Carbon

Why carbon fibers are used in light weight composite applications:

A carbon yarn is a composition of thousend(s) of extremely thin carbon fibers. These fibers have a thickness of about 5-10 microns. Carbonfibers are made from acrylic fibers which are carbonized through pyrolysis at temperatures up to 3000 °C. Carbon fibers consist of elongated carbon crystals, which are oriented parallel to the fibre axis. A carbon fiber is characterized by a very small stretch before the carbon fibre breaks (typically 1.5% – 2.5%). Thousands of carbon fibers are combined to form a yarn that can be processed into different fabric substrates like: - woven carbon fabrics and tapes, - multi layer (Non Crimp) fabrics and tapes, - braides sleeves, - non-woven carbon materials, - special fabric patterns (design fabrics) like diamond, fishbone, satin, more lines etc.

These carbon fabrics are used as reinforcement material in combination with a synthetic resin for the production of very strong and lightweight composites, also called Fiber Reinforced Plastics. Carbon fibers used in all kind of reinforcements are widely used as composite (machine) parts: light weight and yet very strong. Especially ideal for serial production in all kinds of normal production processes like:  - hand lay-up, - resin transfer molding, - resin injection etc. The black carbon color and gloss together with the fabric surface pattern gives a very distinguished look to the products. 

Important properties of carbon composite materials are: - they do not oxidize under the influence of water and oxygen, - they have a much lower density than steel, - high tensile strength, - high stiffness (tensile modulus), - high temperature resistance, - they are electrically conductive and have a low expansion coefficient. These properties make carbon fiber composites very suitable for applications where low weight, high strength and high stiffness are needed. Carbon fiber parts can be applied in various structural and non-structural end-uses and applications:

  •  aviation (aircraft private planes, commercial planes);
  •  the automotive industry; F1 and rally car parts;
  •  yacht building, canoes, surf boards, skies;
  •  sporting goods, carbon bikes, hockey sticks, golf clubs, motorbike parts;
  •  orthopedic parts, wheelchairs

Source: WikipediA, The Free Encyclopedia

carbon fabric tapes bi-directional and uni-directional

Carbon tape fabrics are narrow fabrics with a width normally smaller than 300 mm. These tapes can be woven, braided or slitted from materials of larger width. In general there are two types of carbon tape materials: Uni-directional (UD) tapes and Bi-directional (BD) tapes. Uni-directional Carbon Tape is made up of long lengthwise oriented carbon fiber bundles that are held together in weft direction by a thin yarn, mostly E-glass or polyester. A Bi-directional carbon tape has also the lengthwise carbon bundles, but now held together by a thicker carbon yarn. Carbon  tape materials are applied to specific places of a product to get reinforcement where and in the direction that is needed. Our carbon fabric tapes are available as bi-directional (BD) tape in 200, 250, 370 and 530 g/m2 in 100% carbon and as uni-directional (UD) tape in 220, 300 and 330 g/m2. Tape width varies from 25, 30, 40, 50, 65, 75, 100 up to 150 mm.

Carbon tape fabric is typically used for tubes and bar wrapping and constructions to finish seams and corners.

Carbon tape materials can be applied for model building, construction parts, sports equipment, boat building and automotive parts.

carbon PREPREG materials

Prepreg is a common term for a reinforcement fabric that is PREimPREGnated with a resin system, sandwiched between two layers of protective foil. This resin system (typically epoxy) already includes the right curing agents. At room temperature this resin systems shows low reactivity but at elevated temperatures it becomes more and more reactive. This gives the possibility to store the Prepreg material at low temperature (or even in a freezer) for a longer time (the out-life). A carbon prepreg material is fully ready to be put into the mold without the addition of any more liquid resin. For curing the laminate it is necessary to use a combination of pressure and heat.

