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Carbon fibre is produced via 2 manufacturing processes:

1- Based on pitch (coal tar and petroleum products)

2- Based on Polyacrylonitrile (PAN)

The process involving Polyacrylonitrile will be the main focus in this report.

· Acrylonitrile is produced commercially by the process of propylene ammoxidation, in which propylene, ammonia and air are reacted in a fluidized bed in the presence of a catalyst.

The steps taken in the process of carbon fibres using Polyacrylonitrile are:

1- Polymerization:

This is the first step in the production of carbon fibre, where the precursor (the molecular backbone of the carbon fibre) (acrylonitrile monomer) is mixed with plasticized acrylic commoners and a catalyst in a reactor. By continuously stirring the mixture blending and the formation of free radicals within the acrylonitrile's molecular structure occurs. This change leads to polymerization which is the chemical process that creates long chain polymers than can be formed into acrylic fibres.

2-: Spinning: This step involves Polyacrylonitrile derived from the polymerization of acrylonitrile monomer which is mixed with other ingredients and spun into fibres, which are washed and stretched.

3-: Oxidation : This step involves placing the fibres into ovens heated between 200 and 300 degrees where oxygen molecules from the air combine with the PAN fibres and causes the polymer chains to start crosslinking. This evolves hydrogen from the fibres and adds less volatile oxygen which chemically alters the molecule. The polymer changes from a ladder to a stable ring structure and it's colour changes from white though brown to black. This stepalso increases the fibre density from ~1.18 g/cc to as high as 1.38 g/cc . The resulting material is a textile fibre which is fireproof.

3- Carbonization:

When the fibres are stabilized, they are heated to a temperature of about 1,000-3,000° C for several minutes in a furnace filled with a gas mixture that does not contain oxygen (inert atmosphere). The lack of oxygen prevents the fibres from burning in the very high temperatures. The gas pressure inside the furnace is kept higher than the outside air pressure and the points where the fibres enter and exit the furnace are sealed to keep oxygen from entering. As the fibres are heated, they begin to lose their non-carbon atoms, plus a few carbon atoms, in the form of various gases. As the non-carbon atoms are ousted, the remaining carbon atoms form tightly bonded carbon crystals and the fibre is more than 90% carbon. The fibre loses weight and volume, contracts by 5 to 10 precent in length and shrinks in diameter.

4- Surface Treatment:

This process involves pulling the fibre through an electrochemical or electrolytic bath that contains solutions. These materials roughen the surface of each filament, which increases the surface area available for interfacial fibre/matrix bonding and adds reactive chemical groups, such as carboxylic acids.

This process is important since it helps enhance the adhesion between matrix resin and carbon fibre. Care must be taken during the process to avoid forming tiny surface defects, such as pits, which could cause fibre failure.

5- Sizing:

This process involves coating the fibre with epoxy, polyester, or nylon to protect them from damage during winding or weaving.

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โˆ™ 2012-06-13 17:11:55
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Related questions

What is polyacrylonitrile?

Polyacrylonitrile is a plastic material, the polymer of acrylonitrile; the general formula is (C3H3N)n.


Is orlon a synthetic polymer?

yes , it is a polyacrylonitrile.


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What is carbon fiber made out of?

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What is the formula of Polyacrylonitrile?

It has the repeating unit C3H3N according to this website: http://www.polymerprocessing.com/polymers/PAN.html


What is a superabsorbent polymer made of?

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What are 4 examples of synthetic polymers?

1.BAKELITE i.e. phenol-formaldehyde resin 2.NEOPRENE i.e. Polychloropren 3.ORLON i.e. polyacrylonitrile 4.TEFLON i.e. PTFE


Is silk a polyacronitrile?

Since, according to Wikipedia's definition, "Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) is a synthetic, semicrystalline organic polymer resin, with the linear formula (C3H3N)n," and since silk is produced by silk worms, the answer must be no.


What is acrylic made off?

Acrylic is made of a polymer called polyacrylonitrile. In the U.S. acrylic must also contain mostly acrylonitrile monomer. Acrylic fiber is formed by dissolving this polymer into an aqueous solution and then spinning, stretching and drying it into fibers.


Is carbon fiber made from carbon?

Carbon fibre is generally greater than 95% carbon. Carbon fibre is made from a spun material that is very rich in carbon. It is usually a material called Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) or sometimes pitch, an oil derivative. These are heated in an inert atmosphere to drive off the other atoms, which leaves a fibre made almost entirely of carbon.


Is acrylic a synthetic fiber?

Acrylic fibers are synthetic fibers made from a polymer (polyacrylonitrile) with an average molecular weight of ~100,000, about 1900 monomer units. To be called acrylic in the U.S, the polymer must contain at least 85% acrylonitrile monomer. Typical comonomers are vinyl acetate or methyl acrylate. The Dupont Corporation created the first acrylic fibers in 1941 and trademarked them under the name Orlon


What are the types of polymers?

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