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Mark Miodownik describes the invention of carbon fibre composite by engineers at a Royal Aircraft Establishment in 1963. He visits the Williams Formula 1 team headquarters to see how they have put this material to use in motor sport, before testing the properties of carbon fibre against metal.
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First broadcast:
11 May 2012

Classroom Ideas

Students can conduct their own investigations, comparing the strength and other properties of various materials. Similarly sized pieces of metal and carbon fibre could be provided but if not available other materials could be compared, such as wood, plastics, glass and so on. Considering their properties, decide which would be best for a variety of uses, such as a building material, a fairground ride, food packaging and so on. Alternatively, the clip could be used as a stimulus for an investigation into the pros and cons of man-made materials compared with natural ones. This could be the subject of an Added Value Unit.

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