Carbon Fiber Composites

  • Krishan Kumar Chawla
Part of the Materials Research and Engineering book series (MATERIALS)


Carbon fiber composites started out in the 1950s and attained the status of a mature structural material in the 1980s. Not unexpectedly, the aerospace industry has been the biggest user of carbon fiber reinforced polymer matrix composites, followed by the sporting goods industry. The availability of a large variety of carbon fibers (Chap. 2) and an equally large variety of polymer matrix materials (Chap. 3) made it easier for carbon fiber reinforced polymer matrix 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 electrical conduction characteristics of carbon fibers are exploited; for example in situations where static electric charge accumulation occurs, parts made of thermoplastics containing short fibers are frequently used. As we did for other composite systems, we describe the fabrication, properties, interfaces, and applications of carbon fiber reinforced polymer matrix composites. A special emphasis is given to carbon/ carbon composites, an important subclass.


Fiber Volume Fraction Liquid Phase Oxidation Warp Yarn Carbon Fiber Composite Thermal Expansion Behavior 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Krishan Kumar Chawla
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Materials and Metallurgical EngineeringNew Mexico Institute of Mining and TechnologySocorroUSA

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