J.3
Log Number: 58
Abstract Submitted to the NT-99-Logo NANOTUBE-99 Workshop:

Perspectives on Nanotube Applications from the Vapor-Grown Carbon Fiber Community

Gary G. Tibbetts

General Motors R&D Center, Warren, MI
Contact e-mail: gtibbett@gmr.com

In many ways the discovery and growth of interest in vapor grown carbon fibers (VGCF) parallels the recent enthusiasm for nanotubes. I will describe some of the difficulties the VGCF community has contended with in their search for applications. I will first describe the successes achieved by glass fibers, the major competitor of carbon fibers in the area of reinforcement. Its advantages stem from its low cost, acceptable mechanical properties, and large fiber diameters, which leads to reasonable alignment in most composites. The disadvantages of glass fibers are high densities,high diameters (leading to fabrication problems), and poor electrical conductivities. Fabrication of composites from VGCF has forced us to face difficult problems with resinin filtration, poor composite properties due to lack of alignment, and the scale up chicken and egg problem. Our efforts have ultimately focused on electrical conductivity, where glass offers little competition.

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