What is CFRP?

Light and Strong
Carbon Fiber

10 times stronger and a ¼ lighter than steel

CFRP has a lot of special characteristics that have been garnering attention from industries around the world.

CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics) is the name of a reinforced composite of carbon fiber and resin.
Its characteristics include having a lower density than metals such as steel or aluminum, while maintaining strongly reinforced mechanical properties. It's a light, strong material.
There are special characteristics in the design procedure too. The elastic modulus or strength increases along the fiber alignment, and by changing the fiber alignment, the design is freed up. It becomes possible to design with a completely different anisotropy from isotropic materials like metal.


What kind of material are used for the carbon fiber and matrix resin as the main materials of CFRP?
Here, we describe the type and characteristics of it.

Carbon fiber


  • High specific strength and anelasticity
  • Excels in corrosion resistance and chemical resistance.
  • Material with high flexibility of a design
  • Small coefficient of linear expansion, and excellent in dimensional stability.
  • Excels in fatigue characteristics.
  • Excellent vibration damping
  • Have conductive
  • Superior in X-ray transmission

Types of fiber

PAN group (polyacrylonitrile fiber)

It is used in for a wide range of fields, such as the aerospace fields, sports and leisure goods as a fiber of high intensity and a high elasticity

Pitch group (Fibers made from petroleum-based material, such as coal tar)

Mainly used in satellites or parts for transport satellites, as high elasticity or super high elasticity fiber for superior in high rigidity, heat conduction, conductivity.

Matrix resin

Types of resin

In case of main thermosetting resin (CFRTS)

  • Unsaturated polyester
  • Epoxy
  • Vinyl ester
  • Bismaleimide
  • Phenol
  • Cyanate
  • Polyimide

In case of main thermopplastic resin (CFRTP)

  • PA (Nylon)
  • PP (Polypropylene)
  • Polyphenylene sulfide
  • Polyetherimide
  • Polycarbonate
  • Polyethylene terephthalate
  • Polyether ketone
  • Polyetheretherketoneketone

Forming method

There are various kind of material of CFRP, also variety of molding method.
Here describe the type of molding method.

Type of molding method

  • Hand lay-up molding
  • RTM molding
  • VaRTM molding
  • SMC molding
  • Autoclave molding
  • Filament winding molding

Market Transitions

  • Introduction Period

    1971 - 1983

    • Development of golf shafts/fishing rods
    • Artificial satellite
    • Boeing 737, Secondary structural material
    • Boeing 737 & 767, Secondary structural material


    limited sectors

    • Fishing rods (sports application)
    • Aircraft secondary structural material (aerospace application)


    • High Quality
  • Growth Period

    1984 - 1993

    • Tennis racket & golf shaft boom
    • Airbus A320, primary structural material
    • Boeing 777, primary structural material
    • Global aircraft recession


    application expansion

    • Tennis racket (sports application)
    • Golf shaft (sports application)
    • Aircraft primary structural material (aerospace application)


    • Product Line Expansion
    • Progress of Forming Process Technology
  • Expansion Period

    1994 - 2003

    • Full-scale industrial applications
    • Expansion of communications satellite applications
    • Synchronized terrorist attacks in the US
    • Aircraft recession
    • Airbus A380, primary structural application


    Full-scale industrial applications

    • Pressure vessels (industrial application)
    • Industrial machinery, ships (industrial application)
    • Civil-engineer construction, repairs & reinforcement (industrial application)


    • Cost savings
    • Large construction material
  • Full-scale Expansion Period

    2004 - 2011

    • Boeing 787 project


    Rapid aerial application expansion, full-scale automotive

    • Large aerial program (aerospace applications)
    • Wind-power generation (industrial application)
    • Automotive related, undersea oilfield (industrial application)


    • Processing method diversification
    • Recycling
  • Dramatic Expansion Period

    2012 -

    • Full-scale expansion of automotive applications


    Rapid aerial application expansion, full-scale automotive

    • Large aerial program (aerospace applications)
    • Wind-power generation (industrial applications)
    • Automotive related, undersea oilfield (industrial applications)


    • Processing method diversification
    • Recycling

Providing materials: Toray Industries, Inc.

The main uses

  • Aerospace field

    Rockets, satellites, military aircrafts, commercial aircrafts, etc.

  • Two wheel / automotive field

    Racing car and bike (F1, GT, MotoGP), luxury sports car, racing bike etc.

  • Train field

    Railway vehicle such as the Shinkansen (the lead vehicle of it) etc.

  • Marine field

    Deepwater exploration vessel, racing ship, etc.

  • Industrial field

    Measurement apparatus, the robot arm for conveyance, notebook PC , etc.

  • Construction and civil engineering field

    A stiffener with less corrosion degradation which changes to rebar, such as a bridge pier, etc.

  • Energy field

    The beam of the braid of large-sized wind power generation,and core material of a power line, etc.

  • Sports and leisure field

    Golf shafts, tennis rackets, fishing rods, bicycles, etc.

  • Medical field

    Roentgen and top plate of Xrays CT, wheelchairs, artificial bones, etc.