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Mitsubishi Plastics reduces costs to produce ultra-high-modulus grade pitch-based carbon fiber with excellent thermal conductivity

News International-French

8 Apr 2013

Mitsubishi Plastics announces “DIALEAD K13C6U” and highlights that it has succeeded in nearly halving the production costs of its ultra-high-modulus grade of pitch-based carbon fiber, which excels in heat conductivity and rigidity, by increasing the number of filaments per carbon fiber bundle.

The current product type has been used in limited applications such as heat release materials of electronics devices loaded into artificial satellites due to high costs. The significant reduction of “DIALEAD K13C6U” production costs is expected to expand sales of the product for its application in wider fields such as parts and materials for electronics devices for lighter/smaller aircrafts , heat sinks, LEDs, and automobiles.

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

“DIALEAD K13C2U”, a high-end product ranked as the ultra-high-tensile grade among the “DIALEAD” series has been used in heat dissipation materials of electronics devices loaded into artificial satellites, etc. with its highest-class rigidity (tensile modulus: 900 GPa) and excellent thermal conductivity of 620 W/mK, almost triple that of aluminum. As it is in the highest price category of pitch-based carbon fiber, cost reduction for the product was necessary to expand its scope of applications. Responding to this challenge, the Company has developed “DIALEAD K13C6U” keeping the same level of modulus and thermal conductivity and raised the production efficiency by tripling the number of filaments per fiber bundle to 6,000 (6K) from 2,000 (2K) by optimization of graphitization processes. As a result of this, the production costs have been almost halved.

Heat dissipation capacity is an important design factor to realize smaller, lighter and higher function parts and materials for electronics equipment, LED lighting and automobiles. The lightweight pitch-based “DIALEAD K13C6U” carbon fiber with excellent heat dissipation performance and rigidity is expected to be adopted as heat release materials for general purposes. The Company will continue to work to expand the carbon fiber business in collaboration with Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd., a Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation’s group company that handles PAN-based carbon fiber.


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