Formable, aligned, discontinuous fiber fabric

Pepin Associates has developed a formable, aligned, discontinuous fiber fabric, called DiscoTex, that can be made from carbon, glass, quartz or ceramic fibers.


Pepin Assoc. (Greenville, Maine) has developed DiscoTex, a formable, aligned discontinuous fiber fabric that can be made from carbon, glass, quartz or ceramic fibers. The material is said to be more easily formed than continuous-fiber fabrics because the aligned discontinuous fiber bundles can stretch in the direction of reinforcement, a capability that reportedly can reduce or eliminate the need to cut and dart material during layup. The fabric can be prepregged with thermosets; however, the manufacturer suggests that the best use of the material is to combine carbon fiber DiscoTex fabric with a thermoplastic, such as nylon 6. Demonstration parts have included an energy-absorbing crush rail for a subcompact car, made with an E-glass/polyethylene terephthalate (PET) DiscoTex fabric, and parts for military aircraft that were 35 percent less costly than production parts made with continuous fibers. The company also is fabricating a tow that combines discontinuous carbon fiber segments with continuous nylon tows; the company refers to this combined, continuous/discontinuous tow as CD Tow. The company also reports that DiscoTex has applications in pultrusion processes.