Aftermarket automotive body upgrades come in a few different materials. Choosing a front spoiler, rear spoiler, or side skirt will present you with various offerings such as fiberglass, ABS plastic, and carbon fiber. Each has its pros and cons, but some are better for specific applications. Today, we will look at the differences between two of the most popular options, carbon fiber, and fiberglass.
WHAT IS CARBON FIBER?
Carbon fiber is a very lightweight and strong polymer compared to other materials. It is made of thin, strong crystalline carbon filaments, weaved together for added strength. Carbon fibers have several advantages: high stiffness, high tensile strength, high strength-to-weight ratio, high chemical resistance, high-temperature tolerance, and low thermal expansion. Carbon fiber commonly gives a car a more stylish, strong, and lightweight look/performance.
WHAT IS FIBERGLASS?
Fiberglass is similar to carbon fiber but is comprised of thin glass filaments that are larger than carbon and not as strong. Fiberglass does have a high strength-to-weight ratio, making it a great material for auto body parts. It is also very cost-effective when compared to its carbon fiber counterparts. Like carbon fiber, fiberglass is corrosion resistant and performs well in acidic or other chemically challenging environments.
The weight difference between carbon fiber and fiberglass is about 15% less than similar carbon fiber components. While this may not seem like much, for those, who are building lightweight vehicles or race-purpose vehicles, every pound counts. Carbon fiber is a very popular choice for those who are looking for the lightest components without sacrificing strength.
Comparing the strength of carbon fiber and fiberglass, carbon fiber is going to be over 20% stronger than most fiberglass. This is important to consider when choosing components for your vehicle as you do not want to have your body parts crack or break under pressure.