This is the specification for carbon fiber and refers to the number of filaments in a carbon fiber tow, 1K = 1000 (root), 3K = 3000 (root), 6K = 6000 (root), 12K = 12000 (root). At the same time, 1K, 3K, 6K, 12K are also called small tow.

The following describes the relationship between the performance of carbon fiber and the number of monofilaments:

According to the carbon fiber tow in the number of filaments, carbon fiber can be divided into two kinds of small tow and large tow. Compared with the small tow, the disadvantage of the large tow is that the tow should not be unfolded during the manufacture of structures such as sheet, resulting in the increase of the thickness of the single layer, which is unfavorable to the structural design. In addition, large tow carbon fiber adhesion, broken wire and other phenomena more, this will make the strength and stiffness affected, the performance has decreased, the performance of the dispersion will be greater. Aircraft, spacecraft generally use only small tow carbon fiber, so small tow carbon fiber is also known as “asteroid” carbon fiber, large tow carbon fiber is called “industrial grade” carbon fiber.

However, the production cost of large tow is lower than that of small tow. With the advancement of production technology and the familiarity of carbon fiber material structure, large tow carbon fiber is increasingly used in the field of reliability. In this way, the distinction between small tow and large tow also changed. For example, 12,000 (12K) monofilaments in the tow were used as the dividing line in the early stage. However, at present, the carbon fiber with the number of monofilaments of 1K ~ 24K is divided into small Tows, and more than 48K into a large tow. Airbus, meanwhile, has already started using 24K carbon fiber in the manufacture of the A380 super-large airliner. It is estimated that with the advancement of technology, the dividing line between small tow and large tow will push upwards.

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