Polymer Library

Carbon Fibre - July 2017

This month we're looking at Carbon Fibre.

Carbon fibres have been playing a critical role in material development for many years now. They have proven an excellent way of reducing weight and increasing strength in the composites they form and this is a desirable pairing in a wide range of applications; the automotive, aerospace and sports goods industries are just some of the key areas utilising carbon fibre composites. Carbon fibres are being combined with many different polymers, typically epoxy resins, but also a whole range from PAEKs/PEEK, polyetherimide and polyamide through to polypropylene, resulting in composites with excellent properties. The huge potential and interest in this area naturally brings about a surge in the levels of research. There are also a number of issues, for example the end of life consideration complex composite materials can heavily complicate the recycling process and pose further problems.

Why not read some of the latest literature in this area? There is a selection of abstracts from the Polymer Library on this subject below.


These abstracts were highlighted in the July Newsletter and found in the Polymer Library.

Click on the 7-digit accession numbers to find out about ordering a copyright-cleared full text copy of the items shown.

1255485 - Multifunctional carbon fibre tapes for automotive composites (OPEN ACCESS - FREE ACCESS TO FULL TEXT)
Carbon fibre composites are used where mechanical performance such as strength, stiffness and impact properties at low density is a critical parameter for engineering applications. Carbon fibre flat tape is one material which is traditionally used to manufacture three-dimensional composites in this area. Modifying the carbon fibre tape to incorporate other functions such as stealth, electromagnetic interference, shielding, de-icing, self-repair, energy storage, allows us to create multi-functional carbon fibre tape. Researchers have been developing such material and the technology for their manufacture in order to produce multifunctional carbon fibre based components more economically and efficiently. This paper presents the manufacturing process of a metallised carbon fibre material for a chopped fibre preforming process that uses electromagnets for preforming instead of traditional suction airflow fibre deposition. In addition, the paper further presents mechanical and magneto-static modelling that is carried out to investigate the bending properties of the material produced and its suitability for creating 3D preforms. 31 Refs.
Applied Composite Materials, 24, No.2, 2017, p.477-493, ISSN: 0929-189X, DOI: 10.1007/s10443-016-9550-z
Koncherry V; Potluri P; Fernando A

1257521 - Vehicle weight is the key driver for automotive composites
The global composites industry, around 90% of which is currently glass fibre-based, is now worth an estimated Euro80bn, and over the past five years, automotive and transportation has grown to become its biggest sector by tonnage. Carbon fibre composites have a number of convincing properties in their favour, such as high strength and durability, but most significantly, as far as the global automotive industry is concerned, they are 50% lighter than steel. The key stumbling block, however, remains price. It is significant that many of the major car builders have already partnered with carbon fibre companies. Security of carbon fibre supply is critical to the future plans of these OEMs. Meanwhile, there are ongoing attempts to replace glass fibre with natural fibres, such as flax and hemp.
Reinforced Plastics, 61, No.2, Mar.-Apr. 2017, p.100-102, ISSN: 0034-3617
Wilson A

1250161 - Recovery and reuse of discontinuous carbon fibres by solvolysis: realignment and properties of remanufactured materials (OPEN ACCESS - FREE ACCESS TO FULL TEXT)
Discontinuous carbon fibre tows were recovered after solvolysis of an aeronautic type composite made with RTM6 epoxy resin. A Sohxlet extraction method was used to quantify the organic residue on the fibre tows and showed that less than 3 wt% was remaining on the surface. The recovered tows were therefore reused directly to manufacture a plate with randomly distributed carbon fibres and then three plates with realigned carbon fibres. The latter were then characterised and tested and the results obtained were compared to the material manufactured using the same type of virgin fibres by the same method. The materials made from recycled carbon fibres showed very good properties in comparison to the virgin fibre material, despite the presence of flaws such as quality of the fibre surface after solvolysis, alignment and voids). This is the first time in the open literature that carbon fibres recovered from solvolysis were reused in this way together with characterisation of the resulting materials. (14 ref)
Composites Science and Technology, 139, 8 Feb. 2017, p.99-108, ISSN: 0266-3538, DOI: 10.1016/j.compscitech.2016.11.001
Oliveux G; Bailleul J; Gillet A; Mantaux O; Leeke G A

1259110 - Carbon. Gearing up
An overview is given of the latest developments in the market for carbon fibres. It is shown that the long-awaited large-volume carbon fibre markets appear to be coming through at last and that carbon fibre producers are geared up. Historical mergers and acquisitions are barely under way. Data are presented on the top best-selling automotive brands, ranked by average carbon dioxide emissions, and a chart is given showing cooperation between carbon fibre manufacturers and automotive original equipment manufacturers. The market for carbon fibres in energy applications, e.g. wind turbines, is examined and progress towards developing lasting solutions to the recycling of carbon fibre composites is considered.
JEC Composites, no. 112, Apr.-May 2017, p.20-22, ISSN: 1639-965X

1258010 - Preparation of carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastics with high fiber volume fraction and high heat-resistant properties
In the present article, a highly heat-resistant composite with a high fibre volume fraction (Vf > 60%) was successfully manufactured using engineering plastic Nylon66 as matrix and carbon fabric as reinforcement by a solution impregnation moulding method. The mechanical properties of the composite were investigated using a tensile measuring device. Mechanical analysis revealed the superior mechanical properties of the composite relative to those of previously reported carbon fibre-reinforced thermoplastics (CFRTPs). The cross section and fracture surface of the composite were characterised by scanning electron microscopy. The resin successfully impregnated the fibre bundles and the bonding strength of the fibre-resin interface was excellent. Dynamic mechanical analysis was used to evaluate the heat-resistant property of the composite. The composite exhibited a better heat-resistant property relative to that of the carbon fibre-reinforced crystalline co-polyester composite. To further verify the versatility of this method, super engineering plastic polyetherimide with a higher molecular weight was successfully employed as matrix to prepare CFRTP. (29 ref)
Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials, 30, No.5, 2017, p.724-737, ISSN: 0892-7057, DOI: 10.1177/0892705715610408
Bing Liu; Anchang Xu; Limin Bao

1257515 - Carbon fiber market growing at 8%
According to new research from IHS Markit, the global market for carbon fibres is growing by more than 8% per year through 2020. Global consumption of carbon fibres is expected to grow from over 60 thousand metric tones in 2015 to approximately 90 thousand metric tons by 2020. Aircraft and automotive manufacturers, who face environmental and regulatory pressures to reduce weight, improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, are helping drive demand growth for carbon fibres. Automotive and industrial/wind applications currently consume more than 60% of global carbon fibre demand and demand in this sector is predicted to grow at an average annual rate of nearly 9% during 2015-2020. World demand in aircraft and aerospace applications surpassed sporting goods/recreation to become the second-largest market for carbon fibres in 2011-2012. North America and Western Europe are the largest markets for carbon fibres, accounting for more than 58% of world consumption in 2015.
Reinforced Plastics, 61, No.2, Mar.-Apr. 2017, p.71-72, ISSN: 0034-3617


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