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High performance flax/PP tape woven fabric using composites Evolution’s Biotex aligned tapes

News International-French

28 Sep 2011

Oxeon have carried out trials on Composites Evolution’s Biotex Flax/PP in order to develop a new range of environmentally sustainable, lightweight tape woven fabrics.

Oxeon originally contacted Composites Evolution about the project as they were looking for aligned natural fibre-based tapes in order to develop a new range of environmentally sustainable, lightweight tape woven fabrics.

Oxeon are the leading supplier of Spread Tow Fabrics for ultra light, high performance composites. They explain that TeXtreme® Spread Tow Reinforcements are generally based on carbon fibres but they are continuously working on new developments to enable a broader use within the composites industry, and to allow more applications to benefit from the weight savings and other advantages of TeXtreme®. The aim is to produce ultra light composite parts using the new variants of TeXtreme®.

Composites Evolution explain that the Biotex Flax/PP tapes have been woven into a fabric using Oxeon’s unique Tape Weaving Technology to create a new TeXtreme® Spread Tow Fabric variant based on natural fibres. Brendon Weager, Managing Director of Composites Evolution Ltd, comments “In this project we have developed a tape-woven fabric with excellent properties and that is environmentally sustainable”.

According to Composites Evolution, the main advantage of using flat tapes, compared to yarns or rovings, is that the crimp in a woven fabric is dramatically reduced, resulting in better fibre alignment and hence significantly improved mechanical properties. They say the tensile modulus of Flax/PP composites made from the new tape woven fabric is 40% higher than the equivalent material made from yarn.

Composites Evolution can currently supply a range of aligned Flax-based tapes, including Flax/PP and Flax/PLA in widths from 10-100mm, with intentions to expand their range in the near future. This new range of high performance, natural composites are suitable for applications which require a combination of high performance, low weight and low environmental impact, such as automotive parts and sports goods.

ABOUT COMPOSITES EVOLUTION: Composites Evolution is a supplier of innovative, sustainable materials to the composites industry, including Biotex high-performance natural composites. Their product lines include fibres, resins and intermediates based on natural, bio-derived, recycled and recyclable feedstocks, which enable customers to meet cost, weight and environmental targets.

ABOUT BIOTEX: Biotex natural reinforcements and intermediates provide the high performance and easy processing normally associated with glass fibre composites but with lower weight and environmental impact. They are suitable for semi-structural and decorative applications in sectors such as automotive, construction, marine, sports and consumer goods. Biotex uses a unique Twistless Technology to ensure a high degree of fibre alignment and performance. Standard materials include Flax, commingled Flax/PLA and commingled Flax/PP (others available on request) in formats including yarns, fabrics (woven and non-crimp) and preconsolidated sheets.