Carbon fiber production with microwaves

Carbon fibers are widely used in lightweight applications, but the carbon fiber production is rather expensive and energy intensive compared to the production of aluminium and steel. Microwave heating has the benefit of heating in the volume and thus may lead to faster heating rates. For this reason, the goal of the project is to research the production of carbon fibers with dielectric heating.

In the project, the focus is on the stabilization stage of the carbon fiber production from polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fibers. In order to develop a suitbale applicator first, the temperature dependence of the dielectric properties during the stabilization reaction was measured. As it can be evaluated from Fig.1 the dielectric properties are strongly temperature dependent and the reaction progess can be tracked during the holding time. Based on those results a new cavity is designed in order to heat the fiber with microwaves.

Funding: ZF4204603SY7

Duration: 2017 - 2021