Carbon Fiber Composites

  • Krishan K. Chawla


Carbon fiber reinforced polymer matrix composites can be said to have had their beginning in the 1950s and to have attained the status of a mature structural material in the 1980s. Not unexpectedly, applications in the defense-related aerospace industry were the main driving force for the carbon fiber reinforced polymer matrix composites, followed by the sporting goods industry. The availability of a large variety of carbon fibers (Chap. 2), coupled with a steady decline in their prices over the years, and an equally large variety of polymer matrix materials (Chap. 3) made it easier for carbon fiber polymer composites to assume the important position that they have. This is the reason we devote a separate chapter to this class of composites. Epoxy is the most commonly used polymer matrix with carbon fibers. Polyester, polysulfone, polyimide, and thermoplastic resins are also used. Carbon fibers are the major load-bearing components in most such composites. There is, however, a class of carbon fiber composites wherein the excellent thermal and, to some extent, electrical conductivity characteristics of carbon fibers are exploited; for example, in situations where static electric charge accumulation occurs, parts made of thermoplastics containing short carbon fibers are frequently used. Carbon fibers coated with a Metal, e.g., nickel, are used for shielding against electromagnetic interference.


Carbon Fiber Fiber Volume Fraction Epoxy Matrix Ceramic Matrix Composite Carbon Fiber Composite 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Krishan K. Chawla
    • 1
  1. 1.Materials and EngineeringThe University of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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