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The difference between carbon tow and denier

Resources | October 7, 2009 | By:

Is carbon tow the same thing as denier?

They’re the same only in that they are a measurement of size. Denier is a standard length per unit weight measurement that is used to describe fiber or yarn. Technically, it’s the weight in grams of a standard length, which happens to be 9000 meters. You can count on a yarn that is described as having a smaller denier being a smaller yarn. For example, a 70 denier nylon yarn would be smaller than a 420 denier nylon yarn. Carbon is a fiber that is used a lot in the composite industry. A carbon tow is a bundle of continuous fibers. The size of the tow is described by the count of the filaments, with K indicating multiplication by 1000. In other words, a 7K carbon tow would contain 7000 carbon filaments. The issue with comparing tow to denier is that those carbon filaments can vary in size, usually from 5-10 microns.

SOURCE Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, +1 816 268 8200

SOURCE White House Museum, +1 816 268 8200

Juli Case is IFAI’s information and technical services manager.

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