Carbon fibres are produced by thermal decomposition (pyrolysis) of organic fibre materials. Starting materials for the production of carbon fibres are organic fibre materials. These precursor yarns are either rayon or polyacrylonitrile (PAN). PAN has a higher carbon yield and is easier to transfer into a high grade carbon fibre.
There is another type of carbon fibre, that being a “pitched based carbon fibre”. One of the attributes of pitched based carbon fibres include the high conductivity of both electrical current and heat. Another advantage of the pitch based carbon fibres is their inherent capability of being designed and constructed to exhibit a “zero coefficient of thermal expansion”, or CTE = 0. The modulus exhibited by the pitch based carbon fibres is also generally significantly higher that the PAN based carbon fibres.
Carbon fibres are normally used in high performance structural applications and are much higher in cost than glass fibres.
These fabrics are available as woven fabrics, ie. Plain weave, 2×2 Twill weave, 4 & 8 Harness satin weave; as well as stitched fabrics, ie. Biaxial ± 45°, triaxial 0/90 with ± 45°, quadraxial 0+90 with ± 45°.