G.W. Beckermann, I. Hosie
Keywords: carbon fibre composites, fracture toughness, compression after impact, fatigue, electrsopinning
Summary:Revolution Fibres have developed Xantu.Layr®, the world’s first commercially available nanofibre interleaving veil for use in carbon fibre reinforced composite materials. Produced using a proprietary production method (Sonic Electrospinning Technology), Xantu.Layr® is a non-woven web consisting of kilometre long thermoplastic nanofibres, each one being about 500x thinner than a human hair. Composite materials, especially those reinforced with carbon fibre, are increasingly becoming the materials of choice in weight-critical structural components due to their high strength and stiffness. Despite these attributes, composites generally suffer from poor impact resistance, poor fracture toughness and poor delamination strength. Significant engineering advancements have recently been made by using nanofibre interleaving veils to increase the impact strength, delamination resistance and fatigue life of composites. Xantu.Layr® nanofibre veils act as nano-scale reinforcements of the brittle matrix resin, resulting in a tougher resin (even when used with highly toughened resin systems) which is less prone to micro-cracking when stressed or impacted. In some situations, the addition of lightweight Xantu.Layr® nanofibre interleaving veils in-between the layers of carbon fibre can improve delamination resistance by over 150%, impact strength can be improved by up to 20%, and fatigue life can be improved by nearly 400%, all with negligible laminate weight and thickness gains. The ability to improve the inherent weaknesses of composite materials using Xantu.Layr® presents an opportunity for composite components to be used in applications that were previously not possible. Xantu.Layr® is particularly suitable for improving the performance of composite structures that are prone to impact damage, delamination, and high flexure or fatigue loadings.