Fabrics and Preforms
This article describes the types of fabrics and preforms that are used in the manufacture of advanced composites and related selection, design, manufacturing, and performance considerations. The types of fabrics and performs include unidirectional and two-directional fabrics; multidirectionally reinforced fabrics; hybrid fabrics; woven fabric prepregs; unidirectional and multidirectional tape prepregs; and prepreg tow. The article discusses the three major categories of tape manufacturing processes, namely, hand lay-up, machine-cut patterns that are laid up by hand, and automatic machine lay-up. It provides a description of the two classes of prepregs. These include those suitable for high-performance applications and those suitable for lower-performance molding compounds.