Sinopec Produces China’s First Batch of Large Tow Carbon Fiber
China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (HKG: 0386, “Sinopec”) has successfully produced China’s first batch of large tow carbon fiber at the company’s production base in Shanghai, making the company the first in the country and fourth in the world to possess large tow carbon fiber technology.
Sinopec’s production line has adopted its self-developed PAN (polyacrylonitrile) base large tow precursor and carbon fiber technologies. The project is being implemented in two phases and expects to be in full production in 2024, projecting an annual production capacity of 24,000 tons of protofilament and 12,000 tons of large tow carbon fiber.
Large tow carbon fiber refers to roving that contains 48,000 filaments or more. The high-performance material is often referred to as the “king of new material” and “black gold.” The product developed and manufactured by Sinopec Shanghai is a new type of high-strength carbon fiber with a carbon content of over 95 percent. It has outstanding excellent mechanical properties and a specific gravity that’s less than one fourth of the steel, yet a strength that’s seven to nine times stronger. It is also corrosion resistant.
As the material can be widely used in producing parts and components, it is expected to be used for an increasing amount of industrial infrastructure projects in China, including ones related to wind power, solar power, high-speed rail, and aviation.
“Sinopec has customized a special production line for large tow carbon fiber, including production equipment and techniques, which has enabled us to design oxidizing furnaces and carbide furnaces that revolutionizes not only the core technology of temperature field control, but also has a revolutionary energy-saving design, marking a major milestone in the development of China’s carbon fiber industry,” said Huang Xiangyu, carbon fiber expert and deputy general manager of Sinopec Shanghai.
Sinopec now owns 251 patents related to carbon fiber and 46 patents for carbon fiber composite materials, the largest number in China and third in the world, and through scaled up investment and industrial layout, Sinopec is committed to being a major contributor to the development of China’s carbon fiber industry.