Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Process developed for solvent-free acrylic fiber and cheap, fast carbon fibers

10.09.2003


Carbon-fiber reinforced polymer matrix composite materials are strong without being brittle and retain their integrity over a wide temperature range while being impervious to most environments. While the materials’ qualities make them important to the aerospace industry, present processing technology makes carbon fiber too expensive for broader use, such as in the automotive industry.



Chemistry and chemical engineering researchers at Virginia Tech and Clemson University have been working for three years with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop new ways to make cheaper, more environmentally friendly carbon-fiber precursor materials. The researchers have made a discovery that makes it possible to create the carbon fiber precursor materials without solvents and potentially to process them into carbon fibers more quickly and cheaply than can be done presently.

Members of the Materials Research Institute (MRI) at Virginia Tech will present their work at the 226th American Chemical Society (ACS) national meeting in New York City Sept. 7-11.


The usual first step in carbon fiber production is the creation of acrylic fibers. These fibers are heated for eight to 10 hours at 200 degrees C, and then at progressively higher temperatures, to produce carbon fibers. Presently, acrylic fibers are spun in solution. "We have developed an acrylic fiber that can be spun from the melt – from 100 percent solids without solvents," says James McGrath, MRI director.

In addition, the researchers have added a molecular component to the acrylic fiber that reacts with ultraviolet (UV) light. "It’s expensive to process material for 10 plus hours at very high temperatures. We think we can cut that to one or two hours as a result of including the photocrosslinkable group," says McGrath.

The process needs to be scaled up from the successful laboratory results, he says.

The paper, "Photocrosslinkable acrylonitrile terpolymers as carbon fiber precursors" (Poly 244) will be presented Tuesday, Sept. 9, at 9:30 a.m. in the New York Hilton Sutton North room. It is the first presentation on the synthesis of acrylic fibers with a photo-sensitive monomer. Authors of this paper are MRI post-doctoral associates Thekkekara Mukundan and Vinayak A. Bhanu, chemistry Ph.D. student Kent Wiles, chemical engineering Ph.D. student Michael Bortner, and professors D.G. Baird of chemical engineer and McGrath of chemistry, all at Virginia Tech. Research colleagues from Clemson are chemical engineering professors Dan Edie and Amod Ogale and their students.


Contact for more information:

Dr. James McGrath, 540-231-5976, jmcgrath@vt.edu
Dr. Donald Baird, 540-231-5998, dbaird@vt.edu
Dr. Mukundan, tmukunda@vt.edu

PR CONTACT:
Susan Trulove, 540 231-5646, STrulove@vt.edu
Researcher: James McGrath, 540-231-5976, jmcgrath@vt.edu.

Laurie Good | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.technews.vt.edu/

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht A new tool for discovering nanoporous materials
23.05.2017 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

nachricht Did you know that packaging is becoming intelligent through flash systems?
23.05.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>