Carbon Fibre

Enabling Australia’s Carbon Fibre Industry

The production of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fibre from the acrylonitrile (AN) raw material accounts for about 50% of the carbon fibre production cost and determines about 80% of the final properties. In a market dominated by a few major carbon fibre manufacturers, smaller or innovative companies downstream, especially those in emerging industries have difficulty identifying and securing carbon fibre property and performance specification modifications to suit their needs. Using Reverse Addition Fragmentation chain Transfer (RAFT) polymerisation technology, CSIRO can enable varying grades and performance specification carbon fibres to be produced by tailoring the PAN material. CSIRO can produce PAN materials with very high molecular weights and exceptionally well defined structures and properties compared to conventional methods. This leads to better quality PAN fibres with a more compacted microstructure which translates to higher strength and stiffness carbon fibre than comparable grades currently available. This superior performance can allow composite manufacturers to use less carbon fibres in their components, improve processing, weight and cost in their final products.

The objective of this EDP is to demonstrate that the CSIRO technology can be scaled up to produce carbon fibres to customers specifications and quantify to the customer the benefits and advantages of using RAFT PAN materials compared to conventional PAN materials.

For further information please contact:

Dr Andrew Abbott, CSIRO: andrew.abbott@csiro.au