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Thursday, July 25thMaterial Handling 2
Millennium Hotel
8:00am – 10:00am: Please check in at Registration Desk in the Lobby
9:00am – 10:00am: Open Breakfast in the Courtyard, provided by Harper International
10:00am – 12:30pm: Welcome / Technical Sessions in the Cleveland – Fillmore Ballroom
12:30pm – 1:30pm: Lunch in the Courtyard, provided by Harper International
1:30pm – 4:45pm: Technical Sessions in the Cleveland – Fillmore Ballroom
5:30pm: Bus leaves for dinner excursion at Niagara Falls, USA, provided by Harper International

Friday, July 26th
Millennium Hotel:
7:00am – 8:30am: Open Breakfast in the Courtyard, provided by Harper International
8:00am/8:45am: Buses leaves for Harper Facility
Harper Facility:
8:15am – 12:30pm Tour – Harper Microline™ and UHT system / Technical Sessions
12:30pm: Bus leaves for return to Millennium Hotel
Millennium Hotel:
12:30pm – 1:30pm: Lunch in the Courtyard, provided by Harper International
1:30pm – 3:00pm: Technical Sessions / Closing in the Cleveland – Fillmore Ballroom
4:00pm – 6:00pm: Optional Networking Cocktail Hour

Technical Sessions Schedule – Click Title for Abstract & Bio

Thursday, July 25th:

10:00am - 10:15am: Opening & Welcome
Chuck Miller, President, Harper International and Session Chair Dr. Prasad Apte, Director of Technology, Harper International

IMG_6539Chuck Miller received his BS in Ceramic Engineering from Alfred University. He began his career in development engineering on non-oxide ceramic processes and scale up. Chuck focused on bringing inventions to market that were focused on process married with equipment. Chuck came to Harper in 1996 intrigued by the opportunity to establish and grow the company's international business, which was only a fraction of sales at the time. Today over 50% of Harper's sales are oveseas. As President, Chuck's focus is on analyzing markets to guide sales and marketing functions, working closely with applications, R&D, engineering, and manufacturing to develop strategies for the application of new/innovative technologies, and building and maintaining customer relationships.

Apte 007_croppedDr. Apte is a Materials Scientist with 25+ years experience and a proven track record of developing and commercializing new products and processes. He boasts a strong background in materials processing, structure property relationship and surface technology. He received his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, and holds over 25 patents in the areas of ceramics, metal/ceramic composites, coatings and surface modifications.

10:15am - 10:45am: A New Approach to Carbon Fiber – Multi-Functional Nanocomposites
Patrick O'Connor, Director of Business Development and Strategy, Applied NanoStructured Solutions (ANS) LLC, a Lockheed Martin Company
Multi-functional characteristics of carbon fibers are realized via the incorporation of Carbon NanoStructures (CNS) in situ at the individual filament level. A continuous, reel-to-reel, scalable CNS growth process provides a path toward large scale production. Consequently, the expanded functionality and access to scalable production enables access to previously untapped markets for this newly developed CNS-infused carbon fiber.

