Carbon Nanofibers, Testing, and Fabrication (MSC P7027)
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
Current satellite structures and spacecraft components utilize carbon fiber reinforced composites to achieve low weight, high stiffness, strength and multifunctional performance capability. In order to meet the multifunctional performance and weight goals for future satellite systems and spacecraft components, the Air Force has identified a need for new carbon fibers that provide a balance of high stiffness, strength, fracture toughness, thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity. Advances in nanotube reinforced fiber development and processing research provide a significant opportunity for meeting these multifunctional performance goals, but further research and process development is needed to improve the interface characteristics and understand the microstructure/property relationships to optimize properties. The Phase I research proposed here involves the development, characterization and production of multiwall nanotube (MWNT) reinforced pitch- and PAN-based carbon fibers to provide improved multifunctional performance. Both melt spinning and solution spinning of MWNT/carbon fibers will be performed at different MWNT loading concentrations and process conditions to achieve the optimal fiber material properties. The research draws on the significant related research performed by the Phase I team, where long lengths of MWNT/carbon fibers have been produced to achieve higher tensile strength and strain-to-failure over unreinforced PAN-based carbon fibers.
Small Business Information at Submission:
MATERIALS SCIENCES CORP.
181 Gibraltar Road Horsham, PA 19044
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