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A look at the process by which precursor becomes carbon fiber through a careful and mostly proprietary manipulation of temperature and tension.
End of the line: Fibers in this carefully controlled maze of fibers above exit the Grafil Sacramento, Calif. Source: Grafil Inc. A simplified representation of a carbonization line. Airflow and air velocity are keys to control of exotherm and temperature consistency in the oxidation process. Source: Despatch Industries. Capacity estimates for the year are based on public information about ongoing expansions that was available to HPC in December Source: CompositesWorld. Vicki McConnell.
Although many readers of HPC use carbon fiber, few know much about how it is made. That should surprise no one. Carbon fiber producers are tight-lipped about how their product is manufactured. The carbon fiber manufacturing process also is notoriously difficult and expensive. In fact, the cost can be much more. Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Rayon Co. This goes a long way toward explaining why, historically, it has been difficult to avoid the imbalances between supply and demand that cause prices to plummet and peak.
Little wonder, then, that the current cadre of carbon fiber producers numbers less than a dozen worldwide see chart at left. HPC , with the help of several carbon fiber process suppliers, recently peeked behind the veil of secrecy to find this more inclusive, if still incomplete, picture of the process.
Composed of combinations of unlike materials fiber and resin , their variability, and therefore, tailorability, are central to their appeal. Accordingly, carbon fiber producers make products that are similar but not identical. Carbon fiber varies in tensile modulus or stiffness determined as deformation under strain and tensile, compressive and fatigue strength. Fiber, which is available in bundles called tow, comes in many sizes, ranging from 1K to K 1K equals 1, filaments that range from 5 to 10 microns in diameter.
Sacramento, Calif. Carbon fiber manufacture, however, is a complex undertaking. These are polymerization and spinning, oxidation also referred to as stabilization , carbonization sometimes inaccurately referred to as graphitization , surface treatment and sizing application.
Today about 10 percent of produced carbon fiber is made from a rayon- or pitch-based precursor, but the majority is derived from polyacrylonitrile PAN , made from acrylonitrile, which is derived from the commodity chemicals propylene and ammonia. Converting PAN into carbon fiber has challenged producers for more than 30 years. Specifically, Shearer notes, attention to precursor quality minimizes variation in the yield, or length per unit of fiber weight. Generally, precursor formulation begins with an acrylonitrile monomer, which is combined in a reactor with plasticized acrylic comonomers and a catalyst, such as itaconic acid, sulfur dioxide acid, sulfuric acid or methylacrylic acid.
This change leads to polymerization, the chemical process that creates long-chain polymers that can be formed into acrylic fibers. The details of polymerization, such as temperature, atmosphere, specific comonomers and catalyst are proprietary. After washing and drying, the acrylonitrile, now in powder form, is dissolved in either organic solvents, such as dimethyl sulfoxide DMSO , dimethyl acetamide DMAC or dimethyl formamide DMF , or aqueous solvents, such as zinc chloride and rhodan salt.
Organic solvents help avoid contamination by trace metal ions that could upset thermal oxidative stability during processing and retard high-temperature performance in the finished fiber. PAN fibers are formed by a process called wet spinning. The dope is immersed in a liquid coagulation bath and extruded through holes in a spinneret made from precious metals.
The spinneret holes match the desired filament count of the PAN fiber e. This wet-spun fiber, relatively gelatinous and fragile, is drawn by rollers through a wash to remove excess coagulant, then dried and stretched to continue the orienting of the PAN polymer.
The latter is proprietary to each producer, but Morgan asserts that the stretch rate can be up to 12 times the initial pliability of precursor fiber. The last step in PAN precursor fiber formation is the application of a finishing oil to prevent the tacky filaments from clumping. The white PAN fiber then is dried again and wound onto bobbins. These bobbins are loaded into a creel that feeds the PAN fiber through a series of specialized ovens during the most time-consuming stage of production, oxidation.
Before they enter the first oven, the PAN fibers are spread flat into a tow band or sheet referred to as warp. The process combines oxygen molecules from the air with the PAN fibers in the warp and causes the polymer chains to start crosslinking. Matt Litzler, president of C. Litzler Co. Since individual precursor chemistry is fixed, control of temperature and airflow in the oxidation oven is adapted to each precursor and provides stabilization of the exothermic reaction.
In the end, the oxidized stabilized PAN fiber contains about 50 to 65 percent carbon molecules, with the balance a mixture of hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen. Carbonization occurs in an inert oxygen-free atmosphere inside a series of specially designed furnaces that progressively increase the processing temperatures.
