Carbon fiber was first created in 1860 by Sir Joseph Wilson Swan, he created it to use in an incandescent light bulb. By 1879, Thomas Edison had used cellulose-based carbon fiber in some of the earliest light bulbs that were powered by electricity. Carbon fiber’s extraordinary heat tolerance makes it ideal for conducting electricity. Since those early uses and even earlier discoveries, carbon fiber has been used in several innovative ways over the last 160 odd years. Here is our top 5…
1. Tennis Rackets
With a greatly improved strength-to-weight ratio, carbon fiber tennis rackets are lighter and afford the player much greater control over their game. Carbon fiber also increases the speed at which the tennis racket can travel through the air when it is in use. They are widely available since their invention in the 1980s and are significantly more affordable these days than when they were first introduced to the market. Innovative inventions like these have changed our daily lives.
Carbon fiber bicycle and motorcycle helmets are a much safer alternative than their fiberglass counterparts. The carbon fiber tubes used in the bicycle frames are similarly durable and gave the inventor of the carbon fiber helmets a great idea. They are also more resistant to scratching and cracking. These helmets are also much lighter and more comfortable to wear.
Carbon fiber bicycles are more affordable than they have ever been in the past, despite this they are still considerably more expensive than the aluminum and steel versions. However, you will not find a lighter, more responsive, or better performing bicycle than a carbon fiber one. So, if performance and speed are what you are looking for then you should opt for the carbon fiber option.
When drones first came out in 1935 (believe it or not…) they were used by the military as low-cost radio-controlled unmanned vehicles. They were largely used for target practice before their myriad of uses were discovered. As they evolved into the useful tech gadgets that we know and love today, they started making them out of aluminum. Once carbon fiber was used in the production of drones, their weight was reduced by a whopping FORTY percent! That is one of the reasons why this lightweight material is so impressive.
There are so many carbon fiber options available to robotics designers and automation planners that it is no wonder it is such a popular choice for this industry. If you examine carbon fibers more closely you will notice that they are aligned, this means that it has different amounts of strength depending on which direction force is applied from. This makes it the perfect choice for making robotic arms and helps to lead us into the fourth industrial revolution. The world’s first carbon fiber composite industrial robot was announced in 2005 and although it has a large weight-bearing ability, it is lightweight because it is made from such a state-of-the-art material. It also runs at 600 palletizing cycles per hour, which is incredibly impressive.