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Composites Evolution develops carbon flax hybrid system

21 October 2015

Composites Evolution has developed a range of carbon flax hybrid materials offering a lower cost alternative to carbon fibre.

In addition to reducing overall part cost, the inclusion of flax improves vibration damping performance, reduces part weight, and reduces environmental impact compared to carbon fibre alone.

The carbon flax hybrids can also create unique and attractive aesthetics. Composites Evolution expects these materials to be of particular interest to the automotive and sporting goods sectors.

The company proposes three ways of harnessing the benefits of flax within carbon fibre composites – hybrid woven yarn fabrics, hybrid spread tow fabrics and a layered hybrid approach.

In the layered hybrid approach, one or more layers of carbon fibre are replaced with Composites Evolution’s Biotex flax to create multi-layer, micro-sandwich structures with bending stiffness similar to all-carbon laminates, but with reduced cost, reduced weight, increased shock absorption and improved environmental performance.

Hybrid fabrics are suitable for use in one- or two-layer laminates and where directional properties are required. One example in the Biotex range is a 180g/m2 2x2 twill hybrid fabric, which is aimed at the automotive and sports industries and would suit complex structural and decorative parts.

Hybrid carbon flax spread tow fabrics are also possible, offering superior properties due to the high degree of fibre alignment and low crimp, along with attractive aesthetics. These specialist fabrics are aimed at the sporting goods market, where performance is key, and are already being considered in the design of new skis, snowboards and hockey sticks.

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