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Surface Treatment Methods And Advantages Of Carbon Fiber Materials

Carbon fiber is used as a structural material or functional material due to its special ultra-high performance. In order to give full play to the performance of carbon fiber, the surface treatment of carbon fiber is particularly critical, and different treatment methods have different effects on the surface structure and performance of carbon fiber.

Different surface treatment processes should also be used for different use requirements of carbon fiber.

Next, China Be-cu Carbon Fiber Co., Ltd. will introduce the surface treatment methods and advantages of carbon fiber materials to you.

Surface treatment methods for carbon fiber materials involve modifying the outermost layers of the material’s surface to enhance specific properties or improve adhesion with other materials in composite structures. Various surface treatment techniques are employed to optimize the performance of carbon fiber materials for specific applications. Some common surface treatment methods and their advantages are as follows:

Sizing Treatment

  • Sizing treatment involves applying a protective coating (size) on the carbon fibers to improve their handling, processing, and adhesion with resin matrices during composite fabrication.
  • The sizing protects the carbon fibers from damage during handling and weaving processes, preventing fiber breakage and improving the overall mechanical properties of the composite.
  • Sizing also facilitates the wetting of carbon fibers with resin, resulting in better interfacial adhesion and enhanced mechanical properties of the final composite material.

Ozonation Method

This process is the most widely used, because the process is relatively simple, the equipment cost is relatively low, and the machining time is short, but the machining effect is remarkable. It is a better method for continuous surface treatment of carbon fiber at present.

The advantages are that the oxidation reaction speed is fast, the machining time is short, and it can be matched with the carbon fiber production line. The oxidation is moderate, the reaction is uniform, and it is easy to control. This process is suitable for low-cost civilian carbon fiber production.  

Anodic Electrolytic Oxidation

It is also called electrochemical oxidation. The method is to use carbon fiber as an anode. The electrolyte can only use inorganic or organic acids and salts, and alkalis are also acceptable. Different types of electrolytes have different oxidation processes and affect the surface treatment effect of carbon fibers. It is worth reminding everyone that the carbon fiber electrolytic surface treatment can also use a hybrid method. An acidic electrolyte was used for the first time, and an alkaline electrolyte was used for the second time.  

Plasma Oxidation Method

Surface treatment of carbon fiber by low temperature plasma or microwave plasma is also an important process. The characteristics of this process are that the gas-solid reaction is pollution-free, and the machining time and effect are good, but the plasma generation requires a vacuum environment, so the equipment is complicated, and this method is still in the research and improvement stage, but in terms of machining effect, the effect is satisfactory.

  • Plasma treatment is a versatile method that can be used to modify the surface chemistry and roughness of carbon fibers.
  • Plasma treatment increases the surface energy of the carbon fibers, leading to better wetting and adhesion with polymer matrices, enhancing the overall strength and stiffness of the composite.
  • It can also introduce functional groups on the fiber surface, improving interfacial bonding and compatibility with specific resin systems.

Silane Coupling Agents

  • Silane coupling agents are chemical compounds that can bond with both the carbon fiber surface and the resin matrix, creating a strong interphase between the two.
  • The silane coupling agents improve the adhesion between carbon fibers and resin, resulting in enhanced mechanical properties and improved resistance to environmental factors like moisture and temperature.

The above five carbon fiber surface treatment processes, there are also various treatment methods such as gas-phase oxidation, electrolytic oxidation, liquid-phase oxidation, electropolymerization, vapor deposition, and surface coating. Therefore, different carbon fiber machining manufacturers may use different methods, so the process is quite different. It is particularly important for customers to choose a manufacturer with relatively sophisticated machining technology. 

Surface treatment methods for carbon fiber materials offer numerous advantages, including improved adhesion with resin matrices, enhanced mechanical properties of the resulting composites, better resistance to environmental factors, and increased versatility in composite fabrication. The choice of surface treatment depends on the specific application and the desired performance characteristics of the carbon fiber composites. Proper surface treatment is essential for optimizing the performance and ensuring the reliability of carbon fiber materials in various industries, including aerospace, automotive, sports, and industrial applications.


ISO 9001 certified. BE-CU Prototype Offering CNC machining carbon fiber and other manufacturing services for carbon fiber marterial. Various capabilities include notching, labeling, drilling carbon fiber, grinding, laser cutting carbon fiber, finishing, plating, marking, CNC milling carbon fiber and turning carbon fiber.We stock high quality 3k carbon fiber sheet in a variety of thickness, types and finish. Its a great material used in applications where light weight and strength are needed such as drones. Unlike other workshops, we have no min order and are often filling orders with a single part. We also don’t make you pay for the full sheet and you only get charged for what is used. With a large selection of material, you should find everything you need to make your project come to life. We are also able to handle larger production runs and provide a competitive pricing. If we don’t have the material or finish you require, we are more the willing to look at bringing it in for you.