Journal of Materials Science, vol.49, no.21, pp.7462-7475, 2014 (SCI-Expanded)
The oxidation and carbonization stages of viscose rayon fibers were performed in the presence of 3 % phosphoric acid and 4 % boric acid (PA-BA) impregnation. The results showed that PA-BA impregnation enhanced thermal stability and prevented the evolution of volatile by-products. During the oxidation stage carried out at 250 °C, the cellulose II crystalline structure was totally lost due to the decrystallization process. Carbonization was carried out in a pure nitrogen atmosphere at temperatures ranging from 600 to 1000 °C. The results obtained from the fiber thickness, linear density, carbon fiber yield, elemental analysis, volume density, X-ray diffraction, infrared (IR) and Raman spectroscopy, tensile testing, and electrical conductivity measurements showed that the carbonization temperature had a significant effect on the structure and properties of the resulting carbon fibers. Carbon fibers obtained from the oxidized viscose rayon fibers showed physical and chemical transformations with increasing carbonization temperature and were characterized by a reduction in fiber thickness and linear density values due to the removal of non-carbon elements together with increases in the carbon content, carbon to hydrogen ratio (C/H), volume density, tensile strength, tensile modulus, and electrical conductivity values. X-ray diffraction analysis showed that the interplanar d-spacing (d002) decreased, and that the apparent crystallite thickness (Lc) and the apparent crystallite width (La) increased with increasing temperature. IR spectroscopy in agreement with the elemental analysis showed the total loss of OH, CH, C=O, CH2, C-O, and C-O-C groups arising from the completion of dehydration and dehydrogenation reactions indicating total elimination of the cellulose structure and the formation of amorphous carbon during high temperature treatment. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York.