The first batch of 1,200 torches of the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, with their shell made of carbon fiber, will soon be delivered from Shanghai to Beijing, according to media reports on Wednesday.
Carbon fiber was used for the first time as material to produce the Olympic and Paralympic torches, both named as "Flying." The material is not only high-temperature resistant to as high as 800 C, but it can also withstand howling winds and rainstorms and can be used in extremely cold weather.
According to Lin Shengbing, General Manager of the Advanced Materials Innovation Research Institute of Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co, where research, development and production of the Games torches took place, carbon fiber is only a quarter the mass of steel but seven to nine times stronger.
The institute was notified in June 2020, to carry on research and development of the shell of the torch as required by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Despite that carbon fiber has so many advantages, it was not easy to make the carbon fibers into the torch shell with a shape that spirals upward to resemble two overlapping fluttering ribbons.
A 3D-weaving team, from Donghua University in Shanghai, managed to weave the shell of the torch with carbon fibers like weaving a sweater.
Later, the research team experienced other failures before they finally solved the problem of combustion and high temperature resistance of carbon fiber composites.
In March 2021, Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co received the task of mass producing the torches. Having conquered a series of difficulties, the company finally made the torch sample that was evaluated as light, solid, and beautiful.