At the entrance and exit of each furnace, purge chambers prevent oxygen intrusion because every oxygen molecule that is carried through the oven removes a portion of the fiber, explains Robert Blackmon, VP of the Process Systems Div. This prevents loss of the carbon produced at such high temperatures. In the absence of oxygen, only noncarbon molecules, including hydrogen cyanide elements and other VOCs generated during stabilization at concentration levels of 40 to 80 ppm and particulate such as local buildup of fiber debris , are removed and exhausted from the oven for post-treatment in an environmentally controlled incinerator.
Fiber tensioning must be continued throughout the production process. Ultimately, crystallization of carbon molecules can be optimized to produce a finished fiber that is more than 90 percent carbon.
The number of furnaces is determined by the modulus desired in the carbon fiber; part of the relatively high cost of high- and ultrahigh-modulus carbon fiber is due to the length of dwell time and temperatures that must be achieved in the high-temperature furnace.
While dwell times are proprietary and differ for each grade of carbon fiber, oxidation dwell time is measured in hours, but carbonization is an order of magnitude shorter, measured in minutes. As the fiber is carbonized, it loses weight and volume, contracts by 5 to 10 percent in length and shrinks in diameter.
In fact, the demonstrated conversion chemistry ratio of PAN precursor to PAN carbon fiber is about , with less than 2 percent permutability — that is, considerably less material exits the process than goes into it. Adhesion between matrix resin and carbon fiber is crucial in a reinforced composite; during the manufacture of carbon fiber, surface treatment is performed to enhance this adhesion. Producers use different treatments, but a common method involves pulling the fiber through an electrochemical or electrolytic bath that contains solutions, such as sodium hypochlorite or nitric acid.
Next, a highly proprietary coating, called sizing, is applied. Sizing also holds filaments together in individual tows to reduce fuzz, improve processability and increase interfacial shear strength between the fiber and matrix resin. The speed of most carbon fiber lines allows for fairly uniform sizing application that minimizes aggregate clumps or bare spots.
When the sizing dries, the long process is complete. Grafil as do other suppliers separates individual tows out of the warp and winds them onto bobbins for shipment to customers, including prepreggers and weavers. Three decades of processing refinement have brought technology maturity and the ability to translate superior performance and application versatility through the fibers to advanced composites. What has gone before both technologically and economically sets the stage for the potential growth in demand that marks the future.
Technological changes have made carbon fiber available to and more practical for use by OEMs in a wide range of markets and applications. Suppliers of sizings and thso who build the ovens and furnaces by which pyrolisis is accomplished recently outlined some of the more significant developments for HPC.
Because most carbon fiber, historically, has been used with epoxy matrices, sizing is predominantly epoxy-based and low in molecular weight to encourage fiber pliability and spreadability. However, research is underway to create sizings with chemistries that suit the variety of matrix resins now in demand for end-use applications. Hydrosize Technologies Raleigh, N. One example is Hydrosize U, a high molecular weight urethane sizing that reportedly improves both fiber wetout by urethane resins and lubricity decreased friction during handling with an environmentally friendly formulation.
He reportedly has discovered a reactive chemistry that affects carbon molecules in the fiber to improve interfacial bonding between fiber and matrix.
Navy, including in composite engine components for the F Joint Strike Fighter. Similarly, high-temperature composites can suffer from poor oxidative stability with sizings not formulated to match the requirements of matrix resin properties. In the production of carbon fiber, much depends on the design of the ovens and furnaces that pyrolize the fibers.
In the oxidation process, oven airflow plays a critical role in controlling process temperatures and preventing exothermic reactions. Airflow designs may be single flow parallel or perpendicular to the tow band or multipath.
Carbon Fiber business unit, three important elements are demanded by carbon fiber producers in oxidation ovens: throughput, scalability and energy efficiency. To determine the optimal oxidation oven setpoint for the specific requirements of carbon fiber producers among its customers, Despatch has tested its patented center-to-end parallel airflow through temperature gradients measured by 40 different calibrated thermocouples positioned on each side of the oven working zone.
Strop notes that this design allows for higher air velocities — up to A 25 percent faster oxidation rate in production scale ovens has been reported by customers. Despatch offers oven widths from 1 ft to The estimated energy savings, compared to legacy oven designs, on a 6. Cleveland, Ohio , an oxidation oven builder for 30 years, outfits its products with multiple temperature zones and a controlled cross flow air path that delivers air at a rate of 5 ft to 9 ft 1.
This can create cold spots in the oven and be dangerous for operators. Our end seals make every slot neutral, reduce the amount of exhaust air needed, and effectively lengthen the useful oven by eliminating cold air infiltration.
