Huntsman Advanced Materials (The Woodlands, Texas) and North Thin Ply Technology (Penthalaz-Cossonay) will be celebrating winning the JEC Europe 2014 Innovation Award in the Marine category for the manufacture and use of ultra-thin prepregs in ultra-light C-Class racing yacht designs. The award has been given to NTPT and partners, including Huntsman, for designing the world’s thinnest unidirectional prepreg and associated handling and design tools. The ThinPreg prepregs in question are made from carbon fiber unidirectional tapes that can be as thin as a third of a human hair. The tapes are pre-impregnated with an epoxy resin matrix system based on several components (resin, toughener, hardener) selected with Huntsman’s support.
Working with NTPT, Huntsman provided a range of specialty components and advice on the building blocks selection, taking into account the specific requirements of ultra-thin prepreg processing. NTPT’s ultra-thin prepregs are designed specifically for high-performance composite applications, as demonstrated by their use as ultra-light components on C-Class yachts. Ultra-thin plies are said to offer significant improvements in the mechanical properties of composite laminates and also show outstanding machinability.