Coal tar mesophase pitch fibres stabilized at 270° C to different extents were carbonized under strain by the constant load or constant length, using different heating rates, and further graphitized at 2500° C. Shallow and moderate stabilization provided a skin-core structure in the resultant fibres which exhibited higher orientation, tensile modulus, and better graphitizability after calcination at 1300° C and graphitization at 2500° C than deep stabilization. The tensile strength and modulus of the graphitized fibre was significantly improved through the strained carbonization when the stabilization was performed to a moderate extent. The strain tended to give an onion-like alignment in the fibre to improve the preferred orientation of carbon planes. Larger load and more rapid heating during carbonization modified the structure and properties of resultant fibres through a significant longitudinal elongation. The stabilization extent of pitch fibres governs the mobility or fusibility of mesogen molecules at the carbonization which allows their better alignment by the strain.
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