New method to produce precursors for high-strength carbon fiber processing

phys.org | 1/23/2019 | Staff
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Carbon fiber is an important structural material. Due to its high strength, in combination with low specific weight and high oxidative stability, it is an indispensable material for airspace and shipbuilding industries, construction, medicine, the sports industry, and other high-tech industry sectors.

The main method of carbon fiber production involves heat treatment of synthetic fibers obtained from polymers based on acrylonitrile. The quality of the finished carbon fiber and its strength characteristics largely depends on the composition and molecular weight characteristics of the polymer raw materials (precursors) from which the fiber is extruded. Therefore, researchers seek new compositions for copolymerization, and to develop effective polymerization methods that enable the control of the molecular weight of the samples obtained.

Achievements - Chemistry - Polymers - Development - Methods

One of the latest achievements in modern synthetic chemistry of polymers is the development of methods for controlled radical polymerization (Reversible Deactivation Radical Polymerization.). The advantages include the ability to control the molecular weight value of the polymers obtained by varying the ratio between the initiator and the monomer, as well as simultaneous fragment-by-fragment chain growth, which results in a narrow molecular weight distribution.

According to Ivan Grishin, head of the research laboratory for organic synthesis and radical processes at Lobachevsky University, the UNN researchers sought to develop a new method for producing acrylonitrile copolymer to obtain a precursor for high-quality carbon fibers that feature high strength and elastic modulus. To obtain these acrylonitrile copolymers, the researchers used atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) for the first time, with copper bromide as a catalyst. Due to...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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