Joining graphite filaments in a fiber whose sheets had extraordinary hardness and rigidity was manufactured, for the first time in history, carbon fiber.
Developed by the engineers of the Royal Aircraft Establishment, in Farnborough, in 1963, this new material revolutionized the sport.
The innovations of carbon fiber
In the beginning, the carbon fibers had a failure: they depended on their structure from the forces of Van der Waals, but this effect was solved by coating the fibers with epoxy resin: thus the carbon fiber composite was born. For example, the composite increased the quality of rackets, leaving behind wood and aluminum.
This material, above all, solved Formula 1, because The triumph of this competition underlies both the driver's expertise and technical advances.
All sports that required low weight and high strength materials were favored by this new material. For example, cycling changed in the 1990s, when these carbon fibers allowed designing more and more aerodynamic bicycles. This is how, in 1996, Chris Boardman it traveled 56,375 kilometers in one hour.
There was also progress in the swimsuits used in the pool.
The new material is applied even in athletics, in which there are more and more disabled competitors wearing transtibial carbon fiber prostheses, as explained Mark Miodownik in his book Material (and) things:
In 2008, the International Association of Athletics Federations wanted to prevent these athletes from participating in regular competitions, claiming that artificial legs gave them an unfair advantage. The Arbitral Sports Court annulled the decision and, in the 2011 World Athletics Championship, Oscar Pistorius participated in the 400-meter relay test with the "normal" South African qui, who ended up winning the silver medal.
This material was so miraculous that some science fiction fans even imagined that the idea of building an orbital elevator with him could come true.