Surface treatment of tuff pitch-based carbon fiber for adhesion promotion in high Tg thermoplastic composites

J. M. Deitzel, M. Kubota, J. W. Gillespie, Z. R. Hinton, L. Thursch, N. Alvarez, G. Palmese, J. J. Fallon, M. Bortner, R. Zhang, R. M. Joseph, T. Schumaker, J. Riffle, S. Lukubira, S. Kanhere, M. C. Tang, A. Ogale

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


Commercially available Pitch and PAN based carbon fibers undergo surface treatment to clean the surface of undesirable scale and to provide chemical functionality to promote resin wetting and adhesion in composites. Typically, these surface treatments are carried out in a continuous process that does not lend itself to the treatment of discontinuous fibers, like the mesophase pitch-based fibers being developed for the Tailorable Universal Feedstock for Forming (TuFF) alignment process. To address this challenge, we have developed a multiple-step batch process that oxidizes the fiber surface through ozone treatment at elevated temperature, followed by vapor deposition and/or solution coating to apply a coating package. Using this process, a series of coating formulations have been evaluated for thermal stability, coating uniformity, thickness and chemical composition on mesophase pitch-based carbon fiber. Single Fiber Fragmentation (SFF) testing of model polyether imide (PEI)/carbon fiber composites shows that the interfacial shear strength (IFSS) of as-spun carbon fibers can be increased from ~10 MPa to ~40 MPa with the right choice of coating chemistry. A discussion of the processing steps, and evaluation of the different fiber surface treatments with SFF, Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDAX), and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) measurements, as well as the potential for process scale up will be presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSAMPE Conference and Exhibition
EditorsKevin Ahlstrom, Jacob Preston Anderson, Scott Beckwith, Andrew Craig Becnel, Paul Joseph Biermann, Matt Buchholz, Elizabeth Cates, Brian Gardner, Jim Harris, Michael J. Knight, German Reyes-Villanueva, Stephen E. Scarborough, Phil Sears, James Thomas, Erik T. Thostenson
PublisherSoc. for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering
ISBN (Electronic)9781934551301
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
EventSAMPE 2019 Conference and Exhibition - Charlotte, United States
Duration: May 20 2019May 23 2019

Publication series

NameInternational SAMPE Technical Conference


ConferenceSAMPE 2019 Conference and Exhibition
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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