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Crushing carbon fiber with hydraulic press

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This video from the Hydraulic Press Channel shows carbon fiber composites being crushed with a hydraulic press. The carbon fiber materials come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they start out by crushing the narrowest tube they have, horizontally. It is easily crushed in a few seconds. Next is a thicker tube, placed vertically. The press bears down on it and it appears to shred outwards until nothing but a pile of fibers remains. They express surprise at the results.

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Next is an incredibly wide tube placed upright, which reacts in the same way as the second tube when crushed. Next is a block, which he says might be more difficult to crush. True enough, the press hammers down on it to no avail, merely leaving a circular mark on the carbon fiber block. He switches to a narrower press in hopes it can somehow drill down, but it again only leaves an impression on the block.

As a last resort, he places a knot of steel on top of the block, but the press just pushes it down into the center of the carbon block without breaking the block itself. Upon inspection, the carbon fiber block remains intact, and they show that there isn’t even a mark on its rear side, meaning the steel knot did not go through.

A hydraulic press is a machine that uses a hydraulic cylinder to generate compressive force in order to crush things – the equivalent of a mechanical lever. Joseph Bramah of England invented the first hydraulic press and patented it in 1795, hence the first presses were known as the Bramah Press. Bramah, who was also the inventor of the flush toilet, studied the movement of fluids and used this to create the hydraulic press.

There are many different kinds of modern hydraulic presses now, but they all operate on the same Pascal’s principle wherein the pressure throughout a closed system is constant, and Pascal’s law that states that pressure on a confined fluid is transmitted without reductions and acts with equal force on equal areas, at 90 degrees to a container wall.

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