The role of the reinforcement in a composite material is fundamentally one of increasing the mechanical properties of the neat resin system. All of the different fibres used in composites have different properties and so affect the properties of the composite in different ways. The properties and characteristics of common fibres are explained below.

However, individual fibres or fibre bundles can only be used on their own in a few processes such as filament winding (described later). For most other applications, the fibres need to be arranged into some form of sheet, known as a fabric, to make handling possible. Different ways for assembling fibres into sheets and the variety of fibre orientations possible lead to there being many different types of fabrics, each of which has its own characteristics. These different fabric types and constructions are explained later.

Published courtesy of David Cripps, Gurit


4.1. Fibre Properties

Covers the mechanical properties of reinforcing fibres.
4.2. Basic Properties

Table of basic reinforcements.
4.3. Laminate Properties

Covers the mechanical properties of fibres in terms of strength and stiffness.
4.4. Laminate Impact

Highlights the problems caused by impact damage.
4.5. Fibre Cost

Graphical information relating to the costs of different fibre-types.
4.6. Glass Fibre/Fiber

Explains how glass fibre is formed and the variants available.
4.7. Aramid Fibre/Fiber

Explains how aramid is manufactured and its various trade names.
4.8. Carbon Fibre/Fiber

Explains the manufacturing processes involved to product carbon fibre.
4.9. Fibre Comparisons

Highlights the advantages and disadvantages of fibre types.
4.10. Other Fibres

Covers several other fibre-types in common use.
4.11. Fibre Finishes

Explains the various surface finishes applied to fibres.
4.12. Sizing Chemistry

Overview of sizing chemistry versus matrix to be reinforced.
4.13. Fabric Types

Explains the types of fibre, categories of fibre orientation and construction methods.
4.14. Unidirectional Fabric

Details how UD fabric is constructed.
4.15. Woven Fabrics

Explains the various types of weaves typically used.
4.16. Hybrid Fabrics

Explains what is meant by the term, hybrid fabric.
4.17. Multiaxial Fabrics

Explains the main characteristics of multiaxial fabrics.
4.18. Other Fabrics

Covers chopped strand mat, tissues and braids.
4.19. Spread Tow Fabrics

These fabrics provide an ultra lightweight fabric reinforcement for composite materials applications.