In the project CARBION, Fraunhofer IAP expands existing competencies for the development of bio-based carbon materials as well as man-made and carbon fibers. The acquisition of a new laboratory high-temperature furnace (Carbolite) and an automatic fibertesting system (Favimat) will standardise workflows and accelerate development cycles.
New furnace technology for the efficient development of bio-based carbon materials and carbon fibers
Carbon fibers are considered as the "black gold" of lightweight construction – a key technology for the target energy transition. The extremely stiff, strong and lightweight carbon fibers are high performing in components, for example in aircraft, cars, sports equipment, hydrogen pressure tanks or wind turbines. However, the fibers are currently petroleum-based, CO2-intensive and expensive.
Therefore, at Fraunhofer IAP, we are tackling the challenge of developing bio-based carbon materials – based on renewable raw materials such as cellulose, lignin or other natural polymers. For their production, a diversion via a mouldable precursor is necessary which is then converted to carbon by applying temperature. Regardless of the geometry, whether fibers, films, membranes, nonwovens, or moulded parts – with the new furnance technology, these can be converted into carbon materials. Any temperature program up to 3000 °C and different atmospheres can be realized, which have a remarkable influence on the resulting performance.