Ultra-strong and stiff randomly-oriented discontinuous composites: closing the gap to quasi-isotropic continuous-fibre laminates
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2020
Conventional randomly-oriented Tow Based Discontinuous Composites (TBDCs) are materials which combine
good mechanical properties, lightweight and high manufacturability, and are therefore interesting for high volume
transport industries. This paper proposes, designs and successfully demonstrates a pathway to produce
TBDCs with outstanding stiffness and tensile strength, by using ultra-thin tapes of (ultra-) high modulus carbon fibres.
Numerical models are used to explore the design space of discontinuous composite materials, in order to
identify the optimal microstructural design to maximise stiffness and strength. Selected microstructures are
manufactured and tested under tension; the experimental results show good agreement with the numerical
predictions, and demonstrate a significant increase in the tensile strength and Young’s modulus of TBDCs by
reducing the tow thickness and increasing the modulus of the fibres. Strength and stiffness increases of over
100% compared with the commercially available TBDC systems are achieved, resulting in mechanical properties
that match the strength and overcome the stiffness of aerospace-graded continuous-fibre laminates.
A. Discontinuous reinforcement