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Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have demonstrated a production method they estimate will reduce the cost of carbon fiber as much as 50 percent and the energy used in its production by more than 60 percent.
After extensive analysis and prototyping by industrial partners, ORNL is making a new method available for licensing.High cost has been the single largest roadblock to widespread use of carbon fiber as a strong, stiff reinforcement for advanced composites. ORNL’s new lower cost method, demonstrated at its Carbon Fiber Technology Facility, builds on more than a decade of research in the area. The researchers’ success promises to accelerate adoption of carbon fiber composites in high-volume industrial applications including automobiles, wind turbines, compressed gas storage and building infrastructure.