Fibralspec Project

Innovative processes with streamlining and improved control will be conducted in FIBRALSPEC, through Unit for Continuous PAN-based Carbon Fiber Pilot Production. Testing of laminates and prepregs production based the new developed carbon fibres followed by manufacturing of laminates/coupons and high-performance filament wound tubes are also foreseen (equipment for delivering precise volumes the matrix (resin) in high and low-capacity to impregnate the fibres and bundles will be developed).

The project also efforts on functionalization will be mainly focused on cost reduction, mechanical and chemical property improvement. Novel CF precursors will be developed (silicon carbide, textile-grade PAN, polyolefins, and lignin); in parallel, the suitability of a new environmentally friendly pitch will be assessed, obtained from anthracene oil, for the preparation of isotropic carbon fibres.

The project’s carbon fiber conversion technology will pyrolysis process to convert PAN precursor fiber into PAN-based carbon fiber and activated carbon fiber. Innovative surface treatment will improve the step of treatment of the carbon fiber surface being indispensable for productions in series. As for recycling and used of recycled CFs, new techniques will be used to provide commercially-relevant products that are manufactured from waste carbon fibres.

Mathematical modeling will be conducted so as to determine properties of CFs and composites, together with cost modeling; life cycle assessment will assist in possible commercial risks that will be continuously estimated during the project and quantify/assess the environmental impact of the materials that will be used.

Industrial partnership will ensure the impact of the research efforts, convincingly proving scalability towards industrial needs of two high demanding applications, namely medium technology – large scale (Rapid Deployment Secure Emergency Shelter (RDSES)) and high technology – small scale (supercapacitor).

 

Functionalised Innovative Carbon Fibres Developed from Novel Precursors With Cost Efficiency and Tailored Properties - FIBRALSPEC.

 

The Fibralspec project aims in increase of competitive power of European CF sector and especially that of the industrial partners. Industrial partners are more sensitive in the conditions of growing competitiveness because of the limited resources and access to modern RTD facilities.

 

Fibralspec project is and will be focused on developing and manufacturing many state of the art solutions.  Fibralspec project will run for 48 months and will focus on:

  • Conducting Innovative processes with streamlining and improved control.
  • Testing of laminates and prepregs production based the new developed carbon fibres followed by manufacturing of laminates/coupons and high-performance filament wound tubes.
  • The project also efforts on functionalization will be mainly focused on cost reduction, mechanical and chemical property improvement.
  • During the life of project Novel CF precursors will be developed.
  • In parallel, the suitability of a new environmentally friendly pitch will be assessed, obtained from anthracene oil, for the preparation of isotropic carbon fibres.
  • Innovative surface treatment will improve the step of treatment of the carbon fibre surface being indispensable for productions in series.
  • Life cycle assessment will assist in possible commercial risks that will be continuously estimated during the project and quantify/assess the environmental impact of the materials that will be used.
  • As for recycling and used of recycled CFs, new techniques will be used to provide commercially-relevant products that are manufactured from waste carbon fibres.
  • The dissemination activities will help in achieving a critical mass of stakeholders aware of the upcoming breakthrough innovations, challenges and goals of the project. The exploitation component will ensure that there is a credible plan for taking the ideas and concepts into the market and commercialising them eventually. 

 

 

Fibralspec Project Main Goals and Tasks

The FIBRALSPEC technology has clear market potential and will have a strong impact on the economic prospects the SME participants via two routes:

  1. The industrial partners will use the technology directly in their own manufacturing operations and/or directly in the services they provide.
  2. The industrial partners will market the technology through process licensing to other manufacturing organisations (via product type, market area, geographical region).

The FIBRALSPEC project aims in increase of competitive power of European CF sector and especially that of the industrial partners. Industrial partners are more sensitive in the conditions of growing competitiveness because of the limited resources and access to modern RTD facilities.

  • Improvement of production of CFs from different precursors
  • The manufacturing of fibre reinforced composites via eco-production techniques
  • Characterization of products (carbon fabres, composites) via many techniques in order to measure e.g. physical properties, mechanical properties
  • Preparation of advanced flexible supercapacitors based on carbon nanofibers and innovative techniques
  • Preparation of Rapid Deployment Secure Emergency Shelter (RDSES)
  • Development of models and computational simulation to study the mechanical interaction
  • To specify recycling strategies, at the start of the precursor development programme, to enable the carbon fibre waste (Waste is defined as: precursor waste, carbon fibre production waste and recovered carbon fibre waste)
  • To quantify the green credentials of the reuse/recycling strategies via LCA and LCC analyses
  • Dissimination of FIBRALSPEC project message to international experts

 

 

 

Achievements of the project

The importance of the EU to be self-sufficient in carbon fibres cannot be over emphasised. Whilst the aerospace and defence sectors can setup long-term purchasing contracts with suppliers (most of whom are outside the EU), SMEs cannot do the same and they are at the mercy of price fluctuations. The unique aspects of this project are:

I.

The consortium will have intimate knowledge about the precursor chemistry and the processing conditions that are used. This will enable the consortium to tailor the interface as required for specified matrices and end-use applications. It is generally appreciated that the nature of the interface will dictate the general properties of composites.

II.

An intimate knowledge of the precursors and the analytical techniques that will be used to characterise the conversion of the precursor at every stage of production will enable a fundamental understanding of the mechanisms associated with the chemical conversion processes from the precursor to the fibre. The consortium will also be able to study the cause-and-effect associated with internal and surface flaws.

III.

The intimate knowledge of the starting materials will enable pragmatic and cost-effective strategies to be specified for the reuse and recycling strategies for each waste-stream, as opposed to concentrating of the recycling of the recovered fibres from the composite.

IV.

The investigation into bio-based precursors will set the standard for moving away from the reliance of petroleum-based precursors.