JAN HINSCH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. JAN HINSCH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
Light micrograph of carbon fibres in a carbon matrix. Carbon fibres are silky threads of pure carbon made by heat-treating organic textile fibres so that the side chains are stipped off, leaving the carbon backbone. These are subjected to further mechanical & heat treatment to orient the crystals along the axis of the fibre. Fibres measure about 7 microns in diameter. They are used to reinforce a matrix of resin, ceramic or metal (here carbon). It is a strong & light material capable of withstanding high temperatures. It is used in the aerospace industry as a component in jet engines & in medicine for making prostehtic devices. Magnification X28 (at 35mm size).
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