Carbon fiber market

Carbon fiber

Industrial materials - high modulus carbon fiber market2013-01-28

The analysis of market and application to high modulus PAN carbon fibers
  • Author : Wang Zhiyong C. Y. Wang
  • The Wing Rainbow Technology Co., Ltd. R & D long
  • Abstract : The high modulus carbon fiber is the next generation of key material has the characteristics of light weight, high rigidity, can significantly be used in high-end areas of aerospace, automotive, energy, engineering, addressing the problems faced by industry. High modulus carbon fiber cost is high, but the design of the product application side have been adopted, and the emergence of high-end composite products. This article is looking forward to by the presentation and sharing of high modulus carbon fiber, making the design of high-end materials, costs, supply and demand oriented in product design have larger space, and thus make the whole industry can get rid of the limit toward high margin and the development of high value-added.


First, high modulus carbon fiber introduced

The earliest carbon fiber Bamboo carbon fiber began in 1880, with the development of space technology in the 1960s, Japanese Shinto Akio invention was a rapid development after the PAN-based carbon fibers. Only one fifth of the steel weight of carbon fiber, aluminum half, but the intensity is 10 times that of iron. In addition, it also has corrosion resistance, electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, heat transfer, a low specific gravity, high tensile strength, high modulus and other excellent properties, and because they have fiber-like flexing resistance, ease of knitting processing and winding forming. Applications, the new-generation models of the aerospace industry in recent years, such as the Boeing 787, Airbus 380 have been substantially adopted outside, carbon fiber is also a lot of use in the sport, automotive and industrial uses, such as golf clubs, rackets, fishing rods, high-end cars body, wind vane, high-voltage cables, and construction engineering.
Carbon fiber is an important strategic material capacity high specification carbon fiber manufacturers around the world are located in Japan, is a high degree of oligopoly market, among which Toray (Toray) is noteworthy. As shown in the drawings a Toray product specifications, carbon fiber strength (on behalf of the material can withstand maximum stress) and analog-to-digital (Japan said: elasticity, on behalf of the rigidity of the material's ability to resist deformation) as a hierarchical distinction , the higher the level of the higher strength or higher the modulus, the price will also rise. The industry the most popular use of the T700 product, is a high-strength carbon fiber, and the strength of 4.9GPa modulus 230GPa, known as the 24-ton carbon fiber, low-modulus carbon fiber. Toray Company M Series MJ Series, M30, M40, M60, They belong to the high modulus carbon fiber modulus of 270 ~ 560GPa, commonly known as 30 tons, 40 tons, 60 tons of carbon fiber. At present, most of the carbon fiber manufacturers still only stay in the production of the 24-ton carbon fiber products, not yet entered in the high-end products.

Toray Specifications maps Molecular structure of carbon fiber schematically

Polyacrylonitrile as the raw material manufacturing process of PAN carbon fibers are generally as follows: polyacrylonitrile materials (Monofilament) → stabilization / pre-oxidation works (200 to 300 ° C, air oxidation time 10-20 hours) → carbonization Engineering (1000 - 1400 ℃, the nitrogen heating time more than 2 hours) → graphitization Project (1500-2000 ° C, and heating time of 0.5 hours or more) in argon → graphitized fiber. Treatment process at high temperature, carbon fiber molecule will gradually polymerized to form a tightly layered structure, the smaller the spacing between the graphite layers, i.e. the c-axis direction to shorten the distance, and to enhance the stability of the structure will make the synergistic effect of the Van der Waals force, so that the carbon fiber rigidity improved.

Second, the high modulus carbon fiber applications

Composite design trends large and lightweight, and how to better structure performance design, to reduce the weight of the structure, is a composite product key to upgrade. The current practice of including the upgrading of analog design technology (lower the design safety tolerance), the use of a highly rigid carbon fiber material, improve the composite process technology. To design end, the most convenient is highly rigid carbon fiber material, because of the structure within the safety tolerance to achieve the effect of weight loss, they do not need to adjust the process of the composites. In Japan, for example, in accordance with lightweight, high-performance needs of the next 10 years, to assess the most extensive use of carbon fiber composite material applications surface for the family car market, solar cells, large wind turbines, as well as large civil aircraft.

Wind turbine blades, for example, as shown in the drawing, the current 1.5MW blade, a total length of 35 meters, the main blade in glass fiber production. To build 7MW class large departure wind turbine blade length up to 70 meters long, is equivalent to the A380 wing width due to the direction of the force of the blade specific wind turbine blades will require a lot of high-modulus carbon fiber to improve rigidity, reduce the amount of deformation, to maintain blade life and improve wind power conversion efficiency, three leaves per unit, 3MW wind turbines will need nine tons of carbon fiber.

