Future Trends of Carbon Fiber Composites

Carbon fiber is a new type of high strength and high modulus fiber material with more than 95% carbon content. It has the characteristics of light weight, high strength, corrosion resistance, high modulus, low density, no creep, good conductivity and thermal conductivity, super high temperature resistance and good fatigue resistance under non-oxidizing environment, etc. It not only has the inherent characteristics of carbon materials. It is also a new generation of reinforcing fibers with soft processability of textile fibers. It is called “black gold” in the 21st century.

In terms of sub-industries, in 2017, the largest area of global demand was wind turbine blades, which accounted for about 19.8 million tons, accounting for 23.52%. Wind power generation is the fastest growing area of renewable energy in the world. Wind power blades are generally considered to be the most important growth market of high performance carbon fibers. Especially, the blades needed to manufacture super large wind turbines (the blade length of 2.5MW wind turbines is 40m, and that of 5MW wind turbines is more than 60m) must be light. Strong, rigid and rigid high-performance carbon fiber composites ensure structural strength while avoiding large deformation of blades or even impact on windmill support under wind load.

Next is aerospace, with a demand of 19.2 million tons, accounting for 22.80%. Carbon fibers were first used in the field of aerospace to fabricate satellite antennas and satellite supports, mainly using their light weight and good rigidity. Carbon fiber has been widely used in solid rocket motor shell and nozzle because of its heat and fatigue resistance. At present, civil aircraft is the main force driving the growth of carbon fiber demand.