Spread-tow and noncrimp fabrics

Sigmatex UK introduced at JEC Europe 2013 its sigmaST, a spread-tow fabric available in 50g/1.76 oz and 75g/2.65 oz per ply areal weights.

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Sigmatex UK (Runcorn, U.K.) introduced at JEC Europe 2013 its sigmaST, a spread-tow fabric available in 50g/1.76 oz and 75g/2.65 oz per ply areal weights, with a heavier 100g/3.53 oz per ply version also in development. The spread tape width is 16 mm/0.63 inch, and fabrics are woven with a new “state-of-the-art, high-output production process” to form a near-zero-crimp fabric. Narrower tapes are in development, says Andrew Ball, lead development engineer for multiaxial fabrics at Sigmatex. The company also showcased sigmaRF, a recycled/reclaimed carbon fiber noncrimp multiaxial (±45°) flexible fabric woven from 55-mm/2.2-inch recycled carbon staple fibers blended with a thermoplastic fiber. The fabric contains about 48 percent carbon by volume. It has significantly lower environmental impact than virgin carbon fiber-based materials. The fabric is targeted to the automotive market, primarily for nonstructural parts made with standard thermoplastic processes, where the surface finish isn’t an issue.