Aligned Discontinuous Fibre Composites: A Short History

MATTHEW SUCH , CARWYN WARD and KEVIN POTTER

Abstract


The most popular methodologies employed to manufacture composite components still lack sufficient rate to meet demand. Furthermore, the state of the art in automated processes imposes restrictions on component geometrical complexity. Many of these restrictions arise directly as a result of the use of continuous fibre reinforcements. Processing and use of highly-aligned discontinuous fibres may avoid many of the manufacturing defects induced in continuous fibre architectures, which are a result of design decisions and manipulations during processing operations, while theoretically allowing for similar mechanical properties if alignment and orientation are tightly controlled. An overview of the history of aligned short fibre composites has been presented, with the focus upon process and application of highly aligned advanced composites with properties near to that of continuous fibre composites. When continuous carbon fibres were first developed, there remained an interest to create aligned discontinuous fibre composites in order to form more complex components. This interest has reappeared in recent years with methods divided into those which align short fibres and those which introduce discontinuities into aligned fibres. It is clear that discontinuous material systems have their uses and applications, but greater development is still required in order to better quantify and categorise the materials and their associated properties and processes.

doi:10.12783/issn.2168-4286/2/3/4/Such

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ISSN 2168-4278 (Print)

ISSN 2168-4286 (Online)