Today, steel and aluminum are still used for vehicle production. However, car manufacturers have also started applying carbon fiber a lot as they are searching for a way in which to reduce the weight of cars and thus make them faster and more efficient.
Some Interesting Facts about Carbon Fiber
The person who discovered carbon fiber was Thomas Edison. As we know, he invented the light bulb. But what very few of us know is that he baked bamboo slivers and cotton fibers to use them in the bulbs. The material that is in the composition of cotton and bamboo is cellulose. When it is heated, the cellulose becomes carbonized. This is how carbon was found.
Another interesting fact is that carbon is the most widespread element in the world. It is also the second element after oxygen that is the most abundant in the human body.
In 1958 another scientist, Roger Bacon, found a way through which to turn carbon into a solid. As a result, he got some tiny threads which were thinner than human hair but incredibly strong. These are the main characteristics of this material because of which it is used in a variety of industries.
The Application of Carbon Fiber in the Exterior of a Vehicle
One of the areas in which it is widely used is car manufacturing. Carbon laminates are applied both for interior and exterior. In this article, we are going to present its exterior applications.
Carbon fiber can be seen on the roofs of the cars, the hoods over the engine, the rear spoilers, the door handles, and even the side mirrors. Some vehicles also have a whole carbon fiber chassis (box) instead of a steel one. This carbon fiber box is 62 lb lighter than the original steel parts. In addition to saving weight, this box is resistant to corrosion and scratching because of the material it is made of.
There are some cars like McLaren 570S, which are entirely made of carbon fiber – both exterior and interior. This material makes them faster and more efficient because it reduces their weight. However, they cost a lot to produce, and that's the reason whole carbon fiber bodies are limited only to high-performance cars.
Advantages of Using Carbon Fiber in Exterior Car Design
The first advantage would be the weight of carbon fiber. As we know, it is much lighter than steel. So using this material for some exterior parts like the roof, the hood, or the aerodynamic elements of the car, reduces the weight of the vehicle drastically.
Another advantage is that it is resistant to external factors such as corrosion, scratching, or dents. The fact that carbon fiber is reinforced with resin also makes it resistant to heat or moisture. Yet another benefit is that this material is durable. That's why it is used in the car exterior to protect the car from damages.
Photos: Pexels, Unsplash, own archive