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Title: FreedomCAR and Low Cost Carbon Fiber for Automotive Applications

Abstract

No abstract prepared.

Authors:
 [1]
  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
958816
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 7th International Conference on Materials for Lean Weight Vehicles, Coventry, United Kingdom, 20070926, 20070927
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; CARBON FIBERS; AUTOMOBILES; AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY; MATERIALS; VEHICLES; automotive; carbon fiber; composites; lightweight materials

Citation Formats

Warren, Charles David. FreedomCAR and Low Cost Carbon Fiber for Automotive Applications. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Warren, Charles David. FreedomCAR and Low Cost Carbon Fiber for Automotive Applications. United States.
Warren, Charles David. Mon . "FreedomCAR and Low Cost Carbon Fiber for Automotive Applications". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_958816,
title = {FreedomCAR and Low Cost Carbon Fiber for Automotive Applications},
author = {Warren, Charles David},
abstractNote = {No abstract prepared.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

Conference:
Other availability
Please see Document Availability for additional information on obtaining the full-text document. Library patrons may search WorldCat to identify libraries that hold this conference proceeding.

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  • In pursuit of the goal to produce ultra-lightweight fuel efficient vehicles, there has been great excitement during the last few years about the potential for using carbon fibre reinforced composites in high volume applications. Currently, the greatest hurdle that inhibits wider implementation of carbon fibre composites in transportation is the high cost of carbon fibre when compared to other candidate materials. However, significant research is being conducted to develop lower cost, high volume technologies for producing carbon fibre. This chapter will highlight ongoing research in this area.
  • In the last decade, natural fiber composites have experienced rapid growth in the European automotive market, and this trend appears to be global in scale, provided the cost and performance is justified against competing technologies. However, mass reduction, recyclability, and performance requirements can be met today by competing systems such as injection-molded unreinforced thermoplastics; natural fiber composites will continue to expand their role in automotive applications only if such technical challenges as moisture stability, fiber-polymer interface compatibility, and consistent, repeatable fiber sources are available to supply automotive manufacturers. Efforts underway by Tier I and II automotive suppliers to explore hybridmore » glass-natural fiber systems, as well as applications that exploit such capabilities as natural fiber sound dampening characteristics, could very well have far-reaching effects. In addition, the current development underway of bio-based resins such as Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) biodegradable polyesters and bio-based polyols could provide fully bio-based composite options to future automotive designers. In short, the development of the natural fiber composite market would make a positive impact on farmers and small business owners on a global scale, reduce US reliance on foreign oil, improve environmental quality through the development of a sustainable resource supply chain, and achieve a better CO2 balance over the vehicle?s lifetime with near-zero net greenhouse gas emissions.« less
  • In pursuit of the goal to produce ultra-lightweight fuel efficient vehicles, there has been great excitement during the last few years about the potential for using carbon fiber reinforced composites in high volume applications. Currently, the greatest hurdle that inhibits wider implementation of carbon fiber composites in transportation is the high cost of the fiber when compared to other candidate materials. As part of the United States Department of Energy s FreedomCAR initiative, significant research is being conducted to develop lower cost, high volume technologies for producing carbon fiber. This paper will highlight the on-going research in this area. Throughmore » Department of Energy (DOE) sponsorship, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and its partners have been working with the US Automotive Composites Consortium (ACC) to develop technologies that would enable the production of carbon fiber at 5-7 dollars per pound. Achievement of this cost goal would allow the introduction of carbon fiber based composites into a greater number of applications for future vehicles. The approach has necessitated the development of both alternative precursors and more efficient production methods. Alternative precursors under investigation include textile grade polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fibers and fibers from lignin-based feedstocks. Previously, as part of the research program, Hexcel Corporation developed the science necessary to allow textile grade PAN to be used as a precursor rather than typical carbon fiber grade precursors. Efforts are also underway to develop carbon fiber precursors from lignin-based feedstocks. ORNL and its partners are working on this effort with domestic pulp and paper producers. In terms of alternative production methods, ORNL has developed a microwave-based carbonization unit that can process pre-oxidized fiber at over 200 inches per minute. ORNL has also developed a new method of high speed oxidation and a new method for precursor stabilization. Additionally, novel methods of activating carbon fiber surfaces have been developed which allow atomic oxygen concentrations as high as 25-30% to be achieved rather than the more typical 4-8% achieved by the standard industrial ozone treatment.« less
  • The Department of Energy Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles has shown that, by lowering overall weight, the use of carbon fiber composites could dramatically decrease domestic vehicle fuel consumption. For the automotive industry to benefit from carbon fiber technology, fiber production will need to be substantially increased and fiber price decreased to $7/kg. To achieve this cost objective, alternate precursors to pitch and polyacrylonitrile (PAN) are being investigated as possible carbon fiber feedstocks. Additionally, sufficient fiber to provide 10 to 100 kg for each of the 13 million cars and light trucks produced annually in the U.S. willmore » require an increase of 5 to 50-fold in worldwide carbon fiber production. High-volume, renewable or recycled materials, including lignin, cellulosic fibers, routinely recycled petrochemical fibers, and blends of these components, appear attractive because the cost of these materials is inherently both low and insensitive to changes in petroleum price. Current studies have shown that a number of recycled and renewable polymers can be incorporated into melt-spun fibers attractive as carbon fiber feedstocks. Highly extrudable lignin blends have attractive yields and can be readily carbonized and graphitized. Examination of the physical structure and properties of carbonized and graphitized fibers indicates the feasibility of use in transportation composite applications.« less
  • Lignin, a sustainable, renewable resource material, is being evaluated for the low cost production of carbon fiber for automotive and other applications. We previously reported the successful production of carbon fiber from a solvent extracted lignin [1] and from other lignins [2]. However, it was found that the lignin fiber, produced by the melt spinning of the solvent extracted lignin, was difficult to stabilize (i.e., render infusible) and thus carbonize. The long stabilization time, due to the fiber s low Tg, led to the conclusion that thermal engineering of a lignin feedstock could ultimately raise the Tg of the ligninmore » and thereby of the spun fiber. This would permit a higher temperature of stabilization, which would reduce stabilization time as well as overall processing times. The thermally-engineered lignins were evaluated in terms of their rheological properties, melt spinning ability, morphology, stabilization and carbonization properties, and ultimately mechanical properties of the carbon fibers obtained.« less