Carbon fibre combines high rigidity, tensile strength and chemical resistance with low weight. It’s increasingly being used across industries such as aerospace, automotive, oil and gas, clean energy and sporting goods to replace traditional materials like steel and aluminium.
According to a report by Global Market Insights Inc. the carbon fibre composites market is set to be worth over $31bn by 2024.
Currently, carbon fibre is made by only a handful of manufacturers around the world, each of whom hold their own secret, patented recipe. As such smaller or innovative companies can have difficulty identifying and securing carbon fibre and performance specification modifications to suit their needs.
To make the material more affordable and relevant for Australian manufacturers, we’ve developed cost-effective, high performing SIROPAN carbon fibre.
The production of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fibre from the acrylonitrile raw material accounts for about 50% of the carbon fibre production cost and determines about 80% of the final properties – it’s a very important part of the carbon fibre value chain.
SIROPAN uses techniques such as RAFT polymerisation technology to produce better quality PAN polymer, which is used to make PAN (white) fibre, and ultimately carbon (black) fibre.
Our approach produces PAN with well-defined properties, that translates to carbon fibre with higher strength and modulus, as well as a compact microstructure.
The outcome of this work will be carbon fibre that is more affordable and relevant for the composites industry.
We collaborate with industry and the research sector to enable Australia’s carbon fibre industry.
This research is supported by the Science and Industry Endowment Fund.