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A carbon fiber fabric that features milled carbon fibers magnetically aligned in the “z” direction

News International-French

29 May 2019

Boston Material's Carbon Supercomposites is the result of extensive research and development of a material that solves the performance limitations that hinder traditional 2D composites. This new 3D reinforced prepreg features enhanced interlaminar and Z-axis properties that deliver performance and functionality at a low switching cost.

Supercomposites - Boston Material

Boston Materials offers a material that bridges the performance gap between metal alloys and composites. Boston Materials’ proprietary Carbon Supercomposite combines the homogeneity and toughness of metal alloys with the lightweight and stiffness of carbon fiber composites.

Carbon Supercomposites feature a novel 3-dimensional carbon fiber reinforcement that enables the production of impact resistant and durable components designed for high-stress and high-temperature applications. Prepreg variants of Carbon Supercomposite are designed for immediate use in layup manufacturing and are purpose-built for applications in the pressure vessel, marine, tooling, wind energy, and aerospace industries.

The prepregs are formed from standard carbon fiber fabrics reinforced with vertically aligned short carbon fibers. The resultant carbon fiber ply is impregnated with a thermoset or thermoplastic binder, yielding a truly-isotropic carbon fiber prepreg.

Most notably, Carbon Supercomposites provide 500% enhancement to Z-axis strength and 150% increase in interlaminar shear strength compared to conventional 2-dimensional carbon fiber composites – greatly improving impact performance and eliminating delamination.

Boston Materials manufactures Carbon Supercomposites in prepreg, thermoplastic tape, and preconsolidated sheet formats.  

Carbon Supercomposite™ by Boston Materials

$1.75 million in seed funding raised
Boston Materials has announced the development of its patented Carbon Supercomposite, a carbon fiber fabric that features milled carbon fibers magnetically aligned in the “z” direction to provide uncommon ply-to-ply strength. That company has raised $1.75 million in seed funding led by the Clean Energy Venture Fund with participation from Sabic nd the Clean Energy Venture Group.

Boston Materials is working with Sabic to integrate Carbon Supercomposite with polyetherimide (PEI) and polycarbonate (PC), but says the fiber is resin agnostic and compatible with any thermoset or thermoplastic resin matrix. The company says the technology improves toughness and strength and allows for enhanced electrical and thermal conductivities. According to Anvesh Gurijala, founder and CEO of Boston Materials, Carbon Supercomposite can increase compressive toughness by as much as 300 percent and compressive strength by 35% compared to traditional prepreg systems.

While the materials has potential in a variety of end markets including pressure vessels, wind energy, automotive, and aerospace, the company is initially targeting sporting goods and overmolding applications and aims to  launch its first Carbon Supercomposite product in summer of 2019.

Carbon Supercomposite properties

  • Durability with stiffness
    The addition of Z-axis milled fibers mechanically pins the layers of a composite together, drastically increasing the interlaminar fracture toughness and strength. This effectively distributes the multi-axial loads throughout material to increase toughness by 300% and strength by 35% without any detriment to stiffness, when compared to a similar carbon fiber material without Z-axis milled fiber reinforcement.
  • Enhanced safety
    A component made with Carbon Supercomposite will noticeably deform before there is a drop-off in strength or fracture. This allows your end user to register a change in apparent stiffness of a composite component prior to catastrophic failure.
  • Unique thermal properties
    The design of Carbon Supercomposite increases the Z-axis thermal conductivity by 300%. This enables PAN-based carbon fiber composites to match the conductivity of costly pitch-based alternatives.
  • Faster time to market
    The company's applications team will quickly integrate Carbon Supercomposite into customers established designs and production processes to decrease technical risk and time to production. Users can also leverage company's R&D team if they have a unique or sensitive application that requires a specialized solution.