The braiding process is one of the most practical and effective manufacturing methods available to the composite industry today. To place the economy of braiding in perspective, it is estimated that 40% of conventional filament winding would be more cost effective by braiding.
The design and fabrication of braided structures is a core focus at AEC. A unique feature of the braiding process is its ability to combine continuous fibers in an oriented pattern over a mandrel of nearly any shape or size. The braiding process creates an interlaced structure of continuous fibers, providing stability to the preform and desirable strength to weight properties in the final part.
Fabrication of tubular and three dimensional shapes is inherently efficient via braiding. Each pass through the braiding machine produces a layer of fiber reinforcement, which conforms to the shape of the mandrel. Formation of the braid under tension produces compaction of plies and eliminates the potential for wrinkling and pinching during insertion of the preform into the resin transfer mold.
Preform braiding has proven to be a viable manufacturing process, providing consistent quality and reproducibility for advanced composite structures.