10:45am - 11:15am: Lignin Based Carbon Nanofibre
Dr. Frank Ko, Advanced Fibrous Materials Laboratory, The University of British Columbia
Lignin, the second most abundant biopolymer on earth, has the potential as a low cost and renewable precursor for carbon fibres. By creating lignin carbon nanofibres as enabling materials for lightweight structural composites for automobiles and functional applications such as electrodes and electromagnetic shields the value of lignin will be greatly enhanced. Under the Lignowork Biomaterials and Chemicals Network program, we successfully demonstrated the feasibility of producing carbon nanofibres from softwood kraft lignin by electrospinning and heat treatment. The morphological, mechanical, and electrical properties of the elecrtospun fibre mats before and after carbonization were characterized. The result showed 10X increase in strength for the lignin random fibre mats after carbonization. Alignment of fibres further improved the mechanical strength. The electrical conductivity of the carbon fibre mat was also increased after carbonization at 1000℃. By doping the lignin polymer with functional nanoparticle such as magnetite we demonstrated the feasibility of translating electromagnetic function to the lignin nanofibre assemblies. These encouraging results demonstrate the potential of lignin as an engineering material thus establishing a pathway for adding values to the abundantly available lignin.
frankkoProfessor Frank K. Ko is Director of the Advanced Fibrous Materials Laboratory and Canada Research (Tier 1) Chair Professor of Advanced Fibrous Materials in the Department of Materials Engineering at the University of British Columbia. He has a Ph.D. degree in Textile Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. A SAMPE Fellow and Fellow of Textile Institute (Hon) he is a recipient of the American Society for Composites award and the Fiber Society Award for Distinguished Achievement. Professor Ko has co-authored three books and contributed to 33 book chapters. He has presented and published over 450 papers in the engineering design and analysis of fibrous structures for medical, industrial and advanced composite applications. He is serving on the editorial board of several Journals including the area editor of nanofibre technology for the Journal of Engineered Fibers and Fabrics. He served on the Roadmap team for the Aerospace Industry Association and as a member of the advisory committee on soldier protection for the US Army Board of Sciences of the National Research Council. He was a member of the advisory committee of CANMET, NRC in Canada.

11:15am - 11:45am: Critical Oxidation Oven Designs to Enable Research System Goals
Dr. Bill Stry, Senior Process Technology Engineer, Harper International

From small systems handling 100 fibers per tow, to larger systems aimed to mimic a future pilot scale systems in tons of output, the Oxidation Oven is one of the most critical operations to focus critical attention to designing around the desired process. Harper will discuss the various generations of Oxidation Ovens that can help research programs accelerate and achieve program goals, designed from the inside out to meet objectives of speed in lieu capacity/output, precision in data retrieval, efficiency in usage of minimal precursor to garner maximum results, and flexibility in handling multiple precursor formats. The presentations will also cover the fundamentals of convective heat and mass transfer in an exothermic process, the importance of the degree of turbulence in the airflow, and the affect of atmosphere composition.

Bill-Stry_0373Bill Stry, Ph.D., is a Senior Process Technology Engineer at Harper International and received his B.S. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from State University of New York at Buffalo (UB). He is the technical lead for many of Harper’s Carbon Fiber conversion systems, responsible for technical analysis, risk assessment, conceptual and detailed design of novel technologies to help advance the growing industry. Bill holds several patents, and has been the driver of many new technologies including Harper’s PAN oxidation ovens, Harper's first fluidized bed equipment, and the first systems for entry into nanomaterials market with a continuous rotary furnace to synthesize carbon nanotubes. Having given multiple conference presentations on a variety of topics, Bill is next slated to present at SAMPE 2013 on "Key Parameters for Consideration in the Development of a Carbon Fiber Research Line”.

11:45am - 12:15pm: Past, Present, and Future of CFRP Composites
Dr. James C. Seferis, Polymeric Composites Laboratory - University of Washington, GloCal/FREEDOM

Carbon fiber reinforced polymers are receiving increased attention as a result of anticipated wide utilization in transport, manufacturing and infrastructure industries. There is a great deal of interest in establishing carbon fiber lines by end users in order to provide independence from major producers. However, quality as well as performance are emerging as key issues. Thus, there is a need for making prepreg and laminates as well as characterizing and testing the material as a system for quality control purposes. The Polymeric Composites Laboratory (PCL) consortium first established in 1982 at the University of Washington and now since 2005 part of a public-private partnership (GloCal/FREEDOM) can provide such assistance to the newcomers as well as connectivity to the existing suppliers including academia. This presentation will cover some of the fundamental requirements in meeting the challenges of CFRP in the future and the different opportunities offered by the PCL consortium. Having adapted from classic academia to the realities of the market place on a global scale we have redefined needs from R&D to trade and brokering of technology and investments with partnerships that transcend the supply chain from the polymerization to the end user.