Figure III, large-scale wind turbine design concept

Panel transporting more familiar with the panel industry in Taiwan, for example, 8-generation plant must basically a mechanical arm with HM (high modulus) carbon fiber composite bracket of CFRP, in order to avoid the weight of deformation and load deforming too large, and caused the backend processes such as the error caused by the coating. By Mitsubishi data display the RM of CFRP (Raw Modulus), the dead weight of the amount of deformation at 24mm, the same size of the design, HM CFRP weight amount of deformation only 8mm, and can carry the original 1.5 times the area (weight) of glass, the overall engineering system the maneuverability and stability with great effectiveness.

Figure 8 on behalf of the panel industry factory shipping robot design concept

Another case of high modulus carbon fiber market applications 3C industry, including laptops, Pad, smart phones, etc., are constantly stressed and Development thin, heat dissipation and excellent products. Of carbon fiber composite materials to meet such demand, but the past carbon fiber composite material for the full use of excellent mechanical properties of carbon fiber are used thermosetting resin material, such material takes a few hours hardening time, and can not be trimmed, unable to meet the 3C industry needs. Comparison, the thermoplastic composite material has the advantages of rapid prototyping, with a high modulus carbon fiber design concept, not only to compensate for the high thin, the generally low modulus carbon fiber thermoplastic composites rigid low of ills, more opportunity to resolve the the 3C industry expect production issues.

Fourth, in high modulus carbon fiber applications in thermoplastic composites

Third, high modulus carbon fiber market

To 2007, around the world, except Japan, South Korea, India, Turkey, mainland master key material of the next generation of carbon fiber, to take national capital investment and encourage investment strategy, including Taiwan Formosa Plastics also actively expand production, resulting nearly 50 new carbon fiber company. Largest aerospace industry certification period for the use of the individual products in the carbon fiber market is quite long, invested a substantial increase in the results of the carbon fiber market supply has reached 70,000 tons is almost twice the past livelihood areas oversupply situation makes low modulus carbon fiber prices slipped. However, the other hand, in high modulus carbon fiber market, due to technical obstacles caused by the high threshold always has not been a breakthrough, to the current worldwide major providers still only Japan's Toray, Toho, Mitsubishi, middle and high modulus carbon fibers belonging to ultra-high temperature graphitization system drive (2000 degrees C or more), in the production process, any defects in the carbon fiber will cause stress concentration generated hairiness and destruction, this point substantially lower than the low-modulus carbon fiber so that the yield of the high modulus carbon fiber, coupled with strategic goods market regulation, in the market, the low modulus carbon fiber is often as high as 20 to 30% of the volatility, but in high mode number of carbon fiber prices but always flat and high, Annex Table 1 for different modulus grade carbon fiber of market prices, has been found in the modulus carbon fiber prices almost as low modulus carbon fiber 2 times more than the cost of huge differences lead to significant expansion of high modulus applications market is difficult.

Fifth, high modulus carbon fiber price difference

Opportunity for development of domestic carbon fiber composites industry

Contains the upstream carbon fiber raw materials and resin feedstock currently composites industry, the middle reaches of the Prepreg, woven factory, molding factory downstream, as well as the end consumer systems, brand application providers, in fact, the development of the sports industry very much intact, into the other industries such as 3C, wind vane, engineering, etc., are not difficult to Taiwan in the past years of deep plowing of technical strength. But the domestic industry in the acquisition of high-end carbon fiber material is still subject to the Japanese manufacturers control as well as the limitations of the high prices, resulting in a new generation of product upgrading and transformation of slowing down.

Figure 6, carbon fiber composites industry chain structure

Wing Rainbow Technology origin by the technical team of the institute, after several years of efforts to develop a unique worldwide special patented graphite technology, can exceed temperatures above 2000 degrees C, the market of low-modulus carbon fiber processing according to customer The need to upgrade to a high-modulus carbon fiber. The effect of this approach, carbon fiber is not limited label analog-to-digital upgrade by professional certification, such as the U-30 Wing rainbow modulus than the average low-modulus carbon fiber increase by 20%, while maintaining high strength, proved to be replaced by the market 30-ton high modulus carbon fiber into the market low-cost high-quality, and help customers toreplace the sizing, adjust the width of the fiber. The Wing Rainbow Technology production of high modulus carbon fiber goal is to break the monopoly of the United States, Japan, exclusive market at lower prices, better quality carbon fiber and provides professional and technical services to assist customers in product design and upgrade.

Wing Rainbow Technology high modulus carbon fiber products

V. Conclusion

The high modulus carbon fibers having a lightweight, high performance characteristics of most of the structural material can be used as the final choice. High modulus carbon fiber in the aerospace industry, wind blades, car engineering purposes, the Civil reinforcement, electronic industry, sports industry, have been gradually enhance the design proportion, the only high-modulus carbon fiber still need to resolve the imbalance between supply and demand, to buy control , process adjustment, product design and other issues, the most important is the price must be able to reduce to meet the market solutions such, the new generation of composite products can quickly be consumer accepted by the public, and to lead Taiwan composites industry investment in innovation and development, product upgrades so that the industry as a whole to be able to break free of the restrictions, toward the high-margin, high-value-added development.