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SURFACE TREATMENT, SIZING AND DRYING

CRITICAL FINAL STEPS OF CARBON FIBER PRODUCTION

During surface treatment, the surfaces of the fiber filaments are chemically etched through an electrolysis process. Despatch’s surface treatment equipment provides consistent, uniform etching across all fiber filaments and is designed to ensure that, post-etching, all electrolyte solution is efficiently and effectively removed from the fiber prior to drying.

Contact drying takes place after surface treatment to reduce the moisture content on the fiber. Contact drying involves weaving the fiber through a single series of stainless steel, heated rollers that apply direct, uniform heat to the filaments for quick and efficient drying. Fiber exits the dryer with less than 1% moisture content. Sizing is the final finishing process where fiber is passed through a liquid sizing solution that coats individual fiber filaments and enables handling of the fiber without incurring filament damage. Despatch’s sizing equipment is capable of processing various types of size fluid as required by the customer, and the equipment provides an even distribution of size on the fiber. Recipes and fluid levels are conveniently controlled through the PLC. Size fluid is continuously circulated via a pumped filtration system.

Non-contact drying takes place after sizing and is performed with a recirculation air dryer for complete drying through uniform, low velocity airflow. This drying method maintains uniform amounts of size on the fiber throughout the drying process. The temperature and airflow levels of the dryer are PLC controlled and the dryer features a filtration system to capture debris.

Despatch offers its own surface treatment, sizing and drying equipment
to perform the final process steps in carbon fiber production.
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Despatch is a member of ITW EAE, A division of Illinois Tool Works, Inc. For more information visit www.itweae.com