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Carbon Fiber over Fiberglass for fabric Answered

When making a composite anything, what is the advantage of having carbon fiber instead of normal fiberglass? I was wondering because at US composites, the carbon fiber is almost 9 times more expensive that the fiberglass.


do you know this material , i want understand if this low tensile strenght fabric is good for structural aircraft .


11 years ago

Simply put, carbon fiber has a much greater tensile and compressive strength than fiberglass at a lower density. So given an equivalent matrix (epoxy binder) and layup you can usually have a lighter weight finished product that has greater strength and stiffness. If you want to learn more a good book to read is "Competition Car Composites: A Practical Guide" by Simon McBeath Hope this helps!

Thanks a lot for the help! I am itching to make a project out of fiberglass, but have too many ideas that would cost too much :-(

You're welcome! I've been thinking about doing an instructable that shows how to make simple fiberglass and carbon parts using lost foam patterns. It's how I made some carbon fiber parts for my friend's racecar. It's not really the ideal method for structural components but you can make some cool stuff. It will take me a while to write up as I'd have to see if I can dig up all the old photos.

That would be great if you could post an instructable!

Here's photo of one of the carbon parts I made- it's part of the front section of a Mazda/Ralt CSR race car. I don't have many of the photos I took when I made it so I'll post a new instructable that shows how to make a helmet from fiberglass using a lost foam method. I won't have it done until Halloween though!


That looks amazing! Can you make a lot of money making parts for cars?

Thanks! Can make money making carbon parts for cars? That depends on a lot of things- proper design and engineering knowledge, manufacturing capabilities, etc. Carbon is one of those things that is really easy to screw up if you don't know what you're doing. The parts I made were non structural- all I had to do was modify existing bodywork, which is a lot simpler that creating a component that is designed to carry structural loads.

So you add the carbon fiber on to the existing hood make the cars look cool, right?

Some people do that- it's called "carbon look." :P The better quality hoods are all carbon, although some are a mix of carbon and fiberglass. The parts I made were all carbon.

Thanks for all of you help!