dimitrios_constantine_seferisProfessor James Dimitrios Constantine Seferis is chairman of the board and executive director of GloCal Network Corporation and the non-profit Foundation for Research Experiential Education Developmental Operational Management (F.R.E.E.D.O.M) that share operations of the Polymeric Composites Laboratory, a model program for targeted research and development in the material, chemical, and airplane industries he founded in 1982. Formerly the Boeing/Steiner professor of Polymeric Composites in Chemical Engineering with joint appointments in Business and Environmental Health and chairman of a graduate interdisciplinary teaming program at the University of Washington, he continues his activities by overseeing work through eight profit and four non-profit organizations in eight different countries (in the Americas, Asia and Europe). He has published over 450 papers in the open literature and directed over 100 masters and Ph.D. theses. His former students, academic and business associates have joined him in forming Business Education Design and Research, a Global Group Network ( that provides an ongoing open portal to his practice. Academically, he is Distinguished Foreign Professor at Sung Kyun Kwan University of Korea, Rector and Distinguished Professor of GloCal University that partners with degree granting institutions in the U.S., EU, and Asia through their full-time faculty. Under this scheme he was appointed as Research Faculty at the College of Engineering of the University of Texas at Arlington in 2011 where GloCal sponsors a Ph.D. student under his mentorship. He is the chair of the International Confederation of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry (ICTAC) Committee on Polymers and serves on several editorial boards of academic and professional journals.

12:15pm - 12:30pm: Long Fiber and Continuous Carbon Fiber Thermoplastic Composites
Dr. Uday Vaidya, Professor and Associate Chair of Materials Science & Engineering (MSE), University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

Carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic matrix composites are of increasing interest due to their superior specific strength and stiffness accompanied by enhanced toughness, impact resistance, recyclability and damping characteristics. The presentation will focus on long carbon fiber and continuous carbon fiber thermoplastic composite applications developed from concept-to- prototype-to-commercialization in areas of personnel protection, weapon systems, aviation electronics and missile defense, automotive and mass transit/truck sectors. Processes such as hot-melt impregnation, extrusion-compression, thermo stamping, vacuum forming and fiber injection molding will be integrated into the discussion, The presentation will also touch upon basic science issues such as thermo-mechanical properties, fiber length and distribution, microstructure, nondestructive evaluation, impact damage tolerance, recycling and energy issues.

uday_pictureDr. Uday Vaidya is a Professor and Associate Chair of Materials Science & Engineering (MSE) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He serves as the Director of the Materials Processing and Applications Development (MPAD) Center at UAB. He has been with UAB for 13 years. The MPAD center at UAB focuses on applications development from R&D leading to commercialization. Vaidya is also the Principal Investigator on the DOE Graduate Automotive Technology Education (GATE) Center of Excellence at UAB. He has published a book on Composites for Automotive, Mass Transit and Heavy Trucks, and has worked in the broad areas of composites for over 20 years. He is also a Principal and co-founder of Innovative Composite Solutions, a spin-off company specializing in niche value-added composite products.

1:30pm - 2:00pm: Moving Towards Mass Application of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers in Automotive
Dr.-Eng. Mustapha Belhabib, Ford Motor Company of Europe - Powertrain Engineering Management; Visiting Professor in Sustainability - University of Liege

Breakthrough in vehicle weight reduction is mandatory to meet future environmental standards without compromising performance and customer comfort. Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymers is a promising solution. Real sustainability benefits of CF, material options and the remaining challenges are key topics that will be covered by the presentation.
Dr. Belhabib holds a PhD in Mechanics (Egregia Cum Laude) with 21 years cross functional work experience, including 16 years in Automotive (10 years at Ford - Germany and 6 years at Valeo - France) and 4 years in Aeronautics at Snecma Aircraft Engines in France. He has advanced skills in developing breakthrough methods in sustainable engineering.

