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4M's 2015 Carbon Fiber Conference Presentation

4M's presentation given at the 2015 Carbon Fiber Conference

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4M's 2015 Carbon Fiber Conference Presentation

  1. 1. Market Ready Plasma Oxidation 75% Unit Energy Savings with 3X Greater Throughput and Better Properties
  2. 2. RMX Technologies The mission of RMX Technologies is to generate high value intellectual property in the material science technology sector that solves difficult problems faced by today’s material users. We accomplish this by combining our plasma and materials science expertise with our experience in product development to create clean economical and scalable solutions for industry.
  3. 3. 4M Industrial Oxidation  4M Industrial Oxidation (a subsidiary of RMX Technologies) is commercializing a patented and proven technology that can lower carbon fiber manufacturing cost by 20%.  4M will manufacture and sell plasma components and the control system for each Plasma Oven sold by Litzler. Each oven will be sold with a 4M technology license for the use of the patented Plasma Oxidation technology.
  4. 4.  A multi-year joint development effort between RMX and ORNL that was funded by the Department of Energy/Vehicle Technologies.  Culminated in the successful operation of the 1 aMT Plasma Oxidation Oven.  All development work is complete.  All IP is jointly owned. 2004 – First Benchtop Plasma Oxidation Device 2014 – 1 aMT Plasma Oxidation Oven The Oxidation Oven – Development Complete
  5. 5.  Plasma Oxidation is a proven technology. Compared to conventional oxidation, plasma oxidation:  Makes a better product  Is 3 times as fast  Uses less than 25% of the energy per pound of fiber  Takes up significantly less space (1/3 size)  Reduces carbon fiber manufacturing cost by 20% The Oxidation Oven – Proven Performance
  6. 6. The Oxidation Oven – Proven Performance Client Oxidation Rate Increase Oxidation Energy Savings Carbon Fiber Properties Precursor Type DOE 2.7X 77% Comparable 4x48k Commodity- PAN Client 1 3X 86% Comparable Proprietary Commodity- PAN Client 2 5X Batch Comparable Proprietary Lignin Client 3* 1X 78% Better Proprietary Aerospace-PAN Dralon* 2.5X 42% OPF-Comparable 1x57.6k Textile-PAN *Preliminary trials only – more work required to determine optimal results
  7. 7. The Oxidation Oven – Highly Scalable 1500 aMT Plasma Oxidation Oven
  8. 8. The Oxidation Oven - Commercialization  Plasma oxidation performance is proven with multiple carbon fiber manufacturers’ precursors and we are now testing Dralon’s textile PAN.  Guidance from multiple manufacturers have defined the equipment scale needed to validate commercial use – 175 aMT (carbon fiber). Manufacturers have strong interest in buying production-scale equipment once performance is validated at this scale.  Therefore 4M was created and a four-phase commercialization plan was established and implemented earlier this year.
  9. 9. The Commercialization Plan - Goals Scale the technology by building a 175 aMT-CF Plasma Oxidation Oven. Integrate this oven into an OPF conversion line at same scale to demonstrate the technology to the carbon fiber industry and produce and sell OPF in 24 months. Sell licensed production-scale ovens through partner Litzler. Develop high-strength low-cost precursor through partner Dralon specifically tailored for plasma oxidation. 1 2 3 4
  10. 10. The Commercialization Plan - Phases Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4 The smallest replicable section of the 175 aMT oven will be constructed and tested to optimize design and functionality. Lessons learned from Phase I will be used to construct the next replicable size step up that will allow complete optimization. Experience gained in Phase I and Phase II will be used to complete the fully operational 175 aMT Plasma Oxidation Oven. Sustained operation of the full scale oven will commence to demonstrate the technology to the industry and to produce and sell OPF.
  11. 11. The Results – 175 aMT Plasma Oxidation Oven Plasma Inside!
  12. 12. The Results – 1500 aMT Oxidation Plasma Oxidation Oven Conventional Oven
  13. 13. The Results – 1500 aMT Oxidation Plasma Oxidation Oven Conventional Oven
  14. 14. The Results – 1500 aMT Conversion
  15. 15. The Results – 600 ksi $7/lb. Fiber in 24 Months  600 ksi carbon fiber costing $7/lb. is possible in 24 months.  How?  Dralon stated they could develop a low-cost precursor yielding 500 ksi carbon fiber with conventional conversion.  Our 1 aMT oven demonstrated higher carbon fiber mechanical properties over conventional oxidation.  A recent paper1 showed an increase of 30% in carbon fiber tensile strength using plasma over conventional oxidation.  600 ksi is achievable from a low cost precursor whose chemistry is specifically tailored to our plasma oxidation process. 1Lee, et al. Efficient preparation of carbon fibers using plasma assisted stabilization. Carbon, 55, 361 (2013). 400 450 500 550 600 650 Conventional Plasma TensileStrength,ksi Dralon 20%Increase
  16. 16. Commercialization Partners • Selling ovens for 60 years and has installed many carbon fiber production lines. • Will fabricate and sell Plasma Oxidation ovens to Carbon Fiber Producers that include a 4M technology license. • Market growth will require many new Carbon Fiber production lines and ovens in the next decade. • An established textile acrylic fiber supplier. • 4M and Dralon are co-developing a low-cost carbon fiber precursor specifically tailored to 4M’s plasma oxidation process. • Market growth will require new precursor types that presently do not exist.
  17. 17. The Opportunity Carbon Fiber Manufacturer End User
  18. 18. The Opportunity What would help: • Expertise – Technical, sales, business, project support, etc. • Resources – build it, test it, procure it, facilities, equipment, transportation, etc. What you could get: • Low cost fiber ahead of competition • Operating parameters for your precursor • Valuable process trade secrets • Royalty preferences • Input & participation in scale-up program • Installation, operations, maintenance, improvements head start over competition • Early access to ovens and fiber • Preferred access to next generation ovens • Potential exclusive use of the technology
  19. 19. Conclusion  The commercialization of plasma oxidation has already begun.  A 175 aMT plasma oxidation oven will be successfully demonstrated in less than 24 months.  600 ksi carbon fiber costing $7/lb. is possible in 24 months.  There is a window of opportunity for end users and carbon fiber manufacturers to become strategic partners of 4M to accelerate this timetable.  Check us out at
  20. 20. Truman Bonds, Vice President for R&D 865-777-2741 Contacts Dick Nixdorf, Chairman 865-719-5519 Rod Grubb, President 865-599-7762