Satish Kumar, Georgia Institute of Technology

Satish Kumar is a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India and obtained his post-doctoral experience in Polymer Science and Engineering under the guidance of Professor R. S. Stein at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He conducted research as a foreign collaborator at C.E.N.G., Grenoble France. During 1984-89, and worked in the Polymer Branch at the Air Force Research Laboratory, WPAFB OH. He joined Georgia Institute of Technology in 1989. His current research and teaching interests are in the areas of structure, processing, and properties of polymers, fibers, and composites with a focus on carbon nanotubes and other nano materials. He has conducted fiber processing and structure-property studies on a broad range of polymers including synthetic and natural polymers, as well as carbon fibers.



Under a DARPA funded program, gel spinning and continuous carbonization facilities have been established in class 1000 clean rooms at Georgia Tech. Spinning system can be used to manufacture 100 filament tow single or bi-component fibers. These fibers can then be drawn on the multi-zone drawing system. During drawing, 5 tows containing 100 hundred filaments each can be combined to yield a fully or partially drawn fiber with 500 filaments tow. These filaments can then be carbonized on the continuous carbonization line. During carbonization, 2 precursor tows containing 500 hundred filaments each can be combined to yield a 1000 filament tow carbon fiber, and the line capacity can be further expanded to produce 2000 filament tow. Using this line 100 filament and 700 filament tow carbon fibers have been produced. Developments in PAN and PAN/CNT based fiber properties will be presented and discussed. A number of technological issues have been identified to make further improvements in these carbon fiber properties. This gel spun PAN and PAN/CNT based carbon fiber technology is ready for testing, evaluation, validation in composites and ultimately for qualifying for use in actual systems.