Composite Material Technology : Based Carbon Fibers Processing Essay

Composite Material Technology : Based Carbon Fibers Processing Essay

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Composite Material Technology: Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) - Based Carbon Fibers Processing
Carbon is one of the 115 chemical elements discovered on Earth which is part of the nonmetals group with other elements such as nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen. Carbon as an element has good stability, it is very light, very stable, and has many types of forms such as graphite, and coal. Carbon fiber is just another form of carbon, basically has filaments between five to ten micrometers in diameter of pure carbon or at least 90% of carbon. Thousand carbon fibers are twisted together to form a long chain, which can then be used in a variety of raw forms, including yarns, weaves, and braids, which are in turn mixed with synthetic resins to create the carbon fiber as a composite material. Based on different characteristics carbon fibers can be divided into three principals groups: according to carbon fiber tensile modulus, according to precursor fiber materials, and according to final heat treatment temperature.
Carbon fibers, compared with other materials have extraordinary mechanical and chemical properties such as high tensile strength, good thermal and electrical conductivities, low specific gravity, chemical stabilities in the absence of oxidizing agents, and high value of Young’s modulus, that make them excellent engineering materials for different industrial applications. This properties of carbon fiber such as high tensile strength, low weight, and low thermal expansion make it very interesting and popular in aerospace, civil engineering, military, and automotive industry. However, it is relatively expensive compared to other materials such as steel, aluminum, fiberglass or plastic.
Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) is a white th...

... middle of paper ...

...reatment is called graphitization and it involves the transformation of carbon structure into a three dimensional graphite structure. Prior to graphitization carbon fibers might consist of 90% carbon by mass and usually have small impurities such as hydrogen, during graphitization these impurities are removed. In other words, graphitization process is a carbonization process at high heating temperature. At this point, up to 99% of PAN polymer was converted to carbon structure.
Carbonized fiber must undergo graphitization process to have a substantial improvements on the fiber´s performance. Based on the final heat treatment, Carbon fiber which are produced in this condition can be classified with the name of Type-I, high-heat-treatment carbon fibers (HTT), where final heat treatment temperature should be above 1900°C and can be associated with high-modulus type fiber

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