What is Carbon Fibre?

Carbon Fibre is a super strong material that's also extremely lightweight. Engineers and designers love it because it's five times as strong as steel, two times as stiff, yet weighs about two-thirds less.

Carbon fibre is used in many areas where a combination of high strength and low weight are required.

Carbon Fibre is composed of carbon atoms bonded together to form a long chain. The fibres are extremely stiff, strong, and light.

Carbon Fibre is basically very thin strands of carbon -- even thinner than human hair. The strands can be twisted together, like yarn. The yarns can be woven together, like cloth. To make Carbon Fibre take on a permanent shape, it can be laid over a mold, then coated with a stiff resin or plastic.

Most motorcycle components are made of aaluminum or plastic and replacing those components with Carbon Fibre would reduce the weight of most motorcycles by 60 percent [source: USA Today]. That 60 percent drop in weight would, in turn, reduce that car's fuel consumption by 30 percent and cut greenhouse gas and other emissions by 10 to 20 percent [source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory] .

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