Researchers discover that chaos makes carbon materials lighter and stronger

In the quest for more efficient vehicles, engineers are using harder and lower-density carbon materials, such as carbon fibers, which can be manufactured sustainably by "baking" naturally occurring soft hydrocarbons in the absence of oxygen. However, the optimal "baking" temperature for these hardened, charcoal-like carbon materials remained a mystery since the 1950s when British scientist Rosalind Franklin, who is perhaps better known for providing critical evidence of DNA's double helix structure, discovered how the carbon atoms in sugar, coal, and similar hydrocarbons, react to temperatures approaching 3,000 degrees Celsius (5,432 degrees Fahrenheit) in oxygen-free processing. Confusion over whether disorder makes these graphite-like materials stronger, or weaker, prevented identifying the ideal "baking" temperature for more than 40 years.

Researchers discover that chaos makes carbon materials lighter and stronger

In the quest for more efficient vehicles, engineers are using harder and lower-density carbon materials, such as carbon fibers, which can be manufactured sustainably by "baking" naturally occurring ...

Mon 20 Mar 17 from Phys.org

Chaos makes carbon materials lighter and stronger, Mon 20 Mar 17 from Science Blog

Chaos leads to stronger carbon fiber

Carbon fiber is widely used in aircraft and performance cars thanks to its light-yet-strong nature, but it's still a fuzzy science. What's the ideal baking temperature, and ...

Mon 20 Mar 17 from Engadget

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