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Carbon Fiber Manufacture Technology Description

Online Carbon Fiber Data: Manufacture, Uses and Applications

Intratec Chemical Process Library is the first free online encyclopedia of chemical process technologies. Our Library covers not only processes description themselves, but also the economics surrounding chemicals production, providing real-world knowledge on the production of several chemical commodities. Click here to check all chemicals covered.

In this page you will find free data about Carbon Fiber, including:

  • What is Carbon Fiber
  • How to make Carbon Fiber
  • Carbon Fiber uses and applications

This page presents brief synopsis of Carbon Fiber production technology, describing, in a concise way, relevant technical and economic aspects. Each manufacturing process description will consist of:

  • Major process steps
  • Simplified, schematic flow diagram & key equipment
  • Important safety or environmental considerations
  • Economic perspective, comprising capital expenditures and/or operating expenses

All content from Intratec's Chemical Process Library was produced based on reports published by Intratec. To learn more about Carbon Fiber production processes presented below and others examined in Intratec reports, click here.

Carbon Fiber Manufacture from Petroleum Pitch

Carbon fibers (CF) are defined as fibers containing at least 90% carbon by weight, ob tained by pyrolysis of an appropriate precursor fiber. Their properties, such as high stiffness, large tensile strength, good chemical resistance, light weight, high temperature tolerance and low thermal expansion, make them suitable for a range of applications including aerospace and sporting goods. Carbon fibers are also used for chemical protective clothing, electromagnetic shielding and as fireretardant nonwoven materials.

The main precursor fibers used to manufacture carbon fibers are polyacrylonitrile (PAN), petroleum/coal pitch and synthetic cellulosic fibers (for example, rayon). The precursor material for CF is of major importance because it dictates the fiber properties, as well as how the fiber behaves mechanically, physically and chemically. In fact, a wide diversity of fibers, having different specifications, can be obtained from different raw materials and different production processes.

Technology Description

The figure below presents a simplified flow diagram of a high-modulus carbon fiber manufacturing process from petroleum pitch.

Carbon Fiber Manufacture Technology - Process Flow Diagram

Pitch treatment and spinning

The first step in the production of pitchbased carbon fiber is pitch treatment ...

Stabilization, carbonization and graphitization

The thermoplastic pitch fiber thus obtained is oxidized into ...

Surface treatment and sizing

The carbon fibers are submitted to anodic oxidation ...

Economic Performance

The direct process costs associated with the ...


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This synopsis is based on the report Carbon Fiber Production from Pitch — Cost Analysis. (For more information, Click here).