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What is the difference between CRP, carbon and carbon fibre?
There is none, because:
CRP = Carbon fibre Reinforced Polymer, which is the technically correct term
Carbon = is the popular abbreviation of Carbon fibre reinforced polymer
Carbon fibre = is the incorrect abbreviation of carbon fibre reinforced polymer
Advantages of carbon fibre, CRP and carbon
Using carbon for sustainable products
Carbon has various desirable material characteristics. By means of the new carbon fibre polymer, new product features can be realised. Another advantage of CRP: machines, or entire systems work more efficiently when carbon is used.
It pays off to replace previously used materials with carbon, and to rely on the new polymer. Components from traditional materials such as stainless steel, aluminium etc., or synthetics such as PVC, are often replaced by pipes, panels, bars and other components from carbon fibre reinforced polymer.
Positive properties of carbon products
Carbon fibre enables the production of components with minimum weight and maximum resilience. Moreover, such CRP components are vibration resistant and x-ray transparent. In addition, carbon has minimal mass inertia, as well as a desirable visual appearance.
Carbon pipes and CRP square profiles have optimum torsional resistance and/or flexural rigidity.
In addition, CRP milled parts from carbon panels are resistant to the most aggressive detergents, and UV-stable.
Why replace components with carbon?
There are numerous examples for the replacement of traditional materials by carbon:
- Reducing the weight of the monocoque in a vehicle in order to reduce fuel consumption.
- Achieving more compact dimension for a machine.
- Increasing the clock rate of a machine, as well as its output.
Carbon fibre isn’t always the material of choice. Glass fibre reinforced polymer can be an advantageous alternative to semi-finished products from carbon.
CRP products: Which sectors and industries benefit?
The manifold properties of carbon fibre components offer previously little-used or unknown possibilities, not only systems- and mechanical engineering, but also for a multitude of other sectors and applications.
Carbon components are often used in aircraft construction. This is a result of the properties of CRP: Tensile strength, corrosion resistance, torsional stability, as well as good resistance to atmospheric influences. Furthermore, carbon plays a role in the following areas:
- Mechanical- and systems engineering (precision rollers, drive shafts)
- Medical engineering (x-ray resistant components)
- Automotive (drivetrains, square profiles)
- Aviation (tail units)
- Wind power systems engineering (rotor blades)
- Prototype construction (model construction)
Other sectors and industries incrementally replace materials with carbon fibre and benefit from the manifold product advantages.
Carbon products for innovations
The CRP raw material is also suitable for developing technological innovations.
- Prototype construction
- Model construction
- Small series production from batch size 1
Pipes, bars and milled parts can be realised as individual prototypes, as well as in mass production. After all, new automation solutions are continuously developed for prepreg technology, also for larger volumes.
Components from CRP incur higher procurement costs as compared to other lightweight materials, such as aluminium. However, the advantages are decisive in the long run. Strategic and cost efficiency considerations ensure that the manufacturer enjoys a sustainably superior market position vis-à-vis his competitors.
Benefits at a glance:
- Ability to reconsider products, and improve their material properties
- Functional expansion (x-ray transparency etc.)
- Energy saving (through weight reduction)
- Durability improvement
- Traditional lightweight materials have lower durability and torsional stability.
- Components can be visually refined, e.g. with carbon fibre films on the dashboard
Costs and benefits must therefore be considered on a case-by-case basis. In doing so, the improved market- and competitive position to be achieved must be weighed up against the higher production costs. Carbon can deliver a competitive advantage to the company. Those who know the latest construction technologies can benefit from the advantageous properties of carbon fibre by replacing raw materials such as aluminium, stainless steel and synthetics.