2:00pm - 2:30pm: Carbon Fiber from Rayon Precursors
Dr. Gajanan Bhat, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Although carbon fibers are predominantly produced from polyacrylonitrile (PAN) or pitch precursors, rayon-based carbon fibers have some unique properties. Only a handful of companies produce rayon-based carbon fibers in the world, and no rayon is commercially produced in the US. To revive the rayon-based carbon fiber production in US, a new rayon precursor has been produced. Experimental studies are being conducted to optimize the processing conditions for conversion of these rayon fibers into carbon fibers with useful performance properties. Results from this ongoing investigation will be discussed.

bhatDr. Bhat received his bachelor's degree in textiles from the Bangalore University in 1981, M. Tech in Fiber Science and Technology from IIT Delhi in 1984, and his PhD in Fiber and Polymer Science from Georgia Tech in 1990. His dissertation research was to understand the conversion of polyacrylonitrile-based precursors into carbon fibers. After that he joined Image Carpets, Rome, GA, a company producing fibers from post-consumer recycled polyester for carpets, where an analytical laboratory was set up to characterize recycled plastics and fibers. Dr. Bhat joined UTK as a faculty member in the textile science program in August 1990. His research at UTK covers: (i) nonwovens - melt blown, spunbond, and biodegradable, (ii) plastics recycling, (iii) high performance fibers and composites, and (iv) multifunctional fibers and nonwovens using nanotechnology. He has published more than 125 original research papers, and has two US Patents to his credit.

2:30pm - 3:00pm: Industry Trends in High Modulus Fiber and UHT Technology
Dr. Peter Witting, Senior Process Technology Engineer, Harper International

Many research entities are exploring high modulus fiber as an ingredient in their development programs, due to its fit in applications requiring high rigidity. This presentation will discuss the chemistry and innate challenges of high modulus fiber, leading into the unique thermal technology used to produce this fiber. UHT systems which are required to operate at temperatures up to 3000° necessitate inventive designs for the materials of construction, sealing technology, and atmosphere control. Most traditional materials would be consumed as part of the reaction with exposure to such high temperatures for extended periods of time. Dr. Witting will discuss design features to enable such a system to reliably for extended periods under these extreme conditions. Harper International will have a completed UHT furnace on display during the session.

Peter Witting_0275Peter Witting earned a BS, MS and PhD all in Mechanical Engineering from University at Buffalo (UB), The State University of New York. Prior to joining Harper over ten years ago, he spent five years as an Civilian Engineer with the U.S. Navy. He is an Advisory Board Member for the University at Buffalo Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Program and a Committee Member on the Material Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) for the US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security, and holds multiple patents and publication credits. His areas of expertise include thermal, thermal stress, structural, and fluid flow FEA modeling, fluid bed implementation, high and ultra-high temperature construction materials, and technical review and risk analysis for carbon fiber plant projects.

3:00pm - 3:30pm: Lignocellulosic-based Carbon Fibers from Biofuel Production Wastes
Dr. Veronica Calado, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

A precursor for carbon fibers with a great potential in Brazil is lignin obtained from biofuel production wastes. Lignin is a renewable material, non-toxic, that can be found in different biomasses. In Brazil, the most important biomasses are those from coconut, sugar cane bagasse, and paper industries. Biofuels can be obtained from different sources, such as vegetable oils and biomasses. Because of the concern about using food to produce fuels, there is an increasing interest in producing alcohol, called of second generation, from residual biomasses. Brazilian researchers are studying those processes by using sugar cane bagasse and paper industry waste. Lignin is a residue from this process and the objective of this paper is to use this lignin in order to obtain lignocellulosic-based carbon fibers that can be used in composite for different applications. Our laboratory is at an early stage of this process. We have the lignin extracted from sugar cane bagasse and from coconut and our challenge now is to obtain a lignin fiber flexible enough to be spooled in order to take to the thermostabilization/carbonization line.

CALADOVeronica Calado is a Faculty Member of Chemical Engineering at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, since 1983. She has taught several courses on Transport Phenomena, Numerical Methods Applied to Chemical Engineering, Applied Statistics, Statistical Process Control, and Design of Experiments. She has advised 25 M.Sc. dissertations and 8 Ph.D. theses and published more than 40 journal publications. Her research interests focus on Rheology, Thermal Analysis, Polymeric Composites and Modeling and Simulation of Composite Manufacturing Processes.

