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Carbon Fiber Production

  • Carbon fiber is currently produced in relatively limited quantities mostly via two manufacturing processes:
    A. Based on pitch (coal tar and petroleum products)
    B. Based on Polyacrylonitrile (PAN)
  • Current global capacity for pitch-based carbon fiber is estimated at about 3,500 metric tons per year.
  • Global use for PAN-based carbon fiber is increasing rapidly, and total production capacity currently does not meet the demand.
  • PAN-based carbon fiber is more expensive to produce, hence, limiting its use to high end applications, (used primarily by aerospace and sporting equipment industries)


Carbon Fiber Properties

  • Pitch and PAN carbon fibers have properties that suit different applications.
  • The most common carbon-fiber type is PAN, primarily for structural reinforcement because of its high tensile strength.
  • Mesophase pitch fibers, on the other hand, offer designers a different profile. They are easily customized to meet specific applications. They often have a higher modulus, or stiffness than conventional PAN fibers, are intrinsically more pure electrochemically, and have higher ionic intercalation.
  • Mesophase Pitch fibers also possess higher thermal and electrical conductivity, and different friction properties.
cross section

Carbon Fiber Applications

Global demand for high-strength, light-weight and durable fiber is growing; typical applications in:

  • Portable power
  • Rechargeable batteries and fuel cell electrodes
  • Fiber reinforced plastics, FRP
  • Energy production; windmill blades
  • Building and construction materials: concrete and asphalt reinforcements, soil erosion barriers
  • Electronics, composite materials for automotives & general transportation,
  • Specialty and niche markets.

boeing       Wind Turbine

Carbon fiber car  helmet

Carbon Fiber Markets

Carbon fiber Market

Price vs Volume

Contact Us

Dr. Ahmad (Adam) Vakili
Professor Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering
Office:(931) 393-7483

Address inquiries to:
Advanced Carbon Based Materials
The Univ. of TN Space Inst.
411 B.H. Goethert Parkway
Tullahoma, TN 37388-9700
Fax: 931.393.7530