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Carbon Fiber Technology - The Future of the Piano

Introducing ABS-Carbon

ABS-Carbon, the new composite material in Kawai's revolutionary Millennium III Action, combines the long-term stability of ABS Styran (a composite used in Kawai actions for over 40 years) with the extraordinary strength of carbon fiber. ABS-Carbon produces more dynamic power, greater durability, improved control and unparalleled speed to enhance the playing experience.

Why Carbon Fiber?

Carbon fiber has been called the lightest, strongest material on earth. In Kawai pianos, it allows a lighter design that helps to make the Millennium III Action tremendously fast and effortless to play while sustaining exceptional tone. The rigid strength of ABS-Carbon also offers pianists more power with less effort. Its resistance to swelling and shrinking helps to provide these benefits consistently over many years – something conventional wood components are unable to deliver.

What’s Wrong with Wood?

While certainly ideal for the sound-producing elements of a piano such as the soundboard, wood is less suitable for the many mechanical components in a piano action. Wood is susceptible to wear from continual stress and can shrink and swell dramatically along with changes in climate. This inherent inconsistency of wood parts can hinder a piano’s tone and touch—and also lead to costly repairs and maintenance.

THE BENEFITS OF ABS-CARBON

ABS-Carbon in the Millennium III Action contributes to improved performance in many ways that will delight the player:

Durability: ABS-Carbon parts are more durable than conventional wooden piano parts and over 50% stronger, which means less maintenance and parts replacement.

Speed: ABS-Carbon makes the Millennium III Grand Action 25% faster than fully wooden actions. Keys depress and return more swiftly, providing increased repetition and playing speed.

Power: The added rigidity of ABS-Carbon provides more power with less effort. The piano responds to a lighter touch, making it easier to play.

Control: The meticulous redesign of the Millennium III Action offers superb control for the player. It is now easier than ever to maintain control for pianissimo playing.

Carbon Fiber Is The Future

Carbon fiber technology is relatively new to the piano, but is already being utilized in many other industries to replace wood and other weaker, heavier materials. Here are a few of the current uses of carbon fiber:

Aircraft

The Boeing 777 uses carbon fiber in its construction to fly faster than the competition with lower fuel costs. Similarly, carbon fiber makes up over half the material used for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus 360 to provide increased strength and speed.


Sports Equipment

The strength, weight and lower density of carbon fiber allows golf club designers to create lighter clubs that result in a faster swing and longer shots. Makers of boats, kayaks and canoes have also moved beyond wood and fiberglass in favor of carbon fiber’s superior strength and stability.


Formula One Cars

Formula One and other leading racing cars are made faster and safer thanks to the strength and lightweight character of carbon fiber composite parts.


Bridges

The 1.6 mile-long West Gate Bridge of Melbourne, Australia and its supports are reinforced by carbon fiber because of the material’s stiffness and ability to endure stress.


World-Class Racing Bicycles

More top riders are competing in the Tour de France with carbon fiber bikes than ever before. With more strength and durability, carbon fiber has even found its way into the soles of some high-end cycling shoes.


Other Musical Instruments

Many manufacturers of string bows for violins and cellos are using carbon fiber due to its lightweight speed and resistance against breakage. Carbon fiber technology is now used in the crafting of violins, guitars and mandolins.

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