Spread tow VS traditional carbon fiber fabrics
Lighter. Spread tow carbon fiber fabrics are woven from fiber tows that are spread into thin tapes. Tape area density is inversely proportional to spreading width. Whereas the lightest traditional carbon fiber fabrics weight 90 g/m2, spread tow fabrics can achieve densities as low as 40 g/m2.
Straighter fibers. Compared with traditional reinforcement fabrics, spread tow fabrics have practically straight carbon fibers. Straight fibers have a higher rigidity in tension than undulated fibers and result in a stiffer fabric. Since their buckling is not initiated, straight fibers also have a better resistance to compressive stress.
Higher fiber-to-matrix ratio. Since spread tow carbon fiber fabrics are extremely flat, they require less resin than traditional fabrics to be impregnated. This results in composites with a higher fiber-to-matrix volume ratio and overall better mechanical performances.
Because they have practically straight fibers and a woven structure, spread tow carbon fiber fabrics combine the stiffness of non-crimp laminates and the reduced delamination risks of woven fabrics.
Weaves of spread tow carbon fiber fabrics
Triaxial weaves such as the dense triaxial weave or the light triaxial weave have a [0°/+60°/-60°] fiber orientation. Again taking the modulus of a unidirectional composite as a reference unit, a triaxial weave composite exhibits a constant modulus of 0.375 regardless of the direction. In particular, as a woven [0°/+60°/-60°] quasi-isotropic laminate, a dense triaxial weave fabric is a versatile reinforcement.
Fiber composition of spread tow carbon fiber fabrics
Moreover, carbon fibers can be comingled with other types of fibers such as Kevlar fibers or flax fibers to further adapt the fabric properties. Whereas carbon fibers are great for strength and rigidity, Kevlar fibers are tougher and more difficult to break. Flax fibers are lighter and have a higher vibration damping capacity. A comingled or hybrid fabric is a multi-material fabric that can replace a stacking of several single-material fabrics. This alternative can reduce delamination risks as well as costs and lay-up time.
View Fiber properties
Size of spread tow carbon fiber fabrics
|Sizing method||Ease of manipulation|
|unsized fabric||very delicate|
|sized fabric||fiber manufacturer original sizing agent||delicate|
|additional sizing agent / binder||easier|
Applications for spread tow carbon fiber fabric
Sports, industry. Semi finished products such as carbon/aramid fiber plates and tubes.