AEC utilizes a number of discrete through thickness reinforcement technologies to more thoroughly optimize the performance of our composite structures. These reinforcement methodologies may apply to composites with either 2D or 3D woven reinforcement.
Through Thickness Reinforcements
Z-fiber reinforcements are used to improve strength and/or stiffness properties and to inhibit crack propagation in critical areas of composites structures. This technology uses metallic or composite rods, which are inserted through the thickness of an un-cured composite material (typically a prepreg laminate). These rods can be normal to the surface of the composite or at one or more off axis angles. This manufacturing flexibility allows the through thickness reinforcement to be optimized for a particular application.
AEC’s T-forming process is similar to Z-Fiber’s, except that it is intended for use with dry fiber preforms that will be processed into composites using a liquid molding technique. T-forming provides an efficient approach for joining composite components during preform fabrication and can also be used as additional reinforcement in 2D and 3D woven materials. When used as a joining technique, the result of T-forming is improved joint strength, especially for pull off and shear loads.