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Organically produced Carbon Fiber

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Can carbon fiber or a similar substance of similar properties be produced organically? Like say as a product by the body of an animal?

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I see where are you getting at you must have watched the Avatar movie.

 

"They have bones reinforced with naturally occuring carbon fiber......"

 

I find that pretty absurd really. Carbon fiber is produced under artificial conditions... how is possible for an organism even if it's from another planet to have bones reinforced with carbon fiber..

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Who's to say that it can't happen? Just because it doesn't happen on Earth doesn't mean that it is impossible.

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i would say carbon fiber probably not, but a different substance of equal or greater stregnth i do think is possible.

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i would say carbon fiber probably not, but a different substance of equal or greater strength i do think is possible.

 

Bone is one... but what else is just as hard

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Carbon fiber isn't "special" or "magical". On its own, it's pretty useless. What makes it special is when it's embedded in a resinous matrix to form a composite material - the matrix resists compressive forces, the fibers resist tensile forces, giving you "the best of both worlds".

 

Bone is *already* a composite material, a mix of the mineral hydroxyapatite (for compressive strength) and collagen fibers (for tensile strength), created at a molecular level and constantly adapting and repairing.

 

A carbon-fiber bone would have at best modest improvements, certainly nothing truly awe-inspiring.

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Bone is one... but what else is just as hard

 

i believe teeth are but i guess that would still qualify as bone


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Carbon fiber isn't "special" or "magical". On its own, it's pretty useless. What makes it special is when it's embedded in a resinous matrix to form a composite material - the matrix resists compressive forces, the fibers resist tensile forces, giving you "the best of both worlds".

 

Bone is *already* a composite material, a mix of the mineral hydroxyapatite (for compressive strength) and collagen fibers (for tensile strength), created at a molecular level and constantly adapting and repairing.

 

A carbon-fiber bone would have at best modest improvements, certainly nothing truly awe-inspiring.

 

yes but since most people think of it as some ubber strong super material it works in the movies

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Personally? I see no reason why carbon nanotubes could not be produced via a chain of enzymatic reactions in a living organism. It would be absurdly unlikely to evolve, true, but I think that it would be physically possible. And carbon nanotubes kick the carbon fiber's butt any day.

 

Carbon fibers can be produced by roasting organic material, to drive off the non-carbon portion of it, no? Still, organic material typically has the ability to self-repair and partially self-assemble. Carbon fiber would not. I suspect carbon fiber would therefore be inferior. The only purpose to have it would be for strength, meaning that it would take a beating -- and being unable to repair would be a major disadvantage.

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Personally? I see no reason why carbon nanotubes could not be produced via a chain of enzymatic reactions in a living organism. It would be absurdly unlikely to evolve, true, but I think that it would be physically possible. And carbon nanotubes kick the carbon fiber's butt any day.

 

Carbon fibers can be produced by roasting organic material, to drive off the non-carbon portion of it, no? Still, organic material typically has the ability to self-repair and partially self-assemble. Carbon fiber would not. I suspect carbon fiber would therefore be inferior. The only purpose to have it would be for strength, meaning that it would take a beating -- and being unable to repair would be a major disadvantage.

 

yea i think a carbon nanotube setup could be possible.

 

but remember that bones are porous and are not compleatly solid...i belive that they need to be this way so if you had a normal bone that was interlaced with carbon nanotubes holding it together better would provide the extra strength and the body would still be able to repair.

 

or have some sort of biologicly inert metal interlaced into bone might be an improvement. (kinda like rebar in concrete)

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Carbon fiber isn't "special" or "magical". On its own, it's pretty useless. What makes it special is when it's embedded in a resinous matrix to form a composite material - the matrix resists compressive forces, the fibers resist tensile forces, giving you "the best of both worlds".

 

Bone is *already* a composite material, a mix of the mineral hydroxyapatite (for compressive strength) and collagen fibers (for tensile strength), created at a molecular level and constantly adapting and repairing.

 

A carbon-fiber bone would have at best modest improvements, certainly nothing truly awe-inspiring.

 

So ... which would be more "natural" - a carbon-fibered SKIN or a carbon-fibered BONE? And, what would be the likihood of BOTH occuring in one animal?

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Is there any known case where a living organism produces pure carbon? I can't even think of a strict hydrocarbon produced during the life of an organism.

 

Life uses to produce molecules with functions, like acids, amines... that can be managed by tools like enzymes.

 

Then, some organic fibres are excellent. Spider silk is one example that approaches the performance of carbon fibres (but doesn't exceed it, despite newspapers ramblings). Polyamides should fit the capabilites of life and are good when unidirectional, with the aramide variant being excellent, similar to carbon.

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