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  • Topic: Carbon fiber, Carbon, Composite material
  • Pages : 23 (7662 words )
  • Download(s) : 48
  • Published : December 12, 2012
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Module Code: PM 505
Class/Group: Group A
Module Title: Science & Engineering Double Project
Assessment Title: Secondary Research Project
Assignment Title: Feasibility of Carbon Fibers to Replace Steel in Manufacturing Civilian vehicles Tutor Name: Bob Wallace, Ben Brown
Student ID Number: 2014268
Date of Submission: Thursday 26th June 2012
Word count:7350
Abstract
Carbon fiber composites have recently attracted much attention as lightweight materials in the automotive industry, particularly in civilian vehicles. An increasing number of engineers have concerned about the feasibility of carbon fibers to replace conventional steel which still dominate the material market of manufacturing vehicles. In order to find out the feasibility of replacing steel, a number of literatures and data had been read which has helped to give a comprehensive overview of basic concepts of this topic. During this secondary research project, a comparative analysis had been conducted between these two materials using several criteria to obtain the results. Implications for further research have been pointed out, which are, developing the technology in the process of fabricating carbon fibers in order to reduce the cost during the fabricating steps, on the other hand, improving the public cognition of the new material in order to receive the acception from public and to minimise controversy.

Key words: Carbon fiber, replacing, feasibility, cost.

Contents
Abstract……………………………………………………………2 1. Introduction………………………………………………………4 2. Literature review…………………………………………………7 1. Introduction……………………………………………………….7 2. Definition of composites………………………………………….7 3. Two dominant classes of commercial carbon fibers……………...8 4. Structure of carbon fibers………………………………………..10 5. Properties of carbon fibers………………………………………11 6. Study of building a conventional steel vehicle………………….12 7. Application for Carbon fiber composites………………………..13 3. Methodology…………………………………………………………14 4. Discussion……………………………………………………………16 1. Comparison in aspect of environment…………………………….16 2. Comparison in aspect of efficiency………………………………..19 3. Comparison in aspect of safety……………………………………21 4. Limitation of this study……………………………………………23 5. Implication for further research…………………………………...23 5. Conclusion…………………………………………………………...24 6. References……………………………………………………………26.

Introduction
In recent year, it is commonly accepted that carbon fibers are the most successful derivative from carbon product which had been commercialized during the past years (Edie, 1998). In terms of the basic structure, carbon fibers (CF) consist of fibers about a diameter of 5–10 micrometers and compose mainly of carbon atoms (Hegde, 2004). Interestingly, the carbon fiber came into being in 1879, inventor, Thomas Edison had used carbon fibers as filaments for electric lamp (Gill et al, 1972: 12). Notably, this carbon fibers created by Edison were based on the cellulose as materials, which unlike the petroleum-based precursors used today. About 8o years later, a high-performance carbon fiber was discovered through the process of heating strand of rayon. Unfortunately, this type of fiber was considered to be lack of efficiency. In other word, this high performance carbon fiber contained only approximately 20% carbon which might lead to low tensile strength and stiffness compare to current carbon fibers. Additionally, it can be seen an enormous leap in the early 1960s, polyacrylonitrile was introduced as the raw material to the manufacturing process of carbon fiber which contained more than 50% carbon. Despite the fact that it seems to be still lack of tensile strength, it can be considered to be ideal for conducting electricity (Safarova, Gregr, 2010). Ultimately, these types of ramifications were replaced by polyacrylonitrile (PAN) and pitch based materials which can be seen more efficient (Chung, 1994). According to Chung (1994: 6), carbon...
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