3 years ago

High-Modulus Low-Cost Carbon Fibers from Polyethylene Enabled by Boron Catalyzed Graphitization

High-Modulus Low-Cost Carbon Fibers from Polyethylene Enabled by Boron Catalyzed Graphitization
Nicholas Horstman, Steven Weigand, Denis Keane, James E. Rix, Chris Derstine, Eric J. Hukkanen, Bryan E. Barton, Mark Spalding, Weijun Wang, Michael J. Behr, Brian G. Landes, Jasson T. Patton
Currently, carbon fibers (CFs) from the solution spinning, air oxidation, and carbonization of polyacrylonitrile impose a lower price limit of ≈$10 per lb, limiting the growth in industrial and automotive markets. Polyethylene is a promising precursor to enable a high-volume industrial grade CF as it is low cost, melt spinnable and has high carbon content. However, sulfonated polyethylene (SPE)-derived CFs have thus far fallen short of the 200 GPa tensile modulus threshold for industrial applicability. Here, a graphitization process is presented catalyzed by the addition of boron that produces carbon fiber with >400 GPa tensile modulus at 2400 °C. Wide angle X-ray diffraction collected during carbonization reveals that the presence of boron reduces the onset of graphitization by nearly 400 °C, beginning around 1200 °C. The B-doped SPE-CFs herein attain 200 GPa tensile modulus and 2.4 GPa tensile strength at the practical carbonization temperature of 1800 °C. High-modulus carbon fibers from melt-spun polyethylene are produced in a continuous process via sulfonation and subsequent carbonization. The addition of boron as a graphitization catalyst greatly modifies the crystallographic microstructure and doubles the resulting tensile moduli, enabling low-cost industrial fibers with 240 GPa modulus after carbonization to 1800 °C and high-modulus fibers with 400 GPa after 2400 °C.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/smll.201701926

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.