carbon fibre reinforced plastics abbr., CFRP (rus. углепластики) — сomposites, composed of carbon fibre (see carbon fibre) and a polymeric matrix.


The major part of carbon fibre in production is used as a component of carbon fibre reinforced plastics. Thermosetting (epoxy, phenolic, polyimide) and thermoplastic (polycarbonate, polyester) resins are used as the matrix (binder).

Depending on the shape and size of the structural element, the following techniques are used in the production of carbon fibre reinforced plastic:

- transfer moulding to be used for thin-walled complex-shape products, with accuracy in shape and size being critical;

- autoclave moulding, as well as vacuum moulding with the difference between the two being lower pressure. At present, those mostly-automated processes are used in the manufacture of airframe structural elements;

- winding to be used for shells of revolution and grid structures for rocket engineering, pressure vessels, etc.;

- pultrusion (flow through a shaping hole) resulting in long-length parts of a constant cross section;

- mandrel moulding to be used in sports goods, with a typical example being a spinning rod.

In methods 1, 2, 5, and partly 3, prepregs are used, which are carbon fibre tape or fabric, pre-impregnated with a binder.

The main areas of application of carbon fibre reinforced plastics are: Aviation and rocket-and-space technology, industrial equipment (wind generator blades, high pressure vessels, gas centrifuges, deep-water drilling equipment), sports goods (tennis rackets, boats, bicycle structures, etc.).

The main drawback of reinforced plastics is their relatively low operating temperature, the most high-temperature polyimide matrix can be used at temperatures up to 400°C.


  • Lourie Sergey
  • Mileiko Sergey T.


  1. Mortensen A. Concise Encyclopedia of Composite Materials. — Pergamon, 2007. — 958 p.
  2. Fabrication of Composites // Handbook of Composites. V. 4 Ed. by A. Kelly, S. T. Mileiko. — North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1983.
  3. Composite Materials: Handbook (in Russian) / ed by. V. V. Vasil'ev, et al. — Moscow.: Mashinostroenie, 1990. — 512 P.
  4. V. Vasil'ev. et al. Anizogrid composite mesh design - development and application of space technology // Composites and Nanostructures (in Russian). 2009. #3. P. 38–50.

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