Carbon fiber is a polymer, also known as graphite fiber. It is a lightweight but very strong material. Carbon fiber is five-times stronger and twice stiffer than steel, but its weight is much lighter than steel. Therefore, it has become an ideal manufacturing material for many parts.
Carbon fiber is made of thin, strong crystalline filaments of carbon that is used to strengthen material. It has the following characteristics:
High tensile strength
Low weight to strength ratio
High chemical resistance
Tolerance to temperature and excessive heat
Low thermal expansion
Thanks to these features, carbon fiber can be used in many industries such as aerospace, automotive, military, and recreational applications.
From 2008 to 2017, China's carbon fiber industry market demand has shown an upward trend in general, except some slight declines in 2011, 2012 and 2014. In 2017, the market demand reached 21,911 tons, increasing by 12 % from a year earlier.
From the perspective of downstream demand, sport equipments and wind turbine blades account for a large proportion with the share of 50% and 15% respectively.
At present, America, China and Japan are the top three producers of carbon fiber, which account for 25%, 23% and 19% respectively in the global production.