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Composite fabrics reduces cycle time

Victrex Polymer Solutions and Tissa Glasweberei AG have co-developed innovative composite fabrics to be marketed under Tissa’s brand name Tixpref. Made of unidirectional tapes formed from S2-glass or carbon fibres with Victrex Peek polymer, the fabrics assist customers in drastically reducing the cycle time up to 50%. This advancement enables easy manufacturing especially for press forming of the fabrics into composite parts.

Tissa's Tixref offer numerous advantages, including excellent mechanical properties that result from the high fibre content of up to 65 %. Being thermoplastic in nature, the TIXPREF fabrics have a higher damage tolerance when compared to thermoset-based fabrics, high fatigue strength and stiffness, and excellent integration of the fibre with the matrix, resulting in a longer lifetime for the composite part, plus a reduction in its structural weight. The fabrics are easy and safe to handle, thus well suited for automated processes and out-of-autoclave manufacturing methods.

Following a positive client response to first samples, Tissa has now gone one step further and developed non-crimp fabrics (NCFs), again utilising Victrex Peek polymer. Non-crimp fabrics are constructed with two sets of fibres, to prevent undulation of the reinforcing fibres. In the case of TIXPREF, this means the tapes are positioned straight in the fabric, and this allows maximum stiffness of the consolidated part. Tissa's flexible production techniques allow multiple combinations of fibres and matrices. The resulting composite fabrics are tailored for use in aerospace, and in industrial and medical applications that do not have complex shaped parts, such as flat structures and panels. By heating the prepregs and press forming for two to three minutes, a panel thickness of only 2 mm is possible. However, the use of specialised moulds enables production of sophisticated parts with strips or inserts, or both.

Samples of the fabric are available, and Tissa is actively working with OEMs, designers and parts and mould manufacturers to replace metals and thermosets with composite fabrics made with Victrex Peek polymer, in a broad range of applications.