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5th March 2020, Knoxville, TN

Stronger carbon fibre produced 3 times faster

© Dreamstime.© Dreamstime.

In a recent exciting carbon fibre production demonstration, 4M Carbon Fiber Corp. (4M) says it has produced a 15% stronger carbon fibre while tripling production output using its atmospheric plasma oxidation technology. The results, the company says, offer industry-disrupting opportunities for carbon fibre manufacturers, demonstrating the ability to produce better carbon fibre while spreading capital and operating costs over three times the production capacity. 4M is exploring ways to license this technology to end users worldwide.

In collaboration with Formosa Plastics Corporation, a commercial carbon fibre producer, and the Department of Energy’s Carbon Fiber Technology Facility (CFTF) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Oak Ridge, TN, 4M’s team oxidized Formosa’s precursor using the internationally patented technology developed by 4M and ORNL.

The fibre was then carbonized, surface-treated, and sized at the CFTF. The carbon fibre properties were then tested at the CFTF using industrial testing methodology. The initial trial showed that the fibre exhibits higher tensile properties than carbon fibre produced via conventional technology for that specific precursor.

4M believes that these results enhance 4M’s value proposition by showing that plasma oxidation can positively impact carbon fibre properties.

4M Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Truman Bonds, commented: “We have yet to optimize our process for this precursor, so we believe that there is still room for processing speed improvement and even better carbon fibre properties. 4M intend to continue technology licensing discussions with several carbon fibre manufacturers and new entrants, and we hope to finalize and announce a strategic partnership soon.”

4M’s next step in the plasma oxidation commercialization process is to complete a $20 million pilot plant to produce samples requested by auto makers, trucking companies, container manufacturers, and carbon fibre producers.

The pilot plant should allow 4M to operate closer to commercial scales and produce quantities large enough for carbon fibre manufacturers to make decisions about licensing the technology. The company also anticipates that this pilot plant project will best position it to support building production capacity with partners who license the technology.

www.4mio.com

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