My friend uses carbon fiber tow in creating a component for automobile machines. However the carbon fiber is actually much tougher than it needs to be. As a risk manager in software I am concerned that his carbon fiber tow poses an unnecessary health risk for his workers working with this material, due to the high airborne asbestos-like risk that may present itself in the manufacturing process. Of course he educates his workers on this risk and they all use proper protective gear.
Basically, carbon fiber tow is prone to breaking and producing airborne particles when handled by hand, and I'd like to know whether stainless steel tow is less prone to breakages. But I am not sure what quantitative measurement to examine.
For his application, stainless steel tow is a perfect mechanical substitute. Thank you for not questioning whether it is a perfect substitute for his automobile part, because it is. The question here is whether stainless steel tow is more or less prone to breakage than carbon fiber tow.
There are two metrics that I began trying to learn more about that could be valid here. The first is "Fracture toughness" and the other is "tensile toughness". I am really just trying to get data on which is better, or how I could scientifically prove the stainless steel tow is less prone to breakages.
We can assume that the diameter of each fiber within the tow is about 5-15 micrometers. What's the best data we can gather on the subject?