The material of the day is carbon fiber reinforced polymers. It has many uses because it is very strong yet lightweight. I chose this material because a lot of the baseball bats that I used growing up were made out of this material. When I was younger, most bats were made out of aluminum, but as technology improved, composite bats became more widespread. Composite bats became so powerful that they were a safety hazard to players, and regulations had to be imposed.
Carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRP) is generally made from a thermoplastic or duroplastic matrix that contains intertwined carbon fibers. These carbon fibers usually come from polyacrylonitrile (PAN) filaments, which has the chemical formula (C3H3N)n. The PAN is then made into fibers and carbonized and treated in order to form a strong bond with the polymer matrix. These fibers are extremely small, with a diameter of around 5 microns. Up to 60,000 filaments are woven into tows. The numbers of filaments used can change the properties in properties, and therefore carbon fiber has a a large range of tensile strength as well as elasticity.
Different types of carbon fibers (http://www.build-on-prince.com/carbon-fiber.html#sthash.Bnp6z3XR.dpbs)
Carbon fiber reinforced polymers have important properties that make them really useful. It is really strong because of the carbon filaments that reinforce the polymer. Carbon chains are very strong and hard to break because carbon has four valence electrons and therefore each atom has to bond with multiple atoms. CFRPs also have low density making them very light. They are also impact resistant and are good at damping.
2011 Audi R18 Carbon Fiber Race Car (http://www.thecarbonfiberjournal.com/?p=533)
Because of these properties, CFRP have many applications such as race cars (as shown above), wings of airplanes, bike frames, baseball bats, or robot arms.
http://www.build-on-prince.com/carbon-fiber.html#sthash.Bnp6z3XR.dpbs http://www.engineersparadise.com/en/ipar/18832 http://www.compositesworld.com/blog/post/the-making-of-carbon-fiber