3:45pm - 4:15pm: Carbon Nanofibers and Graphene for the Corrosion Protection of Steel
Dr. Sarbajit Banerjee, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry at the University at Buffalo

Our research efforts are directed at using blast furnace gases as precursors for catalytic carbon nanofiber and nanotube growth on low alloy steel surfaces. The nanofiber/nanotube coatings are integrated with a polymeric matrix to constitute a metal-free corrosion-resistant coating for low alloy steels. Such an approach can be integrated as part of a closed loop process that reduces the carbon footprint of steel plants while allowing for value addition to steel and enabling the replacement of carcinogenic hexavalent chromium. I will also discuss some of our recent results on graphene nanocomposites for the corrosion protection of steel.

banerjee_2Sarbajit Banerjee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University at Buffalo (UB), The State University of New York where he also serves as the co-director of the New York State Center of Excellence for Materials Informatics. Sarbajit earned a B.Sc.(Honors) degree in Chemistry from St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi in 2000 and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 2004. He was a post-doctoral research scientist at the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics of Columbia University prior to starting his independent career at UB in 2007. He has been a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2009), the Cottrell Scholar Award (2010), the American Chemical Society ExxonMobil Solid-State Chemistry Faculty Fellowship (2010), Minerals, Metals & Materials Society Young Leaders Award (2103), and the Journal of Physical Chemistry C Lectureship Award (2013). He was named by MIT Technology Review to its global list of Top 35 Innovators Under the Age of 35 in 2012. His research interests are focused on strongly correlated systems, carbon nanomaterials, thin films, and interfaces. He has published more than 80 peer-reviewed research articles and holds 6 patents.

4:15pm - 4:45pm: A Pathway to Accelerating Low Cost Carbon Fiber – ORNL’s Carbon Fiber Technology Facility
Lee McGetrick, Director, ORNL Carbon Fiber Technology Facility

This presentation will highlight ORNL's new Carbon Fiber Technology Facility, including lessons learned and current and planned activities associated with the facility. The CFTF offers a highly flexible, highly instrumented carbon fiber line for demonstrating advanced technology scalability and producing market-development volumes of prototypical carbon fibers, and serves as the last step before commercial production scale. Capabilities of the facility and opportunities for collaboration using this national asset will be discussed.
Lee McGetrickLee McGetrick, Director of the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, was responsible for the installation and commissioning of the facility as well ongoing integration of research projects and program development activities associated with ORNL’s low-cost carbon fiber portfolio. Ms. McGetrick spent the first 15 years of her career at the Y-12 National Security Complex in weapons manufacturing and nuclear operations. Ms. McGetrick then worked for Washington Group International (now URS Washington) where she was Site Manager at the West Valley Demonstration Project and later a regional manager for Business Development with Washington Group. Ms. McGetrick joined UT-Battelle in 2007 where she served as the Directorate Operations Manager for Nuclear Operations. Ms. McGetrick holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Tennessee.

Friday, July 26th:

9:45am - 10:15am: Designing Research Systems for Ease of Scale Up
Dr. Renee Bagwell, Senior Process Technology Engineer, Harper International

Dr. Bagwell will discuss the thoughtful decisions required in the configuration of a research scale carbon fiber process system that will ensure a correlation to successful commercial scale production. Many research systems solely consider research program goals, however this objective must also be coupled with the requirement to output relevant data to make a successful stepwise progression to a next level of production capacity while minimizing the number of future process and design tweaks. The presentation will discuss several technical areas relevant for scale-up that are often overlooked including air velocity, tensioning, application of and assessment of PAN finishes, analysis of filament breakage, and analysis of the off-gas composition.

Renee Bagwell_6582Dr. Bagwell received two B.S. in Industrial Engineering and in Mechnical Engineering, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering (Materials Science) from University at Buffalo (UB), The State University of New York. Prior to joining Harper she spent several years at Praxair as an R&D Engineer. She is the author of several scientific publications, Advisory Board Member of the University at Buffalo Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Program, Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and Member of the Buffalo-area Engineering Awareness for Minorities organization. Renee co-authored with Dr. Bill Stry the upcoming presentation at SAMPE 2013 on "Key Parameters for Consideration in the Development of a Carbon Fiber Research Line”.

