PhD Proposal by Huibin Chang

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  • Date/Time:
    • Monday December 7, 2015
      2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Location: MRDC Conference Room 4404
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Summary Sentence: Title: Studies on polyacrylonitrile/nanocellulose composite precursor and carbon fibers

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MSE PhD Proposal – Huibin Chang


 Date: Monday, December 7, 2015
Time: 10:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M.
Location: MRDC Conference Room 4404



Dr. Satish Kumar, Advisor, MSE

Dr. Yulin Deng, CHBE

Dr. Kyriaki Kalaitzidou, ME

Dr. Robert Moon, MSE

Dr. Paul S. Russo, MSE




Title: Studies on polyacrylonitrile/nanocellulose composite precursor and carbon fibers


Carbon fibers exhibit low density and high specific strength and modulus, and therefore are widely used in composite materials. Among different precursors, polyacrylonitrile (PAN) is currently the predominant precursor for carbon fiber production. The production of PAN based carbon fiber mainly consists of three steps: spinning of PAN precursor fiber, stabilization, and carbonization. In PAN based carbon fiber manufacturing, the quality of PAN precursor fiber is a key factor influencing the performance of the resulting carbon fiber. In an attempt to improve the performance of PAN precursor fiber, fillers such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and carbon nanofibers have been incorporated into PAN matrix. It has been shown that CNTs promote the formation and growth of the graphitic structure within the carbonized PAN/CNT fibers. Nanocellulose has attracted significant interest due to biorenewability, sustainability, high aspect ratio, and high mechanical properties. Therefore, nanocellulose is being used as reinforcing materials to improve mechanical properties in polymer based composites.


In this study, gel-spun nanocellulose reinforced PAN composite precursor fibers, and the resulting carbon fiber will be systematically investigated. In an attempt to make strong composite precursor and carbon fibers, the dispersion of nanocellulose in organic solvents such as DMF will be explored. To make continuous fiber, the solution viscosity is a key factor influencing the spinning process. The effect of nanocellulose on the rheological properties of PAN solution will be studied. Nanocellulose with different weight concentrations in PAN polymer will be used for studying the reinforcement effect on composite precursor fibers and the resulting carbon fibers.  Structure, morphology and properties of composite precursor fibers and their stabilized and carbonized products will be investigated by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, dynamic mechanical analysis, tensile testing, and thermal measurements. By investigating the PAN/nanocellulose based carbon fiber, it is expected that these findings will help to expand the application of nanocellulose and will have a positive impact on the carbon fiber’s green foot print.


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Phd proposal
  • Created By: Tatianna Richardson
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Nov 12, 2015 - 7:56am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 10:14pm