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This study presents the thermo-physical, electrical, and mechanical characterization of fine carbon fibers produced from water-soluble polymer precursors and low temperature processes. These fibers were developed utilizing the Forcespinning® technology which utilizes centrifugal force to spin fibers. Polyvinyl alcohol was used as the precursor material, and fibers were developed and deposited in a non-woven configuration. The resultant non-woven fiber mats were subjected to a dehydration process through exposure to sulfuric acid vapors. The partially carbonized mats were heat treated at 850 °C. The produced porous nonwoven carbon fiber based mats have micro-and mesoporosity with a final fiber average diameter of 191 nm. The electrical volume resistivity of the polymeric nanofibers was 8 × 1014 Ω cm and it dropped to 165 Ω cm for the chemically treated carbon fiber mat and to 0.407 Ω cm for the subsequently heat treated fibers. The electromagnetic (EMI) shielding effectiveness (SE) was observed to be 20 and 40 dB for the chemically treated fibers and heat treated fibers respectively. The tensile stress for the chemically treated fibers was 43 MPa with a strain of 18% while the subsequently heat-treated fibers exhibited a stress of 124 MPa and strain of 21%.


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Materials Today Communications





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