Carbon fibre is not just carbon fibre… the possible variations make all the difference from a material that is ‘just’ light and strong, to something that can be both super-light and super-strong when the application requires and the budget allows. And with their TeXtreme product Swedish-based Oxeon is taking things up another step with the development of a novel method of aligning fibres in carbon tapes in such a way as to further maximise the properties of a material that is already amazing but that is today too often taken for granted.
Oxeon achieves this advancement through taking an ingenious geometric approach: by spreading the individual fibre tows into flat arrays rather than twisted round yarns. With this geometry these Spread Tow unidirectional tapes thus come out much thinner than conventional tapes, and have a higher density of carbon that is also using its mechanical strength more efficiently, directly along the axis of the tape. The fibres are also more evenly distributed, with the filaments aligned in the tape to minimise the crimp that will inevitably compromise both stiffness and strength.
The result is a very flat, very thin, unidirectional tape that can be laid out on its own or further woven into fabrics. Woven with these Spread Tow tapes, the spread tow fabrics also acquire the same properties of low crimp and thin cross-section. TeXtreme tapes and fabrics thus achieve a maximum strength until breakage that, remarkably, is twice or more that of most conventional carbon fabrics.
Laminates built with TeXtreme are thus able to find a much wider array of applications where thinness and high-strength are necessary and conventional woven laminate materials would simply not achieve the same performance.