Vectorply Corp. (Phenix City, AL, US) has introduced a new addition to its VectorUltra line of advanced composite reinforcements. The 94-oz/yd2 carbon quadraxial fabric, named C-4QX 9400, is an all-standard modulus carbon fiber quasi-isotropic reinforcement that is said to be excellent for tooling, panel and thick-section advanced composite applications. C-4QX 9400 is constructed using a balanced and symmetric construction (90°/0°/45°/-45°) stacking sequence of approximately 400-gsm carbon plies. The architecture of the fabric, says Vectorply, provides a low and consistent coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) and an un-oupled (non-potato-chipping) laminate — a good combination for high-performance composite tooling, which experience large temperature changes. The symmetric construction allows panel manufacturers to fabricate ultra-flat panels, and the 3200-gsm areal weight allows for minimal labor requirements for building thick cross sections. In addition, the quasi-isotropic nature is also said to provide high bearing strength, which combined with its high areal weight, makes the material suitable for inserts and hard points requiring mechanical fasteners.C-4QX 9400 can be used in prepreg and resin infusion applications. It is also available in a tapered option along the fabric width, allowing for scarf joining and consistent thickness across joints.
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The additional capacity will be in place starting in 2018.