Whether you’re a product developer working on a new prototype fiber or a researcher looking to develop new production processes, you’ll need lab-scale equipment to produce your small volumes of carbon fiber.
For laboratory settings, full-size fiber manufacturing equipment is impractical. Fortunately, you can find lab-scale carbon fiber equipment to suit the needs of research and development much better.
When selecting laboratory equipment, keep in mind that you’ll not only want smaller versions of carbon fiber manufacturing machines, but also equipment that is flexible and can adapt to different processes as needed.
All of the systems are modular, thus individual components can be purchased, and as the need arises components can be added on.
We’ve put together a list of some of the best carbon fiber equipment for laboratory applications:
Let-off creels for precursor
- CTF Creels – This system incorporates tension feedback to the control by incorporating a tension sensor. For development purposes, not only is the higher tension control accuracy that the CTF provides important, but knowing exactly what tension the precursor is when going into the process can be extremely valuable data.
Laboratory-scale carbonization furnace
- KYK Lab Carbonization Furnace – These smaller carbonization/graphitization furnaces can handle a single or multiple tows and can reach up to 3,000°C if desired. They can also be configured as multi-temperature zone systems, as in a full-scale production environment.
Sizing and drying equipment
- LSZ Lab Scale Sizing System – Izumi International offers a sizing system and drying system created especially with small-scale fiber production in mind. Parameters on the machine are easily adjustable for maximum flexibility.
Drive rollers and stretch rollers for laboratories
- FR-N Feed Roller – This reliable and accurate feed roller can control speed for single or multiple tows. It can have extremely wide ranges of speed control up to 1:100 if required, to adapt to most research needs.
- Fiber Tensioning Roller - These tensioning systems can be used to create multiple tension zones throughout the process, such as during oxidation. Stretch ratios can be applied through the use HMI to easily experiment with various stretch. Load cells can be incorporated for PID control through tension monitoring.
Winders for laboratories
- TTW Tabletop Winder – This especially compact winder is ideal for simple take-up winding. Choose from four different configurations: constant RPM, constant speed, constant tension, or constant torque.
- EKTW-CX Winder – This take-up winder features computer controls and is ideal for pilot lines and lab scale lines where frequent parameter changes are required. The base design is the same as our production winders, so the output carbon fiber bobbin will be of same quality.
Fiber tension sensors and analyzing systems for laboratories
- Carbon Fiber Analyzer System – This system allows for accurate analysis of fiber tow width, filament breakage, fiber tension, fiber friction coefficient, and more, and offers several configurations to choose from.
- DTH Tension Sensor – The high-accuracy DTH measures fiber tension with no need for adjustment or calibration. These sensors can be incorporated in the process where needed, to monitor or control the tension.
- PLCS-1000 Portable Length and Speed Counter – This portable instrument can be used in multiple stages of the carbon fiber production process for length and speed monitoring, speed calibration, and laboratory testing.
The product list is not exhaustive, of course, but we hope it gives your team a good point to start from.
If you don’t see exactly what you need and would like a professional opinion, the engineers at Izumi International would be happy to find the equipment that will suit your specific situation. Call us at 864.288.8001 or contact us online.