Carbon-fiber–reinforced polymer, carbon-fiber–reinforced plastic or carbon-fiber–reinforced thermoplastic (CFRP, CRP, CFRTP or often simply carbon fiber, or even carbon), is an extremely strong and light fiber-reinforced plastic which contains carbon fibers. The spelling 'fibre' is common in British Commonwealth countries.
CFRPs can be expensive to produce but are commonly used wherever high strength-to-weight ratio and rigidity are required, such as aerospace, automotive and civil engineering, sports goods and an increasing number of other consumer and technical applications.
The binding polymer is often a thermoset resin such as epoxy, but other thermoset or thermoplastic polymers, such as polyester, vinyl ester or nylon, are sometimes used. The composite may contain other fibers, such as an aramid (e.g. Kevlar, Twaron), aluminium, ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) or glass fibers, as well as carbon fiber. The properties of the final CFRP product can also be affected by the type of additives introduced to the binding matrix (the resin). The most frequent additive is silica, but other additives such as rubber and carbon nanotubes can be used. The material is also referred to as graphite-reinforced polymer or graphite fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP is less common, as it clashes with glass-(fiber)-reinforced polymer). In product advertisements, it is sometimes referred to simply as graphite fiber for short.
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