High-Performance Composites

NOV 2014

High-Performance Composites is read by qualified composites industry professionals in the fields of continuous carbon fiber and other high-performance composites as well as the associated end-markets of aerospace, military, and automotive.

Issue link: https://hpc.epubxp.com/i/405736

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Page 47 of 67

4 6 | H I G H - P E R F O R M A N C E C O M P O S I T E S 4 6 | H I G H - P E R F O R M A N C E C O M P O S I T E S C ommercial applications of thin-ply composites made by spreading tows into thin, fat unidirectional tapes has been a composites industry trend for more than a decade. The lure? Spread-tow technology provides com- posites fabricators a way to fashion re- inforcement fabrics almost entirely free of the fber twist and crimp that stunt fber performance. The straighter, more uniform fbers in spread-tow tapes opti- mize a laminate's tensile and compres- sive strength. The thinner laminates that result afford molders the opportunity to make high-performance components us- ing less material and at reduced cost. In a dramatic example of its promise, the technology will soon take fight — liter- ally — on the Solar Impulse 2, an aircraft whose designers hope, in 2015, will be- come the frst to fy around the world powered solely by energy from the sun. Solar Impulse 2 was developed by the company of the same name, located in Payerne, Switzerland. Solar Impulse chairman Bertrand Piccard, a psychia- trist and aeronaut, made the frst non- New, ultralight-areal- weight prepreg tapes form the thin-ply laminates that will enable Solar Impulse 2's sun-powered flight around the world. By Donna Dawson Spread-Tow Technology TAKES OFF INSIDE MANUFACTURING

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