Advantages of carbon prepreg materials compared to hand lay-up are:

  • prepreg material gives maximum strength properties due to the controlled resin ratio.
  • high product uniformity and repeatability. Curing process variation is reduced to a low level.
  • less mess and less waste: no liquid resins to be used.
  • less curing time: after completion of the curing cycle the part is ready for service.
  • better cosmetics: less air bubbles, less fabric distortion, easy to obtain a smooth, glossy surface.

Disadvantages of using carbon prepreg material are:

  • cost: prepregs are more expensive.
  • shelf life: prepregs are best being stored at low temperature. Some types have outlife of about 1 year, but freezing will extend shelf life significantly.
  • necessary heat (and pressure) curing: need of controlled heat source and vacuum bagging at minimum. Some fabricators use an autoclave.

Typical applications of carbon prepreg can be found in aerospace, sporting goods, pressure vessels and commercial products.

Our carbon prepregs are available in a wide range of fabrics (90 to 600 g/m2), plain and twill and in a variety of resins systems depending on the required end-use of the product.

carbon multiaxial fabric

Carbon multiaxial reinforcements are fabrics that consist of two or more plies or layers of parallel oriented carbon yarns or rovings, showing a perfect reinforcement configuration. Each individual layer can be oriented in a different axis and for this reason the fabric construction is called ‘multi-axial’. Depending on the number of layers and varying orientation and axis, a unidirectional (UD), bi-axial (Biax), tri-axial and quadri-axial assembly can be made into a Non-Crimp Fabric (NCF) system.

The various layers are held together with a stitched thermoplastic (TP) yarn (typically polyester) which prevents crimping or undulations that can lead to loss of performance in the finished laminate. This ensures the highest values for strength and stiffness.

The stitching also enables easier handling as the fabric remains intact even when cut. The straight, non-crimped carbon fibers within a multiaxial fabric system allow very good resin impregnation and wet-out, perfect for infusion and all closed molding processes. The stitching helps the diffusion of resin vertically through the layers (in Z direction).

Carbon multiaxial reinforcements are used where the highest tensile, flexural and compression strength and minimal print-through is needed.

The multiaxial fabric is suitable for all normal processes like hand lay-up, RTM, Pultrusion, Infusion and Vacuum.

Typical end-uses: aerospace, military, constructional parts, medical applications, Marine, sports goods and automotive.

woven carbon fabrics

Classic woven carbon fiber fabrics show high tensile strength, high stiffness (modulus), low weight, electric conductivity, high temperature resistance and low thermal expansion. These unmatched properties have made carbon woven fabrics widespread favorite in today's composite industry. Carbon fabrics in combination with a resin matrix, often epoxy resin, can be applied in a wide range of products where low weight in combination with high strength and stiffness is needed. Compositesplaza’s carbon fabrics are available in both Toray carbon fiber and Aksaca Industrial carbon fiber, different weave styles (plain and twill) , many different surface weights from 60 g/m2 to 600 g/m2 and in widths 100, 120, 128 and 154 cm. Available in 1K fiber to 24K fiber. Besides the standard weaves we have in our collection a number of specialties, so called design fabrics, with patterns like diamond, fishbone and diagonal lines.

Using modern high speed looms our fabrics are woven in the most commonly twill or plain weave. The plain weave is a balanced woven fabric where a one-under-one-over technique is used to produce a more tightly woven fabric that is more stable in use, is less susceptible to fraying and easier to handle without distortion or damage to the fabric. Twill is a textile weave pattern showing diagonal parallel ribs. This gives the popular diagonal pattern in carbon products. The twill fabric has a more loose construction making it easier “formable” but more susceptible to deformation and fraying. The plain weave fabric is suitable for flat and easy products and molds. The twill weave is more suitable for complex formed products and molds.

Our carbon fabrics can be used in all kind of composite production processes like hand lay-up, Resin Transfer Molding, Vacuum infusion, etc.

Carbon woven fabrics from Compositesplaza are used in the following applications:

Model building, Yachts- and Boats construction, Automotive (car parts), Sporting goods, Orthopedic parts, Aviation parts, industrial Construction, Luxury items and jewellery, Motorsport parts.