Thermal decomposition of PMC for fiber recovery

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This paper describes efforts by Argonne National Laboratory to develop a process to recover carbon fibers from polymer matrix composite (PMC) materials. The polymer material in the matrix maybe a thermoplastic or a thermoset. Samples of panels containing PMC fibers were obtained and used in the bench-scale testing program. The authors tested three different methods for recovering these PMC fibers: thermal treatment, chemical degradation, and cryogenic methods (thermal shock treatment). The first two methods were effective in separating the carbon fibers from the polymeric substrate; the third method was not satisfactory. Carbon fibers separated from the polymer substrate using the ... continued below

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6 p.

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Jody, B. J.; Daniels, E. J. & Pomykala, J. A. October 22, 1999.

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This paper describes efforts by Argonne National Laboratory to develop a process to recover carbon fibers from polymer matrix composite (PMC) materials. The polymer material in the matrix maybe a thermoplastic or a thermoset. Samples of panels containing PMC fibers were obtained and used in the bench-scale testing program. The authors tested three different methods for recovering these PMC fibers: thermal treatment, chemical degradation, and cryogenic methods (thermal shock treatment). The first two methods were effective in separating the carbon fibers from the polymeric substrate; the third method was not satisfactory. Carbon fibers separated from the polymer substrate using the thermal treatment method were submitted to Oak Ridge National Laboratory for analysis and evaluation. The results indicated that the carbon fibers had been cleanly separated from the polymer matrix. Their intrinsic density was 1.8473 g/cm{sup 3} and their electrical resistivity was 0.001847 ohm-cm, compared to an intrinsic density of 1.75--1.9 gm/cm{sup 3} and an electrical resistivity of 0.0002--0.002 ohm-cm for virgin fibers produced from polyacrylonitrile (PAN). Although they were not sure that the samples they processed were originally produced from PAN, they used the PAN fibers for comparison. It was also demonstrated that the surface of the recovered fibers could be reactivated to energy levels equivalent to those of reactivated virgin fibers from PAN. A comparison of the mechanical properties of the recovered fibers (without surface treatment) with those of surface-treated virgin fibers from PAN revealed that the ultimate tensile strength and the elongation at brake values are about 1/3 the values for the virgin fibers. The modulus for the recycled fibers (31.4 million pounds per square inch [psi]) was about the same as that for the virgin PAN fibers (31.2 million psi). The reason for the lower tensile strength and elongation is not clear; the authors plan to investigate it further as part of the process improvement study that is now underway. Process economics appear very promising, and a payback of less than two years is likely.

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6 p.

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OSTI as DE00750552

Medium: P; Size: 6 pages

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  • ARC99 Conference, Dearborn, MI (US), 11/09/1999--11/11/1999

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  • Report No.: ANL/ES/CP-100276
  • Grant Number: W-31109-ENG-38
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 750552
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc704015

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  • October 22, 1999

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 12, 2015, 6:31 a.m.

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  • April 11, 2017, 2:47 p.m.

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Jody, B. J.; Daniels, E. J. & Pomykala, J. A. Thermal decomposition of PMC for fiber recovery, article, October 22, 1999; Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc704015/: accessed May 27, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.