ORNL Open New Carbon Fibre Technology Facility

The new carbon fibre technology facility Oak Ridge National Laboratory opened earlier this week will look to create a lower cost carbon fibre material to replace steel in manufacturing.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason said carbon fibre had long been produced at Oak Ridge and the new facility enables the technology to move into a next generation.

This remarkable material offers high strength, light weight and other attractive properties, the potential of carbon fiber in areas such as transportation, wind energy, medicine and electronics is driving a global search for less expensive ways to produce it.

Looking at different raw materials to produce the carbon fibre is one way to reduce costs, Hannah Schweinebarth, a researcher at Innventia’s Biorefinery Processes and Products group recently won an award for her work on the production of carbon fibre from the wood raw material lignin. Thanks to the skills prize, Hannah will be spending six months at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to further research the possibilities.