10:15am - 10:45am: R&D on Low-Cost Carbon Fiber Composites for Energy Applications
Cliff Eberle, Technology Development Manager, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is performing research and development for producing low cost carbon fibers (LCCF) by using alternative precursor materials and through the use of advanced manufacturing technologies. This research, funded primarily by the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, is nearing scale-up of these materials and technologies as the next step towards commercialization of LCCF for a wide range of industrial applications that impact energy security. This presentation provides an overview of research and development in new precursors, and advanced fiber manufacturing methods, and composites manufacturing as well as discussion of some potential applications.

c_eberleCliff Eberle is the Technology Development Manager for the ORNL Polymer Matrix Composites group. Mr. Eberle is the research leader for ORNL's Carbon Fiber Technology Facility project, bio-carbon fiber program, and ultra-high performance carbon fiber development project. Mr. Eberle is also a significant contributor to strategic planning, intellectual property management, partnership development, program development, and technology transition related to innovative carbon fiber technology. Mr. Eberle has 27 years of professional experience in various engineering, scientific, management, and program development capacities including approximately 15 years of experience with fiber-reinforced composite materials. Mr. Eberle earned his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Oklahoma State University in 1984 and joined the staff at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the same year.

10:45am - 11:15am: Fiber Spinning and Continuous Carbonization Research and Development Laboratory at Georgia Tech
Dr. Han Gi Chae, Senior Research Engineer, Georgia Institute of Technology

A batch fiber spinning and continuous carbonization research and development (R & D) facilities have been installed in approximately 4000 sq ft of class 1000 clean room laboratories at a central campus location at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia. Fiber spinning line can be used for batch processing of 1 to >5 liter solution in single or variety of bi-component fiber geometries, typically in the 20 to 100 multi-filament tow. Fibers can then be drawn on a multi-zone fiber drawing line, where up to 5 as spun tows can be combined to give up to 500 multi-filament tow. These tows can then be stabilized and carbonized on a multi-zone continuous stabilization and carbonization lines. On this line, continuous stabilization and canonization of 100 to 6000 filament has been successfully demonstrated. These R & D facilities have been used to gel spin and carbonize polyacrylonitrile and polyacrylonitrile/carbon nanotube composite fibers. In addition, a full range of fiber testing and characterization equipment is also available at Georgia Tech. These facilities and preliminary results will be described in this presentation.

Han Gi ChaeDr. Han Gi Chae is a Senior Research Engineer at Georgia Institute of Technology's School of Materials Science and Engineering. He received his BS and MS at Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea, in Polymer Science and Engineering. He received his PhD in Polymer, Textile and Fiber Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and holds multiple patents and contributed to many publications in the areas of making fibers and films. Prior to Georgia Tech, Dr. Chae was a researcher on various high performance polymer hybrid programs at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology. Currently, his research is primarily focused on polymer/carbon nanotube composites and polyacrylonitrile/carbon nanotube-based carbon fiber. Dr. Chae also works at the Advanced Carbon Fiber Research Center at Georgia Tech with Director Dr. Satish Kumar.

11:15am - 11:45am: Molecular Engineering and Production of SAF
Dr. Kushal Sen, Department of Textile Technology, Indian Institute of Technology

The backbone of the high performance of carbon fibres is the precursor, SAF (Special Acrylic Fibre). The manufactures of carbon fibres are limited and those of SAF are still less. If growth in this sector in terms of actual utilization and on the CAGR basis has to become globally realistic techno economically, then more players have to step in. At the same time, without deeper understanding of the molecular engineering and the factors governing the properties of the precursor, advances in carbon fibre technology would be restricted. The precursor technology involves two very important steps, i.e., a) polymerization involving synthesis of copolymers or terpolymers with zero or near zero molecular defects, and b) fibre spinning to achieve very fine and high tenacity precursor filaments, to enable desired conversion in to carbon fibre filaments.

