Resistivity of Carbon-Carbon Composites Halved
- Gaier, James R.
- May 2004.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- Carbon-carbon composites have become the material of choice for applications requiring strength and stiffness at very high temperatures (above 2000 C). These composites comprise carbon or graphite fibers embedded in a carbonized or graphitized matrix. In some applications, such as shielding sensitive electronics in very high temperature environments, the performance of these materials would be improved by lowering their electrical resistivity. One method to lower the resistivity of the composites is to lower the resistivity of the graphite fibers, and a proven method to accomplish that is intercalation. Intercalation is the insertion of guest atoms or molecules into a host lattice. In this study the host fibers were highly graphitic pitch-based graphite fibers, or vapor-grown carbon fibers (VGCF), and the intercalate was bromine. Intercalation compounds of graphite are generally thought of as being only metastable, but it has been shown that the residual bromine graphite fiber intercalation compound is remarkably stable, resisting decomposition even at temperatures at least as high as 1000 C. The focus of this work was to fabricate composite preforms, determine whether the fibers they were made from were still intercalated with bromine after processing, and determine the effect on composite resistivity. It was not expected that the resistivity would be lowered as dramatically as with graphite polymer composites because the matrix itself would be much more conductive, but it was hoped that the gains would be substantial enough to warrant its use in high-performance applications. In a collaborative effort supporting a Space Act Agreement between the NASA Glenn Research Center and Applied Sciences, Inc. (Cedarville, OH), laminar preforms were fabricated with pristine and bromine-intercalated pitch-based fibers (P100 and P100-Br) and VGCF (Pyro I and Pyro I-Br). The green preforms were carbonized at 1000 C and then heat treated to 3000 C. To determine whether the fibers in the samples were still intercalated after composite fabrication, they were subjected to X-ray diffraction. The composites containing intercalated graphite fibers showed much higher background scatter than that of pristine fibers, indicating the presence of bromine in the samples. More importantly, faint features indicative of intercalation were visible in the diffraction pattern, showing that the fibers were still intercalated.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20050192337.
Research and Technology 2003; NASA/TM-2004-212729.
- No Copyright.
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