Large Scale Production of VGCF
The phenomenon that is the basis for synthesis of vapor grown carbon nanofibers (VGCF) has been observed for many years. In particular VGCF has been the subject of relatively intense research over the past twenty-five years due to the promise of achieving physical properties approaching single crystal graphite in the form of an inexpensive carbon filament. Production of VGCF on a commercial scale has lagged behind expectations for a material with such a desirable combination of properties that is synthesized in a simple, low-cost process. Barriers to commercial production are due to the unique properties of VGCF. In fact, VGCF are discontinuous fibers, surface state modifications are required for many attractive applications and there remain many unknowns in the manufacturing technologies required to support use in specific applications. These latter unknowns include processing methods to achieve the ideal surface states, the form of the fiber most likely to enable preservation and translation of the desired property, and handling methods to achieve the appropriate forms. Recently, the development of the requisite technologies to address these barriers has been undertaken, through quantitative analysis of the fibers morphology and surface state generated for various combinations of the production parameters. This was done by seeking manufacturing analogies within the carbon black, carbon fiber, and glass fiber industries, and by development of new techniques for fiber synthesis, modification, and handling where no existing methods were suitable. The results of this effort, and prospects for future availability of a family of VGCF products will be reported in this chapter.
KeywordsGraphite Shipping Hydrocarbon Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Brittle
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