Alpha Silicon Carbide
BEA has developed a process for making continuous micron diameter alpha silicon carbide (SiC) material directly in a fiber form starting from a carbon fiber substrate. Using controlled process conditions of temperature, gaseous atmosphere and form of carbon fiber substrate, BEA can produce an alpha SiC fiber. Continuous carbon fibers can be drawn through a furnace containing a controlled heating, reaction and atmosphere zone. Fully converted SiC filaments have a narrow hollow core which can increase overall fiber mechanical strength. Partially converted fibers will have a SiC outer layer over a carbon core fiber. The fiber will retain strength during the conversion, thus making the process suited to continuous processing and low fabrication cost. This novel process for making a unique form of alpha SiC fiber is not available commercially today.
"Our process is a simple and efficient direct conversion process using inexpensive raw materials such as carbon fibers, silicon, silicon dioxide powder,” said John Garnier “Alpha SiC fibers will be readily available and estimated production costs may be less than $100 per pound."
BEA is seeking licensees for the production of Alpha SiC.