Now that people are concerned about the environment and their budget, fuel efficiency comes into play as one of the most important factors to consider whenever you are going to purchase a car. In fact, GT car manufacturers today improve the fuel economy of each new car that they release year after year. Though hybrid cars offer a good solution by using electric energy, most car manufacturers still hesitate to mass-produce such types of cars. One of the reasons of course is the fact that not everyone is open to the idea of charging their car for hours at a time. Fortunately, making the vehicle light is one of the best solutions that they can come up with. Carbon fiber is a strong and lightweight alternative to many car materials today.
What is Carbon Fiber
Among the most popular characteristics of Carbon fiber is that it is two times stiffer than steel while it is two-thirds lighter. This material is made up of different hair strand fibers made of carbon thus the name carbon fiber.
This finely woven material can be compared to fabric, and it takes a permanent shape once it has been placed on a mold. This has been used openly in different racing setups. In fact, Formula 1 is popular for using such methods n constructing powerful and lightweight vehicles.
Benefits of Carbon Fiber
Most of the cars today still make use of steel. In contrast to the cars using steel, cars with carbon fiber bodies of cars are claimed to be 60% lighter than conventional cars. Since the car is lighter, the engines do not have to struggle so much in order to keep the car working. This, in effect, can save fuel.
According to studies, cars using carbon fiber materials can actually decrease gas consumption by as much as 30% and cut greenhouse gas by 20% to 30%. The thing with carbon fiber is that it is safer than most materials used on cars today. According to studies simulating a car crash, the carbon fiber material can outperform steel in terms of safety.
The downside of Having Carbon Fiber
Carbon fiber is a top-of-the-line design in car manufacturing today. It costs around $10 per pound, which is more than 10 times the cost of steel. Analysts are now looking into the possibility of replacing steel in car manufacturing. According to them, the extra-durable material needs to drop to $5 per pound in order for car companies to consider making cars with carbon fiber bodies.
Another issue, when it comes with carbon fiber, is that it is not readily recyclable. Steel can easily be molded into new cars and other materials once it reached the end of the car’s lifespan. Carbon fiber, on the other hand, loses a lot of its property if you recycle it. Though it can improve car fuel efficiency among cars, this can create a bigger problem environmentally by creating more waste.
The car manufacturing industry improves year after year. The only puzzle with carbon fiber is how to make it as strong as it was before. We all know just how much gas is worth these days, and carbon fiber material brings us closer to a more fuel-efficient car than ever before.