Litzler also designs and builds idler rollers, driver rollers and tension stands for fiber stretching. A supplier of carbonization furnaces since the s, Harper International Lancaster, N. Special attention is given to entry and exit purge chambers. Harper also offers surface finishing and sizing systems to accommodate different electrolytic and matrix resin chemistries.
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Pulp and Paper Manufacturing Process in the paper industry
Reviewed: June 11th Published: August 28th Textile Manufacturing Processes. Textile fibers provided an integral component in modern society and physical structure known for human comfort and sustainability. Man is a friend of fashion in nature. The desire for better garment and apparel resulted in the development of textile fiber production and textile manufacturing process.
Guidance Catalog for Foreign Investment. Categories Encouraged for Foreign Investment. Agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery. Mining industry. Independent foreign investment may be allowed in the western regions.
Introductory Chapter: Textile Manufacturing Processes
In cases where these groupings correspond with major groups, the major group heading is also in italics. The assembly of products from component parts is considered to be Manufacturing, except in cases where the activity is appropriately classified under Construction. The assembly and installation of machinery and equipment in mining, manufacturing, commercial and other business establishments is classified under the same group of Manufacturing as the manufacture of the item installed. Excluded is the assembly on site of prefabricated, integral parts of bridges, water tanks, storage and warehouse facilities, railway and elevated pedestrian bridges, and lift, escalator, plumbing, sprinkler, central heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, lighting and electrical wiring systems for buildings and mines and all kinds of structures which are construction activities if undertaken as a specialised activity. Establishments specialising in the installation of household appliances, such as stoves and ranges, refrigerators, washing machines and driers, are classified under the appropriate retail trade group. The manufacture of specialised components and parts of and accessories and attachments to machinery and equipment is, as a general rule, classified under the same group as the manufacture of the machinery and equipment for which the parts and accessories are intended. However, the making of specialised components and accessories by moulding or extruding plastic materials is included in subgroup Manufacture of plastic products. The manufacture of unspecialised components and parts of machinery and equipment, e.
How Is Carbon Fiber Made?
In the world of materials, carbon fiber has emerged as the ultimate team player — one that works miracles in reinforcing other materials and lifting them to new levels of performance. Learn about our culture of innovation and how to join our team. Toggle navigation. Discover what you can do with the power of Carbon Fiber Request Consultation. Technical Product Datasheets.
A chemical plant is an industrial process plant that manufactures or otherwise processes chemicals , usually on a large scale. Other kinds of plants, such as polymer, pharmaceutical, food, and some beverage production facilities, power plants , oil refineries or other refineries , natural gas processing and biochemical plants, water and wastewater treatment, and pollution control equipment use many technologies that have similarities to chemical plant technology such as fluid systems and chemical reactor systems. Some would consider an oil refinery or a pharmaceutical or polymer manufacturer to be effectively a chemical plant.
Scientific Research An Academic Publisher. Affiliation s. There are many definitions for the CPS.
The goal of this section is to drive responsible chemicals management programs at manufacturing facilities. The use of chemicals in a facility's production processes and operations can be extremely toxic and hazardous to the environment and human health if not managed systematically and appropriately. Unlike other sections in Higg, chemicals management will touch all parts of your business - from inventory and purchasing, to the production floor, to storage and waste locations. A robust chemicals management program should contain basic and advanced practices in the following areas:. The Higg Chemicals Management section guides you from basic to advanced practices in each of these categories.
Superior Corrosion Resistant Chemical Storage Tanks
The business of the chemical industry is to change the chemical structure of natural materials in order to derive products of value to other industries or in daily life. Chemicals are produced from these raw materials-principally minerals, metals and hydrocarbons-in a series of processing steps. Further treatment, such as mixing and blending, is often required to convert them into end-products e. Chemicals fall into two main classes: organic and inorganic. Organic chemicals have a basic structure of carbon atoms, combined with hydrogen and other elements. Inorganic chemicals are derived chiefly from mineral sources. Examples are sulphur, which is mined as such or extracted from ores, and chlorine, which is made from common salt.
This enables us to provide our customers with the advanced composite materials they require. Our facility can process nearly every high performance fiber including: carbon, glass, aramid, hybrid materials, etcetera. We certify to ASD and are always improving our quality assurance for our customers; be confident in the product you receive.
The making of carbon fiber
A look at the process by which precursor becomes carbon fiber through a careful and mostly proprietary manipulation of temperature and tension. End of the line: Fibers in this carefully controlled maze of fibers above exit the Grafil Sacramento, Calif. Source: Grafil Inc. A simplified representation of a carbonization line.
Paper plays a key role in our daily life and papers have been used for many years from now. Papers are made with the pulp of the woods, which is an Eco-friendly product. Pulp and paper are made from cellulosic fibers and other plant materials.
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