Polyphenyleneoxide was blended in amounts of 5 or 10 wt% into petroleum-derived mesophase pitch to reinforce the pitch fibre before the oxidative stabilization to achieve better handling properties. Although polyphenyleneoxide was fusible but hardly soluble in the mesophase pitch even at a spinning temperature of ∼ 350° C, blended pitch could be smoothly spun into pitch fibre 10 μm diameter, as could the parent pitch. Fibrous polyphenyleneoxide of less than 1 μm diameter was homogeneously dispersed in the pitch fibre, being arranged along the fibre axis. Such fibrous polyp henyleneoxide reinforced the pitch fibre considerably. The fibrous substances at the centre of the fibre disappeared in the carbonized fibre at 1300° C after oxidation at 250° C, although some short ones were observed in the skin region of the fibre, suggesting that polyphenyleneoxide was co-carbonized to be assimilated with mesophase pitch at the centre of the fibre, where the effects of oxidation may be rather limited. The oxidation reactivity and its mechanical strength after carbonization were slightly lower in comparison with those of the parent mesophase pitch.
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