It is quite possible that you have not heard of aramid fibers before reading our article. However, the chances are that many if not most of you have heard of carbon fiber, or you will have seen something made out of “carbon fiber”. Why do I add the quotation mark to carbon fiber? Because the truth is that a lot of what you see is just as much about aramid fiber as it is carbon fiber.


To give you some examples, both aramid fiber and carbon fiber can be used as a key material in body armor, but it is quite hard to tell one from the other just by looking at their appearance. Similarly, there are a lot of carbon fiber phone cases on the market today, which happen to look very similar to aramid fiber phone cases. Due to the misleading information given out by some manufacturers, a lot of users as well as retailers have mistaken one for the other. But, they are in fact they are two completely different products.


The Colors


#Aramid Fiber


Aramid fiber, in its natural state, is a bright golden yellow color. However, in recent years, scientists have been able to develop distinct colors such as black, red, orange, green or blue.


#Carbon Fiber


Carbon fiber, on the other hand is always black and will always be black, it cannot be colored. The only way to change carbon fiber’s appearance is by blending it with something, with what you might ask? Well, some coloured aramid fiber of course.


The Weave


#Aramid Fiber


When woven together, aramid cloth comes in two types of weaves, the plain one and the twill one. Twill weave is typically used where improved flexibility is required, whilst the plain weave is very common in composites because it offers uniform properties, maximum stability as well as simple surfacing characteristics.


#Carbon Fiber Weave


Classic carbon fiber fabrics are woven toward their fiber orientation and are commonly used in the composites industry and as per the aramid fiber, they include plain and twill weaves. The plain weave is less pliable and more cut-resistant, whilst the twill weave has fibers that run straighter and longer, maintaining the theoretical strengths of the fiber as well as making it more pliable and stronger than the plain weave.


#Carbon-Aramid Hybrid Fabrics


As well as the classic weaves of these two types of fiber, aramid can be woven into Hybrid Fabrics which are blended with carbon fiber. This way the properties of the combined fibers are enhanced by synergy. (Synergy is the creation of a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts)


Or, to put it in another way, when combining two or more fibers, the resulting material tends to keep the stronger properties whilst giving up the weaker ones. Thus, a hybrid weave fabric is often the preferred choice for many composite manufacturers.


Aramid Fiber VS. Carbon Fiber: Who is the Winner?


So, after going through the comprehensive analysis. Hopefully, you will be a little clearer in the differences between these two very interesting fibers.


But what exactly does that mean to those manufacturers who use these materials?


Well, that depends on what they are trying to do with it.


In short, if the strength of the material is the only consideration, then the stronger aramid fiber is the better choice. However, if it’s the stiffness that you need, then you go for carbon fiber.


Taiwan Electric Insulator is a manufacturer of aramid cloth, including aramid fiber fabric, ballistic aramid fabric and colored aramid fabric. To go with the ever-changing requirements, Taiwan Electric Insulator is dedicated to development and innovation of aramid fabric to meet the highest level of customers’ satisfactions. Find more details about aramid cloth, welcome to contact with TEI.


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