Carbon fibers are strong, lightweight, and fatigue-resistant fibers used to build composite materials. By combining carbon fibers with epoxies, manufacturers can create incredibly hard, durable materials that outperform both individual material types. Composites are a relatively new production material compared to materials like aluminum, iron, and steel, but there are many benefits in choosing to work with carbon fiber-strengthened composites that span a range of industries.
Epoxy for Carbon Fiber
Composites are specialty materials made from a combination of fibers and resins. Epoxy resin is a thermoset polymer material that is heated and cured to chemically alter the material’s composition to create a permanently hardened substance. Most epoxy resins retain their positive attributes at temperatures as high as 175°C. Once the liquid polymers in an epoxy resin solidify, the hardened piece becomes strong, resistant to chemical and thermal damage, and can withstand physical wear or impact.
Epoxy resin is advantageous due to its properties in its liquid state. The material is a very strong adhesive with the unique ability to fuse with carbon fibers to create an even stronger microstructure that showcases the advantages of both the epoxy and the fibers.
Carbon fibers resist fatigue, have low thermal expansion, and can absorb or dampen vibrations. They are supplied in two forms that are suitable for creating composites. Carbon fiber tows are bundles of thousands of untwisted, continuous fibers which can be used directly in epoxies or converted into woven reinforcement materials like fabric or tape.
Benefits of Epoxy Resin for Carbon Fiber
Epoxy resin and carbon fiber composites are uniquely strong and offer excellent performance in commercial and industrial applications. Some of the benefits of this material include:
- Strength: Carbon fibers have very high tensile strength but are prone to damage. Epoxy resins have low tensile strength but their toughness and malleable properties protect the fibers from damage, creating an even stronger material.
- Lightweight: The composite material has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, surpassing even aluminum and titanium. As a result, manufacturers can produce lightweight parts that can be used in more energy-efficient vehicles and assemblies.
- Flexibility: Despite its strength and durability, the composite is simultaneously very flexible. This means the material can withstand strong impact forces by absorbing the force. It also won’t develop spider cracks under impact or when the material is bent.
- No shrinkage: Epoxy resins won’t shrink after curing. This extends the lifespan of composite parts and components used in harsh environments.
- UV resistance: The composite material can withstand exposure to sunlight. It’s 100% UV resistant, so it can be used in long-term outdoor applications without the risk of wear or degradation.
- Aesthetics: Epoxy resin and carbon fiber composites are transparent, which makes them an excellent choice for visible components and consumer-facing products.
Applications of Epoxy Resins With Carbon Fiber
Epoxy resin and carbon fiber composites are very versatile, which makes them useful in a wide variety of applications and industries. At Copps Industries, we formulate epoxy resins for composite materials used across the following applications:
- Aircraft and avionics
- Automotive component construction and assembly
- Boats and marine applications
- Consumer goods
- Corrosion-resistant parts for industrial and manufacturing equipment
- Military and defense
- Oil and gas processing
- Sporting goods and recreational products
Choose Epoxy Resins With Carbon Fiber From Copps Industries
Since 1979, Copps Industries has been a leading provider of high-performance epoxy resins for use in civil engineering, adhesives, manufacturing, and more. Our company is ISO 9011:2015-certified as part of our commitment to excellent product quality. We produce resins for use in a wide variety of different composite materials. Contact us today to learn more about our epoxy resin formulation capabilities and services. You can also request a quote to start your order.