Nickel catalyzed carbon infiltration of carbon fiber substrates
A catalytic carbon formation technique in a carbon fiber substrate is disclosed. The carbon fiber substrate is first impregnated with a catalyst and is thereafter heated in an atmosphere rich in carbon and hydrogen. The catalyst is typically a Group VIII metal and may be selected from the group consisting of iron, nickel and cobalt. An incipient wetness technique for impregnating the substrate is also disclosed. A salt of the catalyst is provided in solution and void volume of the substrate is determined. The carbon fiber is then impregnated with a volume of the solution which is incrementally less that the determined void volume.