The lack of suitable high-temperature materials resulted in the development of carbon/carbon materials in the late 1960s [1, 2]. First developments in the United States and Europe were tailored to military applications like rocket nozzles and re-entry parts for missiles due to the high costs of these materials [3–8]. Carbons, graphites, and their modifications are typical high temperature materials. Their intrinsic high thermal stability (above 3000 ◦C) and very low density (below 2.2 g/cm3 ) make carbon-based materials one of the most promising candidates for high temperature applications.
The requirements for higher mechanical properties at high temperatures from Air Force and NASA research programs resulted in the reinforcement of carbon and the development of carbon/carbons.
The carbon/carbons used in rocket nozzles [3–8] and nose tips for re-entry components were reinforced with carbon fabrics made from low-modulus rayon precursor fibers. Thereby, those carbon/carbons were low performance qualities compared to the carbon/carbon grades, which are available nowadays.
The influence of fibers, reinforcement patterns, matrix systems, and manufacturing parameters will be discussed and demonstrated in the following sections. Since the early days of the development of carbon/carbon, the manufacturing technique for industrial applications is mainly based on the reinforcement of polymers and their conversion to carbon/carbon via heat treatments. The first matrix systems were selected in respect to high carbon yields, which is also valid for all manufacturing techniques until now.