Exclusive interview with Michelman's Steve Bassetti on fibre sizing fundamentals, emerging technologies and much more

Ahead of this year's GOCarbonFibre, we spoke with Steve Bassetti, Global Marketing Director at Michelman, about their upcoming presentation on fibre sizing fundamentals and emerging technologies, as well as changes in the carbon fibre market, the future of carbon fibre and more.

1. What changes have you seen in the carbon fibre market in the last 5 years, and how does that influence your current strategy?

While carbon fibre is still mostly used in thermoset resins, the use of carbon fibre in thermoplastic resins is growing rapidly. Carbon fibre manufacturers realise that their existing sizing solutions are not always the best for these types of resins, therefore Michelman brings its unique expertise to help them design the best sizing solutions.

The process from manufacturing carbon fibre to production of finished components is wasteful, in the past few years several companies have developed cost-effective means of recovering carbon fibres from manfacturing waste. Michelman is collaborating with them to develop specific sizing formulations in order to be compatible with the recycled fibre they produce, which sometimes still has the original sizing on it, and the type of matrix they are targeting.

2. Your presentation looks at fibre sizing fundamentals and emerging technologies, why is this an important topic to look at?

Carbon has been (and still is) mostly used in epoxy resin but there has been an increasing demand for other types of resins such as polyamide, polycarbonate but also high temperature thermoplastics like PPA, PEI and PEEK and ester based resins over the past few years. As a consequence, the need for specific interface adhesions have arisen, and carbon fibre manufacturers are realising that sizing is playing a major role in the final composite properties. We are the interface experts, and it's our role to enlighten the industry about the importance of sizing and explain its mechanism. It's also Michelman's role to develop innovative solutions in order to answer these future market needs.

3. Why do you think it is important for new technologies to be shared with the wide carbon fibre industry? What does this mean for the future of carbon fibre?

The carbon fibre market is inherently open to innovation and always looking to any new solution able to provide a competitive advantage, that's why we think GOCarbonFibre 2017 is the right place to share the latest technologies we've developed to improve the interface properties of carbon fibre reinforced plastics.

4. What are you most looking forward to at the GOCarbonFibre 2017 conference?

Our goal is to get an overview of the latest market trends and needs and understand the challenges the carbon fibre market is facing right now. It's also a great opportunity to interact with people at different levels in the value chain.

Steve Bassetti will be presenting alongside Giles LeMoigne, Global Marketing Manager at Michelman, as part of the 'Emerging Technologies and Developments'. Other presenters in the session include Harper International, Astris Carbon and SGL Group.

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