This presentation reports part of the work done on synthesis, characterization and production of SAF in our research labs. Copolymers and terpolymers of Acrylonitrile(AN) / Methyl acrylate (MA) /carboxylic acids (Methacrylic acid (MAA), Itaconic acid (IA), were synthesized using radical polymerization techniques using AIBN as the initiator at different polymerization conditions and were characterized to get insight into the composition, tacticity, rheological behaviour, reactivity and their thermal behaviour. It is interesting to note that small amount of carboxlic acid comonomers leads to reduction in the temperature of initiation of cyclization which is important for oxidation and carbonization process. It was established that the polymerization conditions can be manipulated to get high molecular weight with increased tacticity.

Some of these synthesized polymers were spun into filaments using dry-jet-wet spinning to produce precursors and sequential coagulation baths under class 100 condition and were drawn using multiple drawing process to achieve precursors with ~ 6 gpd (~0.62-0.64 GPa) tenacity and upto ~ 250 gpd (~26 GPa) modulus with filament denier as fine as 1-1.3 denier. Higher temperature of coagulation increased generation of voids in the gel fibres and also determined the cross-sectional shape of the fibres. It was interesting to note that drawing did not alter the initiation temperature, however the total heat liberated almost doubled as a result of stretching compared to the gel fibres.

In conclusion, the composition of polymer and the polymerization, spinning and drawing conditions can be judiciously manipulated to alter the key properties of the acrylic precursors and thus to facilitate the production of high performance carbon fibres.

ksenDr. Kushal Sen received his B. Tech in Textile chemistry from IIT Delhi in 1977 and went on to complete his Ph.D. in texturing of P/V blends in the year 1981 form IIT Delhi itself. With such an educational accomplishment he also has vast professional experience. He started his carrier as lecturer in IIT Delhi in the Department of textiles and was in this capacity from Mar'81 to Jun '86. Thereafter he became Assistant Professor during the period Jun'86 to Apr'91. Then he became Associate Professor in the same institute between Apr'91 to Oct'95. Then he became Professor and is in the same capacity till date.

11:45am - 12:15pm: Carbon Fibers from Mesophase Pitch: Processing and Properties
Dr. Amod A. Ogale, Center for Advanced Engineering Fibers & Films, Clemson University

ogale2Prof. Amod Ogale received his B.S. from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and his PhD from University of Delaware. He and his graduate students/post-doctoral research associates are addressing issues related to fibers, films and nanocomposites. Prof. Ogale's group is investigating the rheology, microstructure, and processing of liquid crystalline polymers and bio-based proteins. The research team is pioneering the use of real-time Raman spectroscopy for measurement of crystallinity and molecular orientation. Research on nanocomposites is exploring the use carbon nanotubes in high carbon-yield mesophase pitch for the development of high thermal conductivity carbon-carbon nanocomposites with less severe anisotropy. To develop low-cost carbon fibers for the automotive industry, Prof. Ogale and his team are developing a novel ultraviolet radiation-based stabilization process for melt-processable polyacrylonitrile precursor fibers. Professor Ogale is the Thrust Leader for research on synthetic polymers, biobased polymers, carbonaceous oligomers, and surface modification topics in the Center for Advanced Engineering Fibers and Films, and a Co-Topic Leader for the synthetic polymers topic. He has been a team-leader for developing and teaching interdisciplinary courses on polymeric fibers, films, and composite materials.

1:30pm - 2:00pm: Export Control Compliance Best Practices for Your Carbon Fiber R&D Program
John Larkin, CEO, LTI Associates

Research programs are increasingly international, generating significant export control complexities with researchers collaborating across borders, nationalities, and legal jurisdictions. Depending on where you are located, you may need an export license to buy the latest high-tech equipment, license your cutting-edge technology, or ship your carbon fiber to partners overseas, but any carbon fiber R&D program wherever located will be impacted by export controls. As you build a carbon fiber R&D program, whether you are a state-funded university or a private enterprise, your planning process should include establishing measures to protect your intellectual property and comply with export control laws. This presentation will cover best practices for export compliance in carbon fiber R&D programs – from how to improve your position in export licensing to how to involve researchers from multiple countries and nationalities.

