Carbon Fiber Tubes
Because of their unique material properties, carbon fiber tubes are used in numerous applications. They can be used to replace traditional materials such as aluminum, steel, and, titanium. As a result, carbon fiber tubes offer the following desirable properties:
- High strength, and, stiffness with low overall weight
- Excellent fatigue resistance
- Dimensional stability: Low to Zero CTE (Coefficient of Thermal Expansion)
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Types of Carbon Fiber Tubes
Standard Modulus Carbon Fiber Tubing (SM)
This is the most common grade of carbon fiber we use for our carbon fiber tubes. Standard modulus offers excellent strength, and, stiffness. As a result of being 1.5 times stiffer than aluminum, it is excellent for bending applications. It is the most economical grade.
Intermediate Modulus Carbon Fiber Tubing (IM)
This grade of tubing offers enhanced stiffness over standard modulus carbon fiber tubing with the same, or, better strength. Intermediate modulus is about two times stiffer than aluminum tubing.
High Modulus Carbon Fiber Tubing (HM)
High modulus carbon fiber is three times stiffer than aluminum (or equivalent to steel stiffness). This grade of tubing is very similar strength to standard modulus carbon fiber tubing. As a result, it is an excellent choice for demanding, or, weight sensitive applications.
Ultra-High Modulus Carbon Fiber Tubing (UHM)
This grade of tubing is incredibly stiff at four-five times that of aluminum. It is about 1.5 times stiffer than steel. Ultra-high modulus has lower strength, but, is very stiff, as a result of this, it is not recommended for high stress applications.
Standard Carbon Fiber Tube Options
Carbon fiber tubes can be fabricated into virtually any shape. These include:
- Oval, elliptical
- Octagon, hexagon
- Custom shapes and profiles
We offer stock, build-to-order, and custom carbon fiber tubes in multiple diameters. Custom tooling can be made to order for reasonable cost.
- Wide range of diameters from 0.060” to over 10”
- Most common fractional sizes (ID and OD)
- Tapered diameters
- Many metric sizes
- OD grinding add-on service (+/-0.0005”)
Carbon fiber tubes are made with layers of prepreg, typically ~0.006” per layer. Virtually any wall thickness can be made by changing the number of layers or combining different prepreg thicknesses (0.003” – 0.010”). Common tube thicknesses include:
- Thin wall: 0.010”, 0.020”
- 0.035”, 0.041”, 0.058”, 0.064”, 0.092”
- 1/8”, 1/4” or thicker
Roll-wrapped carbon fiber tubing is sold in standard lengths or can be built custom to reduce waste.
- Maximum length is 100” (for most ID sizes)
- Long lengths: tubes can be joined together with internal (or external) ferrules to achieve the required length.
- One-piece longer lengths are possible for larger orders
- Tubes can be cut to size for an additional charge.
- Precision cutting tolerances available (+/-0.010” or better)
Carbon fiber tubes can be made with a variety of exterior finishes. Our standard finishes include:
- Cello-wrap (glossy with resin ridges – natural result from production process)
- Matte (sanded or centerless ground)
- Satin (sanded, high grit)
- Glossy (clearcoat)
Visit our finishing capabilities page to learn more.
We offer many standard exterior materials for our roll-wrapped carbon fiber tubes. These include:
- 2×2 twill fabric
- Plain weave fabric
- UD (unidirectional)
- Silver texalium
- Custom colors/styles: any fabric that is commercially available can be utilized to make carbon fiber tubing.
Custom-Made Carbon Fiber Tubes
When a job calls for a custom-made carbon fiber tubing, turn to Clearwater Composites. We have the capacity to create carbon fiber and composite materials in any shape or size, and we work closely with our clients to meet their exact specifications.
If you can’t find what you need in our extensive product inventory, talk to one of our engineers about your specific needs.