Mitsubishi Plastics Reduces Costs to Produce Ultra-High-Modulus Grade Pitch-Based Carbon Fibre

12 March 2013

Mitsubishi Plastics has announced DIALEAD K13C6U, an ultra-high-modulus grade of pitch-based carbon fibre which they claim excels in heat conductivity and rigidity, by increasing the number of filaments per carbon fibre bundle.

Because of its high cost, the previous offering had only been used in limited applications such as the heat release materials of electronic devices loaded into artificial satellites. To reduce the cost and make the product more accessible to other applications, Mitsubishi Plastics kept the same level of modulus and thermal conductivity and raised the production efficiency by tripling the number of filaments per fibre bundle to 6000 from 2000 by optimising the graphitisation processes. As a result of this the production costs have been almost halved.

There are currently two main classifications of carbon fibre; polyacrylonitrile (PAN)-based and pitch-based. Since pitch-based carbon fibre has excellent tensile modulus and heat conductivity, it is possible to produce carbon fibre reinforced polymers (CFRP) with the near zero coefficient of thermal expansion. However, the high rigidity that makes it difficult to handle pitch-based carbon fibre during secondary processing, and the higher price of the product compared to that of metallic materials and PAN-based carbon fibre presented challenges for the carbon fibre manufacturers to expand the market.

Heat dissipation capacity is an important design factor to realise smaller, lighter and higher function parts and materials for electronics equipment, LED lighting and automobiles. Mitsubishi Plastics anticipate that the pitch-based DIALEAD K13C6U to be adopted as a heat release material for general purposes.

Mitsubishi Plastics expect the reduction of DIALEAD K13C6U production costs to expand sales of the product for its application in wider fields such as parts and materials for electronic devices in lighter/smaller aircrafts, heat sinks, LEDs, and automobiles.

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