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Carbon-carbon is a non-oxide engineering ceramic. It has the lowest density among non-oxide engineering ceramics. In addition, it has a moderately low heat capacity and a moderately low thermal conductivity. The graph bars on the material properties cards below compare carbon-carbon to other non-oxide engineering ceramics (top) and the entire database (bottom). A full bar means this is the highest value in the relevant set. A half-full bar means it's 50% of the highest, and so on.

Mechanical Properties

Compressive (Crushing) Strength

240 MPa 34 x 103 psi

Elastic (Young's, Tensile) Modulus

95 GPa 14 x 106 psi

Poisson's Ratio


Shear Modulus

36 GPa 5.2 x 106 psi

Tensile Strength: Ultimate (UTS)

19 MPa 2.7 x 103 psi

Thermal Properties

Maximum Temperature: Corrosion

350 °C 660 °F

Maximum Temperature: Mechanical

2400 °C 4350 °F

Specific Heat Capacity

760 J/kg-K 0.18 BTU/lb-°F

Thermal Conductivity

40 W/m-K 23 BTU/h-ft-°F

Thermal Expansion

4.0 µm/m-K

Other Material Properties


1.7 g/cm3 110 lb/ft3

Electrical Conductivity: Equal Volume

0.090 % IACS

Electrical Conductivity: Equal Weight (Specific)

0.48 % IACS

Electrical Resistivity Order of Magnitude

-5.0 10x Ω-m

Common Calculations

Stiffness to Weight: Axial

31 points

Stiffness to Weight: Bending

89 points

Strength to Weight: Axial

3.0 points

Strength to Weight: Bending

9.1 points

Thermal Diffusivity

31 mm2/s

Thermal Shock Resistance

3.5 points

Followup Questions

Further Reading

Carbon Alloys: Novel Concepts to Develop Carbon Science and Technology, E. Yesuda et al. (editors), 2003

Carbon-Carbon Materials and Composites, John D. Buckley and Dan D. Edie, 1994

Springer Handbook of Condensed Matter and Materials Data, W. Martienssen and H. Warlimont (editors), 2005