Differences Between Weaves UD, 3K and 12K?
UD, 3K and 12K are just three different weaving types of carbon fibers that are widely used for manufacturing bicycle products. There are lots of debates online about the differences between carbon weaves of UD, 3K and 12K. People who are just new to carbon fiber products may not know much about them.
UD is short-term for Uni-Directional. The fibers of UD weave are arranged in one direction, which is the most frequently used to make carbon fiber products. 3K means there are 3,000 filaments per "tow", 12K means there are 12,000. They are decussated like a web. 3K weave carbon fiber is the most well-known.
The different weaving way makes the carbon fibers in different in appearance and performance.
The illustration is as below, which shows different appearances of the weaves, and bicycle rims in different weaves. UD weave looks like plain black. The crossed 12K weave pattern is 4 times larger than 3K weave. Customers may also heard of 1K, 6K and 18K. They are also decussated/crossed, just in different sizes of patterns.