Carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers (American English), carbon-fibre-reinforced polymers (Commonwealth English), or carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics, or carbon-fiber reinforced-thermoplastic (CFRP, CRP, CFRTP, also known as carbon fiber, carbon composite, or just carbon), are extremely strong and light fiber-reinforced plastics that contain carbon fibers. CFRPs can be expensive to produce, but are commonly used wherever high strength-to-weight ratio and stiffness (rigidity) are required, such as aerospace, superstructures of ships, automotive, civil engineering, sports equipment, and an increasing number of consumer and technical applications.
The binding polymer is often a thermoset resin such as epoxy, but other thermoset or thermoplastic polymers, such as polyester, vinyl ester, or nylon, are sometimes used. The properties of the final CFRP product can be affected by the type of additives introduced to the binding matrix (resin). The most common additive is silica, but other additives such as rubber and carbon nanotubes can be used.
Carbon fiber is sometimes referred to as graphite-reinforced polymer or graphite fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP is less common, as it clashes with glass-(fiber)-reinforced polymer).