Carbon fibre, 1966.
3 0 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 22cm

Carbon fibre, 1966.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


The first production batch of carbon fibre, made by Courtaulds Ltd. Carbon fibres were first manufactured in the 1960s, by heating acrylic fibres to high temperatures. The resulting filaments of pure carbon graphite are extremely strong and stiff because of the alignment of their crystalline structure. This makes carbon fibre highly suitable for use in the manufacture of aircraft wings and fuselages, specialist engineering and sports equipment, and in jet engines and rockets, where strength at high temperatures is required.

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