Development of New Type of Carbon Fiber for Thermoplastics Gets Funding

SGL Group is pursuing development of a carbon fiber with enhanced elongation and optimized surface structure.

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“Thermoplastic fiber composites as a new type of material class offer several new opportunities for the application and processing of carbon fiber materials. They enable, for example, shorter cycle times, weldability, reparability and reuse, thereby offering the customer cost and processing benefits,” states a recent press release from Germany’s SGL Carbon SE (U.S. headquarters in Charlotte, N.C.)

 

Although this is not entirely new to most of you, what is new is that the SGL Group,‘The Carbon Company’, one of the globe’s leading suppliers of carbon fiber, is now receiving funds (about $1.1-million) from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for the development of a new type of customized carbon fiber for thermoplastic applications, with automotive in the limelight.

 

The research project linked to this funding, called MAI CaFeE (Carbon Fiber with Enhanced Elongation), was initialized in April and will run until June 2017.  MAI stands for Munich, Augsburg and Incolstadt—one of the fifteen technology networks in the Germany-wide BMBF Leading-Edge Cluster funding program which supports promising projects for carbon fiber composites.

 

As implied by its name, this project’s goal is to develop a carbon fiber with “significantly increased elongation” as well as an optimized surface structure adapted to the existing sizing systems. Development advances derived from the MAI polymer project, one of SGL’s existing projects in the “leading-edge cluster MAI Carbon, are serving as a basis for the recently funded MAI CaFeE research project.

 

Perhaps more importantly, the MAI CaFeE research project is also being supported by two project partners: the University of Augsburg and the BMW Group. For example, the Chair for Experimental Physics II at the University of Augsburg will assist in analyzing the structure and properties of the new fiber as it is being developed by SGL. To guarantee a timely test in an environment close to the final application--automotive, the newly developed carbon fiber will be tested by the BMW Group.

 

Want to find or compare materials data for different resins, grades, or suppliers? Check out Plastics Technology’s Plaspec Global materials database.