Unlike pitch-based fibers, PAN-based carbon fiber is created with a synthetic fiber called polyacrylonitrile (PAN). Though it is technically considered a thermoplastic, it has a much higher melting point and can be created with both dry and wet spinning methods. While pitch-based options have a higher modulus of elasticity (stiffness) and are often more costly, PAN-based carbon fiber has a greater ability to absorb mechanical energy (toughness) and is traditionally more cost-effective.
Similar to other versions of carbon fiber, PAN-based solutions must go through specialized stabilizing, carbonizing, surface treatment and sizing. This process results in fibers that can vary in elasticity modulus and strength, depending on the heat treatment. These different conditions make up three categories of PAN-based carbon fiber, including standard, intermediate, and high modulus fibers.
|Fiber Category||Tensile Modulus Gpa||Tensile Modulus Msi||Tensile Strength Mpa||Tensile Strength ksi|
|Standard||215 - 260||32 - 38||3450 - 5250||500 - 750|
|Intermediate||270 - 310||39 - 45||4800 - 6900||700 - 1000|
|High||340 - 450||50 - 65||1900 - 4800||275 - 700|
3 Types of PAN-Based Carbon Fiber
Type 1 PAN-based carbon fiber is typically has filament diameters of around 7 microns, a density of 1.80 g/cc and an elongation that is around 2.0%.
To achieve the higher modulus of intermediate fibers, the filament diameter is usually reduced to 5 microns and elongation is reduced to around 1.7%.
The third type of carbon fiber is treated at higher carbonization temperatures (>2000C) that result in a carbon content greater than 99%. These fibers are very stiff but are more brittle and less strong than standard or intermediate categories of carbon fiber.
Our PAN-Based Carbon Fiber Products
As a leader in carbon fiber manufacturing, ZOLTEK prides itself on offering low-cost, high-performance PAN-based carbon fiber solutions to a variety of industries. The versatility of our carbon fiber lends itself useful when paired with either thermoset or thermoplastic resin matrices.
With its remarkable tensile strength, our PAN-based carbon fiber, including our standard modulus PX35 and our high carbon content PX30, offers the perfect solution for meeting commercial requirements. Made from our abundant textile-based precursor, ZOLTEK PX35 is manufactured in a proprietary high-throughput process which allows ZOLTEK to deliver commercial carbon fiber at the lowest market cost.