Fiber news

Winter Olympic torches with carbon fiber shell made in Shanghai will be delivered to Beijing

Special: 2022 Winter Olympics

The first batch of 1,200 Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games torches, with their carbon fiber shells, will soon be delivered from Shanghai to Beijing, according to media reports on Wednesday.

Carbon fiber was first used as a material to produce the Olympic and Paralympic torches, both called “Flying”. The material is not only resistant to high temperatures up to 800°C, but it can also withstand strong winds and rainstorms and can be used in extremely cold weather.

According to Lin Shengbing, general manager of the Advanced Materials Innovation Research Institute of Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co, where the research, development and production of the Games torches took place, carbon fiber only a quarter of the mass of steel but seven to nine times stronger.

The institute was notified in June 2020 to continue research and development of the torch shell as required by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

Although carbon fiber has many advantages, it was not easy to integrate the carbon fibers into the shell of the torch with an upward spiral shape to look like two overlapping floating ribbons.

A 3D weaving team from Donghua University in Shanghai succeeded in weaving the shell of the torch with carbon fibers like weaving a sweater.

Later, the research team had more failures before finally solving the problem of combustion and high temperature resistance of carbon fiber composites.

In March 2021, Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co received the task to mass produce the flares. After overcoming a series of difficulties, the company finally produced the sample torch which was rated as light, strong and beautiful.