John LarkinJohn Larkin founded Larkin Trade International in 2005 and has since grown the company into one of the leading providers of trade compliance consulting in China and the Asia Pacific region. The company provides specific expertise on export controls, standards, customs and other regulatory trade areas, as well as also providing strategic assistance on market access and entry, conducting due diligence, and trade advocacy. From 2002-2004, John served at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing as the Export Control Attaché and as a Commercial Officer. As the Export Control Attaché John was the Bureau of Industry and Security representative in China serving as the U.S. Government expert on dual-use export controls. John was a primary U.S. Government representative in negotiating a bilateral export control agreement that was concluded in 2004. From 1995-2001, John was a Special Agent, first with the U.S. Customs Service in Los Angeles, then with the Dallas Field Office of the Bureau of Industry and Security. As a Special Agent, John conducted administrative and criminal investigations related to U.S. Government trade laws and regulations, including valuation, intellectual properties rights, antidumping, and export controls. John is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (B.A. 1989, M.S. 1989) and a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

2:00pm - 2:30pm: Low Cost, Bio-Renewable Precursor Fibers from Lignin/Polylactide (PLA) Blends & Graft Copolymers for Carbon Fiber Production
Dr. Mahendra Thunga, Michael R. Kessler, Iowa State University, and Ames Laboratory, US Dept. of Energy

Lignin, a highly aromatic biopolymer, which is extracted as a byproduct of wood pulping, has been investigated as a suitable precursor for carbon fibers. The present work demonstrates the feasibility of spinning modified lignin into robust fine lignin fibers by blending with poly(lactic acid) (PLA) biopolymer. Chemical modification of raw lignin was investigated to enhance the miscibility of lignin with PLA. Morphological investigations were conducted to study the influence of PLA concentration on the phase behavior of the blends and graft copolymers. The significance of phase miscibility in controlling the mechanical properties of raw fibers was studied. Lignin/PLA fibers were successfully stabilized and carbonized to produce carbon fibers with fine (~50 µm) cylindrical structure. Microstructural analysis of carbon fibers produced from these blends and copolymers revealed a composition dependent micro-porous structure inside the fine fibers.
ThungaDr. Mahendra Thunga received his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Madras University (India) in 2001 and a Master of Science degree in Applied Polymer Science from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (Germany) in 2004. He obtained his Ph.D. in engineering science from Technical University of Dresden, Germany in 2009 where he worked as a research associate at the Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden and Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena for four years. During his Ph.D. he worked on characterizing the rheological and mechanical properties of block copolymers for developing new thermoplastic elastomers. He continued his research career as a postdoctoral research fellow starting in 2009 at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Ames Laboratory and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) at Iowa State University (ISU). His research has focused on processing and characterization of polymer based materials and composites with an emphasis on engineering their thermo-mechanical behavior. At ISU, under the directions of Prof. Michael Kessler, he was involved in various research projects including: producing low cost carbon fiber for structural application, designing and evaluating a new class of thermosetting adhesives for repairing advanced polymer matrix composites, and developing novel biopolymers from vegetable oils. Dr. Mahendra is an active member of Biopolymers & Biocomposites Research Team at ISU. He has published approximately 25 peer review international journal papers and presented his work at about 30 seminars, conferences, and workshops.

2:30pm - 3:00pm: Multicomponent Fiber Extrusion Technology Applied to Precursors
Timothy Robson, Business Development Manager, Hills Inc.

This paper focuses on the machinery and methods associated with multicomponent fiber spinning as it relates to precursor tows. Recent developments have opened up the exciting potential of melt-spun precursor tows using PAN, polyethylene, lignin, pitch and others. When these materials are used in conjunction multi-component fiber spinning technology and novel meltblowing methods, production rate, fiber quality and diameters not previously possible are realized. Furthermore this technology can also be applied to more traditional precursor manufacturing using both wet and dry solution spinning. Topics to be covered include throughput comparison, material selection, fiber cross-section technologies and production methods.

Tim-RobsonTimothy Robson holds a BS in Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and an MBA in Strategic Management and International Business from University of British Columbia (UBC). With ten years of experience at Hills Inc. working in both Engineering and Sales with particular expertise in meltspinning multicomponent filament and spunbond equipment, Tim’s responsibilities include Hills’ capital machinery sales, customer service and Hills’ representative office in Guangzhou, China.