Haydale, SHD Composite Materials to collaborate on graphene-reinforced prepreg

The materials to be launched include a structural carbon fiber prepreg, a prototyping tooling prepreg and a high-accuracy tooling prepreg.

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Haydale Composite Solutions (HCS, Ammanford, UK) has announced the launch of three graphene-enhanced carbon fiber prepreg products in collaboration with SHD Composite Materials Ltd. (Sleaford, UK) using epoxy resins from Huntsman Advanced Materials (The Woodlands, TX, US).

The products to be launched by SHD and HCS include a structural component carbon fiber prepreg, a prototype out-of-autoclave curing carbon fiber tooling prepreg capable of fast composite part production in autoclave processing, and a higher operating temperature prepreg for enhanced life and very high-accuracy tooling.

The primary drivers in the development of the structural component prepreg were to increase the impact resistance and compression after impact performance of carbon fiber-reinforced epoxy components through the addition of graphene nanomaterials. It is anticipated that this will enable designers to develop lighter and more efficient carbon fiber-reinforced epoxy structures where impact is the principal design consideration. Key target applications for this new prepreg include aerospace, automotive and high-performance sporting goods such as bike frames, fishing rods and racing boats.

Development of the higher operating temperature prepreg is targeted at producing tooling systems with increased thermal conductivity (to reduce process cycle times), significantly reduced spring-back and greatly improved accuracy, improved surface finish and hardness, better impact resistance and finally increased resistance to micro-cracking over currently available prepreg materials.

These new graphene-enhanced prepreg materials are currently going through evaluation and are available as prototype products to interested companies for their particular areas of application. The technical support teams from SHD and HCS will offer assistance in material selection and initial development of parts and tooling to interested companies and organizations planning to gain market leadership in the aforementioned sectors.