Carbon fiber for light racing
Carbon fiber is a high-performance material with exceptional mechanical properties. Its density is less than 1/14 that of steel, and its tensile strength can reach over 3500 MPa in carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP), which is 7-9 times higher than that of steel. The tensile modulus of elasticity is also higher than that of steel, ranging from 23000 to 43000 MPa. Therefore, the specific strength of CFRP, which is the ratio of strength to density, can exceed 2000 MPa·(g/cm3), while that of A3 steel is only about 59 MPa·(g/cm3).
This is why in the anime series "Initial D," the AE86 car has a carbon fiber hood after an engine swap to reduce vehicle weight, improve acceleration, and reduce the equivalent mass during collisions. The use of different materials results in different equivalent masses, with lighter materials having lower equivalent masses. However, the use of carbon fiber for the entire car body is not feasible due to the difficulty and cost of processing this material. Instead, aluminum is commonly used for the car body, while easy-to-process components like hoods and rear covers are made of carbon fiber.