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Social Impacts of Carbon Fiber

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Henri Kunold

on 7 December 2016

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Transcript of Social Impacts of Carbon Fiber

Save Us Carbon Fiber!
Thesis
The presence of world geopolitical tension prompted new military space demands causing the emergence of materials research and development of carbon fiber composites.
Politics
Roger Bacon's accidental discovery of carbon fiber "whiskers" was a tremendous discovery scientifically and politically. The United States at the time was involved in the Cold War with the Soviet Union. It was a rivalry of military strength and scientific exploration between two superpowers. Scientist on both sides were desperate to "one-up" each other, and to do this they invested in materials science. The shift of scientific research began in elementary and secondary schools. Under Dwight D. Eisenhower's Mathematics and Science Education Act, federal funding was provided to improve mathematics and science instruction in the elementary and secondary schools. The political influence can be seen extending into economical and cultural factors.
Culture
In response to the education shift under Eisenhower, cultural identity began to innovate and incorporate the theme of mathematics and science into its infrastructure and cultural way of life. This time and society that is ridden with fear of a nuclear fallout or losing to the USSR, proved to be perfect for introducing new innovations and great engineering strategies. Any solutions to the current political struggle were more than welcome in this American time and culture. Development of composites such as, carbon fiber, was motivated due to the desperate times in American culture.
Economy
The launch of the Soviet Sputnik satellite in 1957 was one of the primary promotions of the space race. This created massive amount of turmoil and fear in American politics and further encouraged the rapid development of materials.
Impact of Time and Place Circumstances
The circumstances of when carbon fiber was introduced could not have better. With American engineers looking to new materials to carry them into the stars, they had the economy, cultural demand, and political authority, to invest and quickly develop materials such as carbon fiber. Likewise, they were motivated by seemingly inevitable threats of nuclear fallout. Generating massive demands for scientific solutions to the political problems of Cold War America.
Henri Kunold (PM3)
Change in Daily Life
Daily Life Cont.
Environmental Impact
Environmental Impact Cont.
Support for Thesis
Annotated Bibliography
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The following years after the Great Depression and World War II, the economy boomed due to pent-up demand for consumer goods, and Europe's need for American goods to rebuild their nations.
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In regards to daily life, carbon fiber has made some of its largest changes in sports. This is due to carbon fibers ability to reduce weight without the sacrifice of strength.
However, most of carbon fibers uses are not in the realm of daily life. Many uses are in science and military demands.
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Formula One race cars have carbon fiber monocoque structures to protect drivers in crashes.
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Carbon fiber is also used as a substitute to aluminum in bike frames.
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Carbon fiber is sometimes used in consumer goods such as laptops and speakers.
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Carbon fiber is sometimes used in replacement surgeries, usually on the spine, hip, and foot.
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Currently the production of carbon fiber is heavily regulated. Their is a great deal of air pollution from the production equipment that needs to be controlled. Likewise, manufacturing of carbon fiber is very heat intensive and requires large sums of energy to function.
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To give perspective, developing carbon fiber is 14 times as energy-intensive as producing steel. How ever carbon fiber isn't all bad. Carbon fiber does not corrode, degrade, or fatigue. Likewise, carbon fiber is now recyclable and has helped to lower the energy intensive process.
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By Themselves They Seemed to Be. "Tim Palucka and Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent:." History of Composites. Accessed November 07, 2016. http://authors.library.caltech.edu/5456/1/hrst.mit.edu/hrs/materials/public/composites/Composites_Overview.htm.

-Source covers a variety of composites and their history with the Cold War. I took information regarding carbon fiber early development. The content supports my thesis. It explains how the political needs encouraged development of carbon fiber. Passes all aspects of the CRAAP test.
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Report on the National Defense Education Act. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare, Office of Education, 1960 -Most helpful piece of information, the main source for my paper. Provided evidence of a cultural surge in science and math. Definitely passes the “craap test”.
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"The 1950s: Happy Days." Ushistory.org. Accessed November 07, 2016. http://www.ushistory.org/us/53.asp.

-Covers the political and economic situation of America and Europe entering the 1950's. Which is exactly what I took from the source. This source also helps support my thesis by explaining how carbon fiber was cultural desired. Aslo passes the CRAAP test.
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"Home Made Composites (HomMaCom) - Composites in Daily Life." Home Made Composites (HomMaCom) - Composites in Daily Life. Accessed November 07, 2016. http://www.composites.ugent.be/home_made_composites/composites_in_daily_life.html

-This source provided example of carbon fiber uses in our consumer driven market. From the source I took pictures and used their examples of products that use carbon fiber. This source does not support nor disprove my thesis. It also passes the CRAAP test.
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RecycleNation. "Is Carbon Fiber Better for the Environment than Steel?" RecycleNation. Accessed November 07, 2016. http://recyclenation.com/2015/10/is-carbon-fiber-better-for-environment-than-steel.

-This source provide a few statistics on the environmental impacts of carbon fiber in relation to steel. The content actually supports my thesis because the environmental impact of carbon fiber was totally disregard, in order to satisfy the need for it in the economy. The source is a ".com" but I crossed reference the information and it all checks out.
"Search." Search. Accessed November 08, 2016. http://www.rmi.org/search-category/-/-/reinventing-fire/composites.
-Used this source for the chart. . This chart supports my thesis because it represents the distribution of carbon fiber being focused on space and military needs. I came to that conclusion by analysis of the high production costs that could only be justified for uses under military or space exploration categories. Passed the CRAAP test.
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This chat represents the distribution of carbon fiber being focused on space and military needs. I came to that conclusion by analysis of the high production costs that could only be justified for uses under military or space exploration categories.
All the research I conducted supported my thesis statement. My thesis could be extended and improved by incorporating the cultural scare the Cold War provided. Through a combination of social stigmas and political events the research and production of composites such as carbon fiber skyrocketed.
"America 1960-1969: Education Research Article from American Decades." BookRags. Accessed October 18, 2016.
-Wasn’t super helpful, did not pass the “craap” test. Mostly because the information was untrustworthy due to it being a .com source.
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