Carbon fiber composite material is an innovation that has many advantages, evolving from Thomas Edison’s roots to a nearly mainstream product today. Some of the first applications of carbon fiber were filaments in Edison light bulbs. The carbon fiber filament was a solution adopted between the expensive/problematic platinum wire and affordable and reliable tungsten filament that was used for generations. Today’s carbon fiber is made with microscopic stands of carbon material, woven together and bonded with epoxy resin in most cases.
Modern carbon fiber materials are very strong and stiff, but what makes this composite material a game-changing solution is when those aspects are compared to weight. There are many different unique material variations and applications for carbon fiber, each implementing a different solution. A general summary states that a carbon fiber part will be half the weight of the same size aluminum part and five times as strong as the duplicate steel version. This strength-to-weight ratio makes this material uniquely wonderful for many applications. Carbon fiber can improve many products, such as bicycles (lighter/faster), wind turbine blades (larger/more efficient) and helmets (stronger/lighter).
(Did you know that carbon fiber is smaller than human hair? There can be in excess of 14,000 individual fibers in a finished piece of carbon fiber just 25 mm in width.)
The process for creating carbon fiber continues to be rather expensive. Weaving the microscopic carbon fibers together with a binding resin is one of the final stages for the raw material and is where measurement feedback has a lot of value. High-precision, expensive material manufactured with new and evolving processes are a good fit for real-time, precise quality feedback. NDC has been able to provide different solutions to multiple manufacturers to measure coating weight, length and other aspects to optimize the customer’s production of this advanced material.
Did you know that NDC has been involved in this industry for nearly 30 years? It is expected for manufacturers to continue to improve production efficiency and market saturation. Will the need for measurement increase as well?
Contact us today to learn how our measurement and control solutions can help your process.