Techtextil North America

Free membership

Receive our weekly Newsletter
and set tailored daily news alerts.


Award for ITA’s ultra-thin new carbon fibres

Potential of cutting cost of high-priced raw material by up to 50%.

13th July 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Aachen, Germany

Transport/​Aerospace, Industrial

Flávio André Marter Diniz, a graduate of the Institute for Textile Technology (ITA) at RWTH Aachen University in Germany, has developed ultra-thin polyethylene (PE) carbon fibres with a filament diameter two-to-three times smaller than usual.

Producing the new fibres with PE-based precursors will make it possible to reduce the price of carbon fibres by 50%, potentially opening up a wide range of new applications in key industries such as wind power, aerospace and automotive.

Marter Diniz was awarded the €5,000 New Materials Hanns Voith Prize from the Hanns Voith Foundation for this achievement.

ITA’s Dr Thomas Gries with award winner Flávio André Marter Diniz. © Oliver Vogel, Hanns Voith Foundation

Lightweight carbon composites are now indespensable in growth applications such as wind turbines and pressure tanks, due to their excellent mechanical properties and low density. The high manufacturing cost of conventional PAN precursor-based carbon fibres, however, is prohibitive for some applications and availability is also an issue. Alternative raw materials and manufacturing processes can be a key and growth engine for further industrial composite applications.

In the development of the new PE carbon fibres, the time-consuming sulphonisation process was significantly shortened, resulting in ultra-thin polyethylene-based carbon fibres with a filament diameter of less than 3μm, without detectable structural defects.

Latest Reports

Business intelligence for the fibre, textiles and apparel industries: technologies, innovations, markets, investments, trade policy, sourcing, strategy...

Find out more