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Osaka Gas Develops Extrafine Pitch-based Carbon Fiber

26 October 2001

Osaka Gas Co. has developed an extra-fine pitch-based carbon fiber with a diameter of 1-2microns, 1/10 the size of conventional fibers.

Extrafine pitch-based carbon fiber is lighter than conventional carbon fiber. It is also very good at conducting electricity and so has commercial applications in sound absorption materials for aircraft as well as material for electrodes in fuel batteries.

For airplane sound absorption, Osaka Gas has agreed to produce the material for All Nippon Airways Co. and will start mass-production in 2-3 year time. Osaka Gas is currently ranked about third in the pitch-based carbon fiber industry, however it plans to use the new material to help it overtake No. 1 maker, Kureha Chemical Industry Co.

Extrafine carbon fiber is made by dissolving pitch left over from when gas is made from coal and then blowing heated air to stretch it into fiber. Air is blown twice on to the fiber to make its diameter 1/10 the conventional size.