Thermoplastic composites made from UD tapes and tailored blanks. A perfect material for high volume production of parts for the automotive sector and other applications.

After having recently made their breakthrough in the aviation industry, carbon based composites will easily find their way into other applications in the automotive sector, sports and defence in the forthcoming years. A capacity increase in the carbon fibre industry is vital for its introduction in mass consumer goods, but the same is true for a technology that enables its efficient production in short cycle times. Obviously, this will be not achievable with thermoset matrices because of their time-consuming processing. To demonstrate that thermoplastic crossply laminates offer the ultimate solution for this new era in carbon composite production, Van Wees has developed a Carbon/Polyamide crossply with outstanding mechanical behaviour and excellent thermo-formability. When comparing its bending strength and modulus (670 MPa, 62 GPa) with those of commercially available Carbon/PA composites it immediately becomes clear that its properties are more than competitive. Again, a UD of low fibre weight is characteristic for this material and by spreading the tows to their limit a specific weight as low as 40 g/m2 could be accomplished. But UD & Crossply technology can also open new perspective for other carbon fibre based products. Multi-axial webs for concrete reinforcement and Carbon/PA UDs for making CNG tanks are examples of novel applications that can become reality in the near future.