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Carbon fibre for composite material applications


The Manufacture of One Piece Woven 3 Dimensional Carbon Fibre Nodal Structures

The use of Carbon Fibre 3D structures, whilst relatively new, is becoming predominantly popular in various technical applications. Novel processes can be employed to create various woven architectures, however by adapting current technology, a wider skill base is available and the manufacturability of complex structures and near net preforms becomes more attractive. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how by combining current state of the art weaving technology, 3D structural components can be manufactured. The ability to manufacture Nodal structures in near net shape will provide repeatable components and reduced layup times with the possibility to change weave style for improved functionality. Included in the work will be the design method and manufacturing process resulting in a woven prototype structure.

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The use of Recent Developments in conventional Weaving & Shedding technology to create 3D one piece woven Carbon Preforms

The main objective of this paper is to demonstrate how 3 Dimensional Carbon fabrics can be commercially manufactured using current design and manufacturing methods. Many fabric forming methods exist to manufacture 3 Dimensional structures, each with their own advantages. Bespoke machines have been developed to lay fibres in 3 or more directions and are keen to be called true 3D Weaving machines. Other methods of creating 3D composites also have been widely publicised including Multi-axial Fibre tow laying, Braiding, Knitting and Non-Woven, however the inherent processing methods also have their limitations when processing Carbon Fibre. During the course of this paper items for discussion will include the need for a range of products to be developed without the need for many specialist fabric forming methods. By using conventional machinery it is possible to move to the next level of composite manufacture by creating One Piece Woven structures. These structures can be transported easily then expanded to create many forms, eliminating the need for multiple layup of Carbon Fibres.

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Improving Output Rates Of Constant Cross Section Carbon Fibre Woven 3D Profiles

With the requirements to develop rapid processing of carbon fibre composites and emphasis on fibre deposition rates, 3D weaving presents many opportunities. Optimisation of weaving technology can present many ways of producing constant cross section profiles for stiffening applications. Current standards are expensive and have constraints in manufacture, limiting production output. Although improvements can be made, processing limitations will restrict output rates. Multiple profiles can be manufactured across the width of a wide weaving loom enabling a substantial increase in production rates for popular T and Pi section structures. This paper will demonstrate the advantages to be gained from this method of 3D component manufacture using this advanced weaving process and will examine opportunities for future developments using textile processing techniques.

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