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Why is carbon fiber used in sports cars?

Posted by Ethan on 14th May 2020

Nowadays, carbon fiber composite materials have been widely used in the automotive industry, whether it is the transmission shaft, brake pads, or the tail, engine cover, we can see the figure of carbon fiber. You may not know what carbon fiber is, but you must know that this kind of material is good and expensive. In those far away sports cars, from time to time, carbon fiber is worshipped, with its own sports and performance halo, and the carbon fiber grain interior is also sought after by many models.


Light weight

The results show that for every 10% reduction of body weight, the fuel consumption is reduced by 6% ~ 8%, the emission is reduced by 5 ~ 6%, the acceleration of 0-100km / h is increased by 8-10%, and the braking distance is shortened by 2 ~ 7m. And lightweight body can also improve the handling stability of the car.

The biggest advantage of carbon fiber is that it weighs less than 1 / 4 of steel and is lighter than aluminum. It is the perfect material to realize "lightweight". 30% lighter than aluminum and 50% lighter than steel. If the steel parts of the car are all replaced by carbon fiber composite materials, the weight of the car body can be reduced by 300 kg.

Body lightweight can make the center of gravity of the whole vehicle move down, improve the handling stability of the vehicle, and the operation of the vehicle will be more safe and stable. Carbon fiber composite materials have excellent energy absorption rate, and the collision energy absorption capacity is six to seven times of that of steel and three to four times of that of aluminum, which further guarantees the safety of automobile.

High strength

The strength of carbon fiber is 20 times that of iron, and it is the only material that will not decrease in strength at 2000 ℃ high temperature. Its excellent impact absorption capacity is 4-5 times that of ordinary metal materials. For materials with the same cross-sectional area, carbon fiber can bear several times more force than steel.

When carbon fiber is applied to the half shaft and transmission shaft, better transmission efficiency can be achieved. In addition, carbon fiber is different from metal, with the characteristics of fatigue resistance and corrosion resistance. The carbon fiber components of vehicles have a longer life under normal use.

However, one of the major disadvantages of carbon fiber materials is its poor plasticity, which is mainly due to the ductility of steel and other metal materials, which can cause large deformation without damage, while carbon fiber composite materials do not have this characteristic. Therefore, it will be broken after a strong impact, can not be repaired but can only be replaced, with high cost. That's why only super runs and F1 cars use carbon fiber bodies.

Generally speaking, the performance of carbon fiber material is far better than that of steel in terms of performance. Under the same conditions, the carbon fiber body can improve the safety, handling, fuel economy, durability and other aspects of the vehicle. We just sit and wait for the cost of carbon fiber material to drop, and the household car can also "afford" this top-grade material. It is said that the BMW I3 is the cheapest car with carbon fiber, but never hit it.