Carbon fibre is roughly twice as stiff and strong in tension along its axis as high
tensile steel and one quarter of its weight. It is highly anisotropic; thus, while
exhibiting great axial stiffness and strength it is easily broken by transverse
loading.When used for structural purposes the fibre must be stabilised by a supporting
matrix, hence C.F.R.P. The orientation of the fibre in a C.F.R.P. is highly critical as
they must be aligned with the principal stesses.
A structural member in C.F.R.P. must therefore be designed to meet specific loading requirements both in magnitude and
direction and such a structure is then vulnerable to any other loading. Because modern
military antenna systems require high directional stability coupled with extreme lightness
C.F.R.P.with a specific stiffness twice that of aluminium alloy or steel is an ideal
material for the tubular structural members designed for antenna support systems.