Fiber news

Design News goes to Lamborghini’s carbon fiber school

Carbon fiber isn’t yet an everyday material, but it’s becoming mainstream enough that it’s easy for us to forget about the time and labor it takes to make things out of this material, even if he doesn’t quite have the exotic aura he once had. did.

This carbon fiber bike bottle cage is $65 at REI and weighs just 65 grams. So while a bike with a carbon fiber frame is still expensive, even casual riders can enjoy the benefits of carbon fiber. A carbon fiber pick is only $5.

Lamborghini uses carbon fiber to make its cars stronger and lighter. That’s because carbon fiber has 171% the specific stiffness of aluminum and 389% the specific tensile strength, according to composites supplier DragonPlate.

Lamborghini uses carbon fiber in all of its cars, using a composite material to replace almost all metal parts aside from the drivetrain, suspension and brakes. To better understand the effort required to produce so many carbon fiber parts, Lamborghini invited me to a workshop where I would do the work of layering the carbon fiber fabric in preparation for sending it to cook in the autoclave.

Click through the slideshow to see how it went and what I learned. Spoiler: Making carbon fiber parts is harder than it looks, and it looks pretty hard.