Photo courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory
energy.gov | March 29, 2013 – 12:30pm
9. Carbon fiber — sometimes known as graphite fiber — is a strong, stiff, lightweight material that has the potential to replace steel and is popularly used in specialized, high-performance products like aircrafts, racecars and sporting equipment.
8. Carbon fiber was first invented near Cleveland, Ohio, in 1958. It wasn’t until a new manufacturing process was developed at a British research center in 1963 that carbon fiber’s strength potential was realized.
7. Current methods for manufacturing carbon fiber tend to be slow and energy intensive, making it costly for use in mass-produced applications. With a goal of reducing carbon fiber production costs by 50 percent, the Energy Department’s new Carbon Fiber Technology Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is working with manufacturers and researchers to develop better and cheaper processes for producing carbon fibers. Lowering the cost of carbon fibers make it a viable solution for vehicles and a wide variety of clean energy applications.