Drying equipment

“At present, the development of China's carbon fiber industry is still in its infancy. The inclusion of carbon fiber in key projects will help stimulate the investment enthusiasm of the government and enterprises and accelerate the development of the industry. If the intended goals can be fully realized, China’s carbon fiber industry will start successfully.” Regarding the news of the inclusion of carbon fiber in the major projects of the “12th Five-year Development Plan for the New Materials Industry”, Li Kejian, deputy director of the National New Material Industry Development Strategy Advisory Committee, made the above statement in an interview with this reporter. .

The goal of the carbon fiber project is to achieve a carbon fiber production capacity of 12,000 tons by 2015, basically meeting the needs of aerospace, wind power generation, and transportation equipment. Li Kejian believes that the production capacity will reach 12,000 tons in 2015, and this goal will not be difficult to achieve, because the built capacity is currently close to 10,000 tons. If we can reach a production level of 12,000 tons in 2015, we can basically meet the demand. In addition to the military industry, the current domestic carbon fiber applications are mainly concentrated in thermal field insulation, brake pads, sports and recreation, and construction. Li Kejian said: "In the future, the increase in carbon fiber consumption will mainly focus on wind power blades, high-voltage transmission cable cores and the automotive sector."

According to Li Kejian, carbon fiber composite materials must be used in key parts of wind turbine blades above 55 meters. In particular, offshore wind power generation is all high-power. A rough estimate is that a group of blades needs carbon fiber composite materials of several hundred to 1200 kilograms. In terms of high-voltage transmission, carbon fiber is mainly used to produce carbon fiber composite cores, which can effectively reduce the current loss caused by sagging of transmission lines and reduce the density and strength of towers. At present, tens of thousands of kilometers of grid-gathering experiments have been conducted. The effect is very high. Well, carbon fiber consumption is about 70 kg/km. It is reported that in the future, China will add 1 million kilometers of transmission lines each year, and the aging transformation line will be about 200,000 kilometers, and this number is still increasing.

In the automotive industry, the automotive industry is facing serious challenges in terms of resources and the environment. Promoting vehicle weight reduction to reduce fuel consumption is a theme for the development of the automotive industry, while carbon fiber composite materials are ideal for plastic-replacement steel materials.

However, Li Kejian expressed concern about how much of the 12,000 tons of annual production capacity could turn into production. He said that due to the lack of technology, many carbon fiber installations in our country have seen "armpits". The preparation process of carbon fiber is divided into multiple processes such as polymerization, spinning, pre-oxidation, carbonization, and surface treatment. Whether it is process technology or equipment development and supporting materials, as long as there is a process that cannot keep pace with the development and industrialization, it will eventually affect Carbon fiber industry.

Only a few companies have achieved localization of the entire process, but how the quality remains to be examined, and the key equipment for most carbon fiber installations is still dependent on imports. However, key equipment such as pre-oxidation furnaces, carbonization furnaces, etc., because foreign countries always "set up cards" for us, and rely on imports at any time face "embargo" risk. However, compared with imported equipment, there is still a certain gap between the precision control of temperature, atmosphere, and tension in domestically produced equipment, resulting in increased product non-uniformity and difficulty in improving production efficiency. Therefore, it is necessary to include these important research and development contents in the carbon fiber project, and it is imperative that these devices be tackled. He said: "Once these key equipments are successfully developed, they can not only meet domestic demand, but also be exported to form an industry, which can serve two purposes." In addition, the development of key raw materials such as carbon fiber preparation oils and sizing agents is also necessary. At present, China is still in the research and development stage and cannot meet production needs.

For the goal of low-cost and high-end innovation demonstration in the carbon fiber project, Li Kejian pointed out that low cost is the key to improving the competitiveness and application of carbon fiber. Currently 12K carbon fiber products, the price of foreign products in the 150 to 220 yuan / kg, the domestic sales of this price is difficult to profit at all, or even lose money.

In this regard, he gave two suggestions for reducing costs. One is to increase production efficiency. With a production line of the same scale, China's hourly output is only 1/3 of that of foreign countries. The same input, the output is very different, the price is naturally difficult to reduce. The second is to explore the diversity of raw materials. At present, almost all of the raw materials for carbon fiber production in China are polyacrylonitrile-based (PAN), and its raw material, acrylonitrile, is a dangerous product and has a relatively high cost. In the future, the development of asphalt-based, viscose-based, and lignin-based systems will be enhanced, and costs will be reduced through the diversification of raw materials. At present, some companies are involved in this area.

In addition, reducing energy consumption is also very critical. At present, the production of one ton of carbon fiber consumes 30,000 to 40,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity, and foreign energy consumption data is not yet clear, but this area should have potential to be tapped.

Li Kejian emphasized: “The development of carbon fiber must be focused on the high end. At present, the comprehensive performance of high-end glass fiber is close to that of T300 carbon fiber. Japan has already started to eliminate the T300, and it is meaningless for us to spend energy on low-end products. Moreover, there are many applications for carbon fiber downstream applications. Equipment is imported from abroad, such as wind blades, cable cores, building reinforcement, etc. The application requirements are relatively high, which also prompts us to go high.”

In the past few decades, carbon fiber research has always attracted the attention of all parties, but the effectiveness is not obvious. At present, there are more than 30 carbon fiber production enterprises in China, most of which are low-level duplicated constructions, and the technology is not passable. The planned production capacity is as high as 70,000 to 80,000 tons/year, but the actual output is only 2,000 tons, and most of them are still insufficient. T300 level, can not meet the requirements of high-tech products, so poor sales, but also import about 6,000 to 7,000 tons per year.

In order to avoid repeating the mistakes, Li Kejian called for: “The development of emerging industries needs to be carried out in an orderly manner under the guidance of the government. The development direction of carbon fiber proposed by the country is very correct, but we must avoid blindly investing projects in favor of the government. I hope the relevant departments will do a good job of demonstration and supervision. Work to avoid carbon fiber as a 'performance project' or 'face engineering'."

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