The need for light-weighting of automotive structures has spurred on a tremendous amount of interest in and development of low cost carbon fiber composite materials and manufacturing. This presentation provides a description of the commercial carbon fiber concept compared to traditional aerospace and specialty carbon fiber products. A specific update is presented on the development and commercialization of new low cost carbon fiber based on lignin / PAN precursor technology. The second focus of the presentation is on carbon fiber composite manufacturing processes, including carbon SMC, RTM, prepregs, and thermoplastic processes. Advantages and disadvantages of these processes are discussed, especially related to low cost manufacturing.
PresenterGeorge Husman, Zoltek Companies Inc.