Chemnitz/Remscheid/Shanghai, June 24, 2014 – carbon fibers as backing material for compound materials are emerging from their niche. According to estimates from the Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing (VCAMM), the demand for carbon fibers will approximately double by 2017.
Only recently, the China Ministry of Industrial & Information Technology published a plan for industrializing the manufacture of carbon fibers in China. According to this plan, the output of the top 5 manufacturers in China is to increase by 70% by 2020. Currently, Japan and the USA are the main suppliers of carbon fibers. Within the context of the Chinese trade fair for textile machines and systems, Oerlikon Barmag is also focusing on this very promising market with an information showcase.
Producing carbon fibers economically
With the automatic WinTrax A-2cop carbon fiber winder, the Chemnitz-based subsidiary of Oerlikon Barmag has a winder in its portfolio that guarantees the economical production of carbon fibers of the very highest quality. The two-cop winder produces packages with perfect package build, identical running length and diameters of up to 310 mm. The resulting higher package weights shorten the tooling times and hence considerably reduce the time and costs for manufacturing compound materials. As a result of the identical running length of all packages, waste is virtually completely eliminated.
Oerlikon Barmag offers the solutions – for a large variety of mixing and metering tasks when processing plastics – which actually enable economical production. Manufacturers like to deploy the spinning pumps – renowned for their precision – for spinning the composite base materials polyacrylnitrile (PAN) and aramid. The majority of common high-performance carbon fibers are today manufactured from polyacrylnitrile. The most significant feature of these fibers is their high modulus with simultaneously very low weight. This modern material is meanwhile being deployed in many sectors of industry; for instance, in medical technology, in the aerospace industry, in the wind power industry and in the automobile industry, among others.