Carbon fiber is by no means a new material. In fact, it was invented in the late 1950s. What we now know as carbon fiber fabric was developed for the U.S. Air Force by Union Carbide. It was intended to replace fiberglass fabric in aerospace manufacturing.
Today’s carbon fiber has a seemingly endless number of applications. According to Salt Lake City’s Rock West Composites, the biggest consumers of carbon fiber are the aerospace and marine industries. Yet everything from consumer electronics to sporting goods seems to embrace carbon fiber to some degree.
Just how pervasive is carbon fiber? Check out these five products you have probably never seen:
1. Carbon Fiber Rings
We have all seen wedding bands made of gold and silver. In recent years we’ve seen titanium and tungsten as well. Now you can get your rings made from carbon fiber. They are made using a special fabrication process to create tubes that can be cut to size and finished. A carbon fiber ring is as tough as titanium or tungsten while also weighing considerably less. It is so light that you might forget you are wearing it.
2. Carbon Fiber Fountain Pens
Most of us write so little that we barely pick up a pencil or ballpoint pen. Moreover, many of us have never seen an old school fountain pen either. Well, guess what? Fountain pens still exist. Now you can even get them with carbon fiber shafts.
The point here is not to create an indestructible fountain pen. Carbon fiber is chosen as the manufacturing material because it looks awesome. Making a carbon fiber fountain pen is all about taking something old and re-imagining it as something new.
3. Carbon Fiber Business Cards
Paper business cards are a dime a dozen. So are plastic. We bet you’ve never seen a carbon fiber business card, though. A carbon fiber business card is one made from carbon fiber fabric that has not been mixed with epoxy resin. It remains flexible enough to be printed on yet strong enough to withstand quite a bit of punishment. Though expensive, you would certainly make a statement with a carbon fiber business card.
4. Carbon Fiber Bathtubs
Manufacturers have been making bathtubs from fiberglass for decades. So why not start building them with carbon fiber? Some have begun doing just that, especially for customers that want modern fixtures at any cost.
The advantage of a carbon fiber bathtub is its lighter weight. The fact that it looks so cool doesn’t hurt, either. One of these tubs would look excellent in a modern bathroom with a black/white/gray color theme. Not that you would want it to, but carbon fiber tubs also hide a lot of dirt.
5. Carbon Fiber Straight Razor
Just like fountain pens, straight razors went out of style some years ago. Most men shave these days with disposable safety blades. However, if you are into doing things the way real men used to do them, shaving with a straight razor is still possible. If you want to look cool while doing so, consider a carbon fiber razor.
The blade itself is not made of carbon fiber; it is stainless steel. Rather, it is the frame that sports the carbon fiber. A carbon fiber frame reduces weight and looks rather sleek. Combine it with a carbon fiber case and your daily shave takes on a whole new meaning.
This is just a sample of the many carbon fiber products now on the market. Needless to say that carbon fiber has become a favorite manufacturing material with a lot of applications.