New Zealand company Revolution Fibres has collaborated with Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company Inc. to develop a next-generation nanofiber interleaving veil for improving the toughness of carbon fiber composites. According to the companies, the new material, Xantu.Layr® XLB, has particularly strong application possibilities in the aerospace sector.
The product is an ultra-thin nonwoven web consisting of kilometre long thermoplastic nanofibers, with each one around 500 times thinner than a human hair. When placed in-between the plies of carbon fiber in a composite laminate, it is said to significantly improve the fracture toughness (delamination resistance), compression after impact strength (damage tolerance) and fatigue resistance of the composite without adding any significant thickness and weight.
The material is made from Mitsubishi’s recently developed XD10 thermoplastic, bio-based polyamide resin, LEXTER, a xylylenediamine-derived polyamide resin that has been demonstrated successfully as a thermoplastic matrix for composite materials.
It is tough, strong, and chemically resistant, and has the added benefits of being hydrophobic and highly compatible with epoxy resin when in the form of a nanofiber veil. These properties enable Xantu.Layr® XLB nanofiber interleaving veils to improve the performance of thermoset composite laminates without being compromised by exposure to high humidity, gasoline or a range of other chemicals. Another benefit is the lower cost of manufacture, resulting in a lower sale price.
Revolution Fibres is AS9100d certified, and the company says it is the first nanofiber producer to meet aerospace industry standards.