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Carbon Fiber Health & Safety

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by n00b, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. n00b

    n00b Member

    Aug 16, 2012
    Not sure if this has been discussed in the forum, I was thinking of going with the CF trim, but am now having second thoughts after reading about carbon fiber in several articles pointing to the fact that when carbon fiber breaks, it creates very sharp splinters. In a crash, couldn't the CF trim interior pose a potential safety hazard to the occupants? Was the crash testing done with the CF trim?

    As well, carbon fiber produces extremely fine dust when cut (not sure about normal day-to-day wear and tear). Since the tiny dust particles are very 'sharp', they could be damaging to the lungs / eyes or at least very irritating to the skin.

    What do the more knowledgeable TMC members think?
  2. shokunin

    shokunin P85 & S40

    Feb 28, 2012
    Irvine, CA
    IMO, there's very little CF in the interior, mostly in the dash. The airbags would deploy during an accident and it's rather unlikely that an impact in the cabin would sever/cut the CF trim, which is extremely strong yet flexible. The CF is sealed usually with a finish, the matte finish is usually some sort of epoxy or UV resistant resin.

    I'd be more concerned with off-gassing of synthetic materials (true in many cars and furniture) than I would with CF in the interior.
  3. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

    Nov 3, 2009
    Smithfield, VA
    I would wager that if an impact is large enough to splinter the carbon fiber on the dash trim, and the airbags didn't save you, then you likely haven't survived the crash.

    And if you haven't survived the crash, I'd also wager that concerns over sharp dust or splinters won't be a concern :).
  4. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

    Jan 13, 2012
    Atlanta, GA
    Generally when airbags deploy they put out lots of very small glass bits as part of the reaction (or at least they did 10 years ago). I bet this is way more irritating than any carbon fiber that may be a problem.
  5. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

    May 10, 2012
    Timonium, Maryland
    I've worked a lot with carbon fiber. The woven carbon fiber cloth is impregnated with a resin, then cooked under high heat and pressure. This gives it hardness and great strength. The risk of dust once it's molded, even when it shatters, is very small. As for sharp pieces, that very much depends on the materials used and the nature of the break. Frankly, the greatest health risks are for the people who work with the stuff in manufacturing.

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