Carbon fiber on the cheap

carbonOak Ridge National Laboratory this past week announced some new working relationships with the DOE-funded Carbon Fiber Technology Facility in Oak Rdige. The lab said it is accepting proposals from companies that “want to try out the low-cost carbon fiber to develop new products and tap markets in such areas as transportation, energy production and infrastructure.”

The announcement on the plan is available here.

The carbon fiber facility opened earlier this year and has attracted considerable attention with plans to work with industry in pushing the development of fiber for a full horizon of uses.

“In its first months of operation, the CFTF used traditional raw materials to assure the new pilot scale manufacturing line would produce a commercial-quality product. With that goal accomplished, the facility now will use less expensive ‘precursor’ materials that can be turned into carbon fiber more cost-effectively,” ORNL said in the latest announcement.

In a statement released by ORNL, Facility Director Lee McGetrick said, “The first alternative precursors we are working with are lower-cost, textile-grade acrylic fibers that we will turn into sample lots of carbon fibers. Companies that would like to obtain some of this material for prototyping of composite applications are invited to come and talk to us.”

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About Frank Munger

Senior Writer Frank Munger covers the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities and many related topics — nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and other things nuclear, environmental cleanup and science of all sorts. Atomic City Underground is, first and foremost, a news blog, but there's room for analysis, opinion and random thoughts that have no place else to go.