New Carbon Fiber Technical Center opened at TU Dresden
The Research Center Carbon Fibers (RCCF), a joint scientific facility of the Institute for Lightweight Construction and Plastics Technology (ILK) and the Institute for Textile Machinery and High Performance Materials Technology (ITM) of the TU Dresden, opened a new Carbon Fiber Technical Center on November 2, 2018. In this facility, the carbon fibres from the raw fibre material to the finished component as well as new properties and possible applications are to be researched.
On the 300 m² plant, RCCF scientists are researching the basics and innovation potential for tailor-made carbon fibres under clean room conditions (class ISO 8). For this, individual plant modules for stabilization and carbonization with industry-oriented furnace designs and individually adjustable parameter combinations are used. Due to the special degree of purity, the carbon fibers are fulfilling the requirements for use in aerospace, vehicle construction, architecture and high-performance electronics.
Space for future extensions
In addition to the two stabilization and carbonization lines, further areas are planned for future extensions of the center, for example a high-temperature furnace in which carbon fibers can be graphitized up to temperatures above 2,000°C or unique coating plants for surface activation.
In the Technical Center, the interactions between process parameters, fiber structure and other mechanical, thermal and electrical properties in the production of carbon fibers will be investigated in order to further increase the capabilities of this high-tech material. In addition, the researchers want to focus their work on the development of multifunctional fibers with novel property profiles such as high conductivity with high strength or pronounced formability, as well as on the use of renewable raw materials.
Secure the future
"Carbon fiber is the steel of the 21st century," explains Prof. Hubert Jäger, spokesman for the Institute for Lightweight Construction and Plastics Technology (ILK). "Entire industries are currently reinventing themselves with this material and are reaching unimagined dimensions with their products. The problem, however, is availability. This is where the new Carbon Fiber Technical Center will help. Furthermore, about 15 students per year are involved in research areas such as process management, modelling and monitoring as well as the development, production and characterisation of new carbon fibres and composites in order to train the next generation in this future technology.