Sigmatex (Cheshire, U.K. and Benicia, Calif.) spotlighted at JEC Americas 2014 its sigmaRF noncrimp fabrics made with recycled/reclaimed carbon fiber commingled with a thermoplastic polyester matrix. The fabrics can be consolidated at temperatures of 280°C/536°F to 300°C/572°F, applying 1 to 50 bar (14.5 to 725 psi) of pressure, and can be vacuum consolidated, press molded and stamp formed (preconsolidated sheet). A 220 g/m2 (6.5 oz/yd2) double-bias fabric, for example, features 48 percent carbon fiber by volume, yet can form complex shapes.
Sigmatex also premiered new tough, hybrid fabrics that combine carbon fiber and Innegra S, an olefin fiber that producer Innegra Technologies LLC (Greenville, S.C.) claims is the lightest fiber available, at 0.84 g/cm2. The hybrids are finding increased use in watersports, in surfboards and stand-up paddleboards, where both stiffness and toughness are highly valued.
Sigmatex reported its adaptation of Stäubli’s (Pfäffikon, Switzerland and Duncan, S.C.) Unival 100 Jacquard weaving equipment has enabled continued development of its 3-D woven fabric capabilities, which include constant cross sections with variable tapers as well as high-density fabrics. The new machinery reportedly supports multilayer orthogonal or angle interlock architectures (see photo) and tubular or I-beam structures and more.
Editor PickIACMI launches compressed gas storage collaboration project
Pending successful results from two initial phases, the project will conclude with the production of full size tanks.