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3/1/2010

Superlight carbon fiber fabric

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Targeted applications for the fabric include golf clubs and tennis racket shaftes.

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Toho Tenax Co. Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan) has developed a 0.06-mm/0.002-inch thick carbon fiber fabric that, at 60 g/m² (1.8 oz/yd²), is reportedly less than half the weight of the lightest commercially available carbon fiber fabrics. Used in prepregs, the new fabric is expected to further reduce the weight of composites, making it suitable for high-strength, low-weight applications, including golf club and tennis racket shafts and personal computer casings. The fabric is made with a new carbon fiber yarn designed for making ultrathin fabrics. Developed with Sakai Ovex Co. Ltd. (Fukui City, Japan), the fabric production process benefits from Sakai Ovex’s yarn-spreading technology. The spread yarn, when woven, is subject to less crimp (waviness), thus enhancing the outer layer’s strength. The thinner fabric is intended to replace thicker fabrics commonly used as the outer surface layer of a uni prepreg layup, which helps prevent surface cracking, during drilling/machining processes. The thinner, lighter fabric permits either a part weight reduction or an increase in the thickness and weight of the underlying prepreg to increase part’s rigidity without increasing overall weight.

 

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