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11 Uses for Carbon Fiber Materials Today

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By Susan Melony

Although carbon fiber was invented back in 1958, the 1970s is when we saw a real surge in its use all over the world.

Today, the continued commercialization of carbon fiber has allowed these materials to be integrated into many areas of everyday life—including many of the products we use and enjoy on a daily basis!

Showing no signs of slowing down, the carbon fiber market is projected to grow to $13.3 billion by 2029. Here are 11 different ways in which carbon fiber materials are being used today.

1. Aircraft and Spacecraft

Carbon fiber has already revolutionized the way that aircraft and spacecraft are designed and built today.

Carbon fiber’s high ratio of strength to weight means that vehicles are able to more easily venture above ground—and even into space—while still being strong and durable.

2. Military Equipment

The military is another sector that has adopted carbon fiber materials and has made significant use of them. Today, applications range from drones and vehicles to weapons and headgear and much more.

3. Cars

One of the areas where carbon fiber has made its greatest impact is, of course, the automotive industry. These materials are used for all sorts of car parts—from small, more minor components, to much larger, more essential parts.

Again, thanks to its lightweight qualities, carbon fiber composites could soon reduce passenger car weight by 50%.

4. Sporting Gear

Because carbon fiber is so lightweight, it is used in the manufacturing of golf clubs, hockey sticks, and other sports equipment—items that need to be rigid but with the ability to also be swung at high speeds.

However, it’s also being used in sports where head protection is of the highest importance. Carbon fiber helmets are built for motorcyclists, horseback riders, and racing drivers—affording them much-needed protection without the helmets being heavy or cumbersome.

5. Bicycles

Steel, titanium, and aluminum are among the materials most commonly used for bicycle frames. However, more and more carbon fiber bikes are making their way onto the market, as carbon fiber composites boast 10 times the strength of steel and are yet 5 times lighter.

Tired of lugging around a heavy bike from one location to the next? Consider a carbon fiber bicycle that weighs a fraction of what other materials typically weigh.

6. Guitars

Carbon fiber is being used in guitar manufacturing today, and the materials actually present a few advantages. First, carbon fiber is typically scratch-resistant, so guitars constructed with carbon fiber are typically able to maintain their appearance and hold their value for longer.

Also, wooden instruments are notorious for warping or bowing with humidity changes. Carbon fiber guitars are less likely to be altered in these conditions.

7. Watches

When you think of luxury watch brands, more traditional colors—such as gold, silver, and brown—likely spring to mind.

While an all-black, carbon fiber watch goes against the grain of what people have worn on their wrists for generations, it’s a popular option among those who love the latest gadgets and tech trends. Not to mention, it weighs a little less than your typical watch!

8. Wedding Bands

If you’ve ever noticed someone wearing a black wedding ring, it’s likely that the ring is made either entirely from carbon fiber or from a combination of materials that includes carbon fiber.

These wedding bands are typically more affordable than traditional gold rings and they are even scratch-resistant. The one downside to owning a carbon fiber wedding ring, however, is that it cannot be adjusted.

9. Knives

Carbon fiber knives—particularly pocketknives—are becoming increasingly popular, as they provide a lightweight alternative to conventional knives. Carrying a heavy metal pocketknife around a campground or in the wilderness can be cumbersome, whereas a carbon fiber knife goes almost unnoticed.

Some knives feature carbon fiber handles with steel blades or vice versa, while some knives are constructed entirely of carbon fiber materials.

10. Wallets

Many people are trading in their old tattered leather wallets for stronger carbon fiber wallets—and not just because of their sleek, trendy designs.

To start, a carbon fiber wallet is lighter and more durable than a leather wallet. Even more importantly, these wallets are also much safer, as carbon fiber materials are able to block radio-frequency identification (RFID).

11. Phone Cases

The high strength and low weight of carbon fiber means that it is also a great option for phone cases.

These cases look trendy, but more importantly, they provide the phone with ample protection when it is scratched, knocked, or dropped.

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