Carbon clutch
Carbon/carbon is used in manufacturing
of F1 clutches, brake rotors and pads


Carbon-carbon composites consist of highly-ordered graphite fibers embedded in a carbon matrix. C/C composites are made by gradually building up a carbon matrix on a fiber preform through a series of impregnation and pyrolysis steps or chemical vapor deposition. C/C composites tend to be stiffer, stronger and lighter than steel or other metals.

Processing carbon-carbon composites consists of building up of the carbon matrix around the graphite fibers. There are two common ways to create the matrix: through chemical vapor deposition and through the application of a resin.

Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) begins with a preform in the desired shape of the part, usually formed from several layers of woven carbon fabric. The preform is heated in a furnace pressurized with an organic gas, such as methane, acetylene or benzene. Under high heat and pressure, the gas decomposes and deposits a layer of carbon onto the carbon fibers. The gas must diffuse through the entire preform to make a uniform matrix, so the process is very slow, often requiring several weeks and several processing steps to make a single part.

In the second method a thermosetting resin such as epoxy or phenolic is applied under pressure to the preform, which is then pyrolized into carbon at high temperature. Alternatively, a preform can be built up from resin-impregnated carbon textiles (woven or non-woven) or yarns, then cured and pyrolized. Shrinkage in the resin during carbonization results in tiny cracks in the matrix and a reduction in density. The part must then be re-injected and pyrolized several times (up to a dozen cycles) to fill in the small cracks and to achieve the desired density. Densification can also be accomplished using CVD.

A limiting factor on the use of carbon-carbon composites is the manufacturing expense associated with these slow and complex conventional methods.


Carbon-arbon nanotube

Carbon-carbon nanotube


Newest invention is use of carbon nanotubes. The strength of the sp2 carbon-carbon bonds gives carbon nanotubes amazing mechanical properties. The stiffness of a material is measured in terms of its Young's modulus, the rate of change of stress with applied strain. The Young's modulus of the best nanotubes can be as high as 1000 GPa which is approximately 5x higher than steel. The tensile strength, or breaking strain of nanotubes can be up to 63 GPa, around 50x higher than steel. These properties, coupled with the lightness of carbon nanotubes, gives them great potential in all applications but limiting factor is again manufacturing expense.


To know more about carbon, check out articles about Carbon fiber and Carbon fiber composites.

Back to the top of the page


Books to read


Some useful links:

- f1technical.net, a great site with a lot of technical information’s and explanations. Site is updated daily with news from F1 word.

 - autosport.com, This site is a legend. A bible for racing lovers. News from all around the word. Unfortunately, to get access to all news, interviews and to open the site completely you should be subscribed to Autosport magazine. Anyway, great read.

James Allen on F1
- JA.F1 site (or blog) ovned by ITV Sport’s lead commentator on Formula 1 James Allen

Joe Saward blog
- joesaward is the Joe Saward official blog about Formula 1 world. Joe is an journalist, who write primarily about politics in and around motorsport, specifically on the FIA Formula 1 World Championship

Vital F1
 - vitalf1.com/ is another great site for Motor Sports fan’s like me. Site is relatively new, but great fun, with great discussion forum, Formula 1 news and forum.

 GP update
- f1.gpupdate.net, Site with fresh news from Formula 1

Planet F1
 - planetf1, another site with many different articles, news and statistics. Biased toward British teams, but anyway good read.

Gurney flap
 - gurneyflap.com, Great history site. You can learn a lot from this site. Pictures, cars and many many more. Great.

4ormula1 is a database of Formula 1 history and statistics of drivers, teams, grand prix, and all results since 1950.

Missed Apex Podcast
Enjoy range of Podcasts and Articles on Motorsport. Every week a Formula one chat on Missed Apex F1 Podcast with F1 journalist Joe Saward and tech Analyst Matthew Somerfield as guests. Also the exciting all electric racing series formula E on eRadio Show and Bike Show Lean Angle Podcast.

Racecar engineering
-Racecar Engineering, an online magazine with a lot to learn from, a lot of technical information’s and explanations

 - fia.com, La Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, representing the interests of motoring organisations and motor car users. Head organisation and ruler in auto sport.

 - wikipedia.org, I don’t believe that I have to tell you anything about this site. It’s not about Formula 1 technology, but you can learn a lot about that too.

Sutton Images

grandprix photo

 - carbibles.com, a great site for normal car users. Here you can find explanations of almost everything about your car and how it works. Technical reviews and explanations of some in-car gadgets.

Dare To Be Different
- Daretobedifferent.org Susie Wolff and UK governing body of UK motorsport have joined forces to launch Dare To Be Different, a high-profile new initiative which is about increasing female participation, not just on the track but in all aspects of the sport.

Giorgio Piola web site