Scattering meets Carbon fibre production

Topic  27
Main supervisor S. Förster (
MLZ institution FZJ
Local supervisor 1 Sascha Schriever
Institution RWTH Aachen
Local supervisor 2 tbd
Institution SGL Carbon
Local supervisor 3 Dorthe Posselt
Institution Univ. Roskilde
Local supervisor 4
Title Scattering meets Carbon fibre production
Description The carbon fibre market is a steadily growing market with approx. 9-11 % growth per year. Carbon fibers are usually combined with other materials (polymers) to form a composite. The greatest demand is currently in the wind energy sector, aerospace industry and the mobility sector (H2 tanks). The mechanical and electrical properties of carbon fibre are significantly influenced by their microscopic structure. For the targeted modification of the properties, it is important to understand the structure formation processes on the respective size scales and in relation to the individual production stages in carbon fibre manufacture (polymer, precursor, stabilized carbon fibre and carbon fibre). The observation of the structure formation processes of fibers would contribute considerably to the understanding of extrusion, coagulation and thermal conversion that would finally influence the European carbon fibre market.
In this GNeuS project we plan in-situ measurements of carbon fiber structure formation by means of scattering techniques (neutron and X-ray). This brings the following challenges for science and technology:
• Development of measurement methodology for in-situ structural analysis using scattering techniques.
• Multi-scale modelling of the individual process steps during carbon fibre production based on the results of the in-situ structural analysis.
The project focuses first on precursor production. Structural composition of the material during extrusion, coagulation, washing, stretching and drying should be investigated by SAXS and SANS. With SAXS the formation of sub-structures in the intra-fibre volume and their response to the mechanical forces will be investigated.
Second, carbon fibre production based on structural build-up of the material during stabilization and carbonization will be considered. SANS is able to provide with the complementary information at the matching condition when one of the fibre components can be selectively measured.