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Carbon fibre for composite material applications

Technical Specifications

3D Carbon Fibre Fabric Technology from a World Leader

Sigmatex is continuing to develop its woven 3D capabilities through innovative design and collaborative research. Constant cross sections with variable tapers and thicknesses are within capabilities and high density thicknesses up to 13mm are achievable.

At 1.4 metres wide and consisting of a 5,000 hook design, each with its own actuator, individual warp yarn can be independently lifted thus offering ultimate flexibility in the manufacture of 3D carbon fibre fabrics.

The UNIVAL 100 is capable of producing technical 3D fabrics to exacting quality standards and provides Sigmatex with cutting edge manufacturing technology and endless possibilities.

Resin Infusion Carbon Fibre Textiles

Sigmatex offers four major carbon fibre textile processes to develop the optimum textile for each application – the infusion fabricator can avoid being ‘steered’ to a specific process based upon most carbon fibre textile manufacturers range of textile processes.

Sigmatex offers infusion textiles with a number of attributes to meet application requirements such as:

  • Polymer insertion for preform stability
  • High drape textiles for complex shapes
  • Collumated dry tapes for optimum mechanicals and automated fibre placement
  • 3D textile architecture for parts integration
  • Layered and multiaxial fabrics for efficient layup rates
  • Low crimp and non crimp fabrics
  • Integral ply drop off preforms
  • Tapered profiles
  • Resin flow enhancement layers

Sigmatex infusion textiles have been proven in major structural applications ranging from airframes to navy destroyers.

Innegra™ S and Innegra™ S/Carbon Fibre Textiles

The explosive growth of composites across all high value and technology applications has exposed opportunities that in many opinions are not available to the current high performance fibre sector.

When high-modulus fibres are combined with Innegra™ S fibre, part weight can be reduced, impact resistance and damage tolerance vastly improved and electrical signal transmission management fine-tuned, expanding the performance of existing fibre technology.

The high modulus fibre, which is recyclable, is the lowest density structural fibre (0.84-0.85g/cc) commercially available today.

With considerable effort and resources being dedicated to fibre and application development and testing, the fibre is already changing the landscape of composite design.

Multiaxial Carbon Fibre Textiles

The Copcentra MAX 5U, which is installed in Sigmatex (UK), is the latest technology to be offered from LIBA Maschinenfabrik GmbH of Germany, it offers advanced fibre spreading techniques, increased speed of fibre deposition, adjustable laying heads for the angles and above all has the capability to manufacture fabrics at variable widths.

Through its flexibility and new advancements in technology sigmaMX offers many benefits in the design, manufacture and architecture of carbon fibre multiaxial fabrics.

Fabrics up to 9 layers can be produced with single ply weights under 1600gsm in various orientations of layers in widths up to 100″.

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Carbon Fibre Textiles for Pre-Preg Applications

Sigmatex fabrics offer the pre-preg manufacturer a complete range of benefits:

  • CNC weaving looms for ultimate product consistency
  • A finely tuned weaving process to minimise fibre damage and allow weaving of fine filament and ultra high modulus fibers on a cost effective basis
  • Global locations in Europe, Asia and US to provide timely lead times and efficient costs
  • AS-9100 certification and DNV approvals to ensure highest level of operations, product reliability, and traceability
  • Proven experience to support large and complex programmes
  • Extensive CNC rewind capability for small quantities of fibre
  • Consistent, reproducible volume manufacturing to the same standard on three major continents.

Recycled Carbon Fibre Textiles

sigmaRF is an innovative, sustainable, commingled thermoplastic composite material based on recycled/reclaimed carbon fibre and thermoplastic PET matrix.

The material is based on recycled/reclaimed carbon fibre, so it has significantly lower environmental impact than virgin carbon fibre-based materials.

sigmaRF can be processed using standard thermoplastic composite processes including thermoplastic pultrusion and filament winding (yarn), vacuum consolidation, autoclave and press moulding (fabric, prepreg tape) and stamp forming (preconsolidated sheet). The material can be consolidated by heating to 280-300°C and applying pressure of 1-50 bar.

Non-crimp fabric based on recovered carbon fibre/PET.

  •  45/-45 degree bi-axial fabric, area density: 220 g/m2
  • Contains 3% PET stitching thread
  • Total CF 48% by volume
  • Very flexible, suitable for complex shapes

sigmaRF is suitable for many applications which currently use virgin carbon fibre-thermoplastic materials, especially in the automotive, sports and leisure, medical and energy sectors.

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Spread Tow Fabrics

Using high speed weaving principles, Sigmatex offers the sigmaST range of fabrics. Focused on the manufacture of near zero crimp materials with the emphasis on high output and superior quality, this new range of products is set to offer customers multiple benefits.

By reducing tow thickness and improving filament regularity, combined with fewer interlacing points, the sigmaST range has better transition of material properties.

Ultra light composites are easily achieved using sigmaST spread tow

sigmaST benefits

  • Light weight materials
  • Very thin materials
  • Very low crimp materials
  • Additive free
  • Volume production solution
  • Aerospace capability

The improved cover factor and reduction in crimp also greatly reduces the effects of multi-ply stacking for improved finish of the composite.

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Woven Carbon Fibre Fabric Textiles from a World Leader

Sigmatex offers these fabrics in traditional fabric constructions such as plain weave, twill and satin patterns.

Sigmatex’s computer controlled looms also allow the use of ultra high modulus and unsized fibres which are very delicate and require precise process control.

Widths from 12mm up to 2600mm can be woven.

Sigmatex converts both PAN and PITCH based carbon fibres and exotic yarns into a wide range of fabrics. Small tow through large tow can be converted into woven and unidirectional fabrics of various weights, weave styles and architectures.

Powder coating

Sigmatex has developed a stabilisation processes for carbon fibre products. By applying binder to carbon surface, the materials have more stability and offer improved characteristics for subsequent processing. Predominantly aimed at non pre preg routes, this capability is available for all Sigmatex carbon products.

  • Adaptable process used to coat a variety of Sigmatex products
  • Epoxy and polyester powder resin systems
  • Fine control of powder add-on
  • IR capability to adapt to customer requirements
  • Laminating temperature range up to 230°C
  • Working width: 1800mm
  • Powder density: 0.5 – 0.7Kg/L
  • Application: 5 – 800gsm

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