When it comes to traditional wheelchair design, steel has been the go-to material for many models across several brands. As time as gone on, and the physical needs of people living with a disability have changed, so has the types of materials used to create some of today’s most state-of-the-art wheelchairs.
One such material, carbon fiber, has been on a steady rise in the industry over the last decade or so, moving away from the athletic performance wheelchair realm and going mainstream. Here are just a few of the benefits that can come with choosing a carbon fiber-based wheelchair.
Compared to bulky steel and brittle aluminum, carbon fiber is far less heavy than with what most mainstream wheelchairs are typically made. This makes transport in a wheelchair accessible vehicle and storage much easier than with other materials, too.
Aside from reduced weight, carbon fiber is more flexible than both steel and aluminum, making it more malleable and resistant to shock and other trauma.
Some carbon fiber wheelchairs are designed with performance in mind, too. For people who live a more active lifestyle, being able to transition from everyday life to game of wheelchair basketball, for example, is much easier.
In some cases, it doesn’t even require moving to a recreational wheelchair, as some are designed to seamlessly crossover to active sports.
Reduced weight and increase performance means that carbon fiber can allow for more compact, sleek, and streamlined construction. In most cases, carbon fiber wheelchairs are made with the same grade material seen in Formula One racecars and high-speed aircraft.
Aesthetically, carbon fiber tends to be preferred over other materials because it tends to make wheelchairs look more contemporary, and less clinical, which lends itself to a modern and minimalist lifestyle.
The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is an advocate for mobility and accessibility for drivers with disabilities. If you need help with converting or buying a handicap accessible car, truck or van, please consider one of our Quality Assurance Program mobility equipment dealers.