Coal Tar Pitch/Petroleum Pitch
Mesophase pitch is a precursor to mid and high performance carbon fibers, highly conductive carbon foams and other advanced carbon materials. Large highly aromatic molecules stack to form liquid crystalline domains which can be aligned by different processing methods to produce highly ordered crystalline materials with high strength and modulus with efficient electrical and thermal conductivity.
Images are micrographs taken using cross-polarized light optical microscopy, the lighter areas are anisotropic mesophase domains and the darker areas are isotropic pitch. These samples were produced from a high temperature coal tar pitch. Softening Point (SP) measured using the Mettler Toledo DP70 Dropping Point System according to ASTM D3104.
Gilsonite and Coal Tar Pitch
Carbon fiber is projected to be one of the largest areas of growth for market attractiveness and competitive strength according to the National Coal Council’s report: Coal in a New Carbon Age, Powering a Wave of Innovation in Advanced Products and Manufacturing.