UNN researchers have created a unique copolymer for Russian high-tech industries
Carbon fiber-reinforced composite materials find application in aerospace and related fields where light weight and high strength are needed. Currently,however, raw materials for manufacturing such composite materials are purchased from abroad. To wean Russian high-tech industries off this import dependence, Lobachevsky University researchers are working to produce their own copolymer based on acrylonitrile.
According to Ivan Grishin, Head of the Laboratory for organic synthesis and radical processes at the UNN Faculty of Chemistry, the copolymer created at the UNN compares favourably with foreign counterparts. "In the first batch that we sent to our partners, we obtained fiber strength of the order of 5-6 GPa, which is very good and close to the world's best performance of the order of 7-8 GPa", said Ivan Grishin. "So far, there are no technologies in Russia that allow producing high-strength fiber, which makes Russian high-tech industries dependent on imports. We have won a presidential grant for our research and are aimed at solving this problem", continued Grishin.
The Nizhni Novgorod copolymer has a high molecular weight, which makes it possible to produce high-strength carbon fiber. The economic benefit of producing the domestic copolymer, which is not inferior in performance to the best foreign analogs, is quite significant. Today, the market price of an imported copolymer is about $ 30 per kilogram, while a kilogram of the copolymer made in Nizhni Novgorod is twice cheaper. With the proven production technology, the cost of the product is several times lower than its market value, which makes the production of such high-tech products not only strategically important, but also very profitable.