. If you’re looking for ways to make parts that hold up to the elements and heavy-duty applications, give carbon fiber a look.

Do you think carbon fiber or other composites would suit your next project? Reach out to us for a quote. We’ll help you find the best material for your use case no matter how big or small your project is, and we’re excited to be part of your design process.

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