Giving carbon fibre extra chemical arms means it could have the gripping power it needs to stand up to minor traffic accidents.
High-performance cars use carbon fibre, making them lighter and consequently faster and more fuel-efficient. But carbon fibre is prone to damage from sudden impact and can’t be repaired, only replaced, making it costly to fix.
Deakin University’s Linden Servinis has developed a treatment that makes carbon fibre 16 per cent stronger by forming extra chemical ‘arms’ that grip onto its surroundings.
“The carbon fibre composite materials we work with are made of black hair-like carbon fibres weaved together and coated in hard plastic,” explains Linden.
“We’ve found a way to help the fibres hold together.”