The properties of the fibres only show part of the picture. The properties of the composite will derive from those of the fibre, but also the way it interacts with the resin system used, the resin properties itself, the volume of fibre in the composite and its orientation. The following diagrams show a basic comparison of the main fibre types when used in a typical high-performance unidirectional epoxy prepreg, at the fibre volume fractions that are commonly achieved in aerospace components.
These graphs show the strengths and maximum strains of the different composites at failure. The gradient of each graph also indicates the stiffness (modulus) of the composite; the steeper the gradient, the higher its stiffness. The graphs also show how some fibres, such as aramid, display very different properties when loaded in compression, compared with loading in tension.
Published courtesy of David Cripps, Gurit