Carbon for car tuning

Carbon for car tuning

Carbon is a composite material. It belongs to the class of carbon plastics – materials combining several thousand different formulations. What they all have in common is that they are filled with carbon (graphite) particles and fibers. The carbon fibers are the basis of carbon fabrics (carbon is, for example, a pencil lead). Only such threads are quite thin. It is easy to break it, but it is not easy to tear. They are used to sew fabrics, where carbon threads are bound parallel to each other.

Carbon fiber has a pronounced anisotropy (different properties in different directions), so to get a strong surface carbon fiber has to be placed in several layers, each time changing the direction of the threads. The fibers are bound with resins. To take full advantage of these materials it is necessary to use vacuum technology, heat treatment and engage complex equipment, such as an autoclave.

Carbon is 40% lighter than steel and 20% lighter than aluminum. Carbon fiber reinforced plastic parts are lighter and stronger than fiberglass. But paradoxically, car enthusiasts fell in love with carbon not for its outstanding properties, but for its original design. The fashion for carbon fiber trim came from sports cars, but there they had a clear purpose: maximum strength at minimum weight.

Automakers for cars in the premium segment use carbon fiber to reduce the overall weight of the car. For example, BMW uses Carbon Core technology for its new “Seventh Series”, which made the car 130 kilograms lighter.

Real carbon is a light and beautiful material. Given the characteristics, it is difficult to call it purely decorative and it is worth mentioning the disadvantages. It has a very small relative elongation, i.e. it does not stretch. Its brittleness and fear of pitting make it “delicate and vulnerable” to a certain extent. For a carbon fiber product to work properly, a lot of parameters have to be calculated precisely: the thickness of the layer, the direction of the carbon fiber strands, the amount of resin.

The definition “under carbon” characterizes the black and gray “checkerboard” – the original pattern. Films of this kind have appeared on sale a lot. Their main advantage is the low price and availability (sold in large car stores, you can order any color on the Internet).

For wrapping interior parts you need even less film – one-two meters is enough. This amount is enough to cover external parts of the car (side pillars, mirrors), as well as interior details (door handles, dashboard inserts, glove compartment). It doesn’t look bad, and the result/money ratio is minimal.

Films come not only in black, there are other colors – white, blue, red, and other colors. Earlier they were on sale only in 3D format with black checkerboard. Nowadays the 4D film is gaining momentum, which is closest in appearance to the real carbon and has a three-dimensional pattern.

It is worth saying that wrapping a car with a film is not an easy thing to do. Especially the 4D material.

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