Development of GF/PP Towpreg Woven Fabrics for Composite Reinforcements


Article Preview

In the present work, glass fibre polypropylene (GF/PP) woven fabrics were manufactured from cost-effective flexible thermoplastic towpregs produced by a developed dry coating process. The paper describes the modifications made on the developed coating line to allow producing thermoplastic towpregs able to be woven in textile equipments. The produced fabrics were observed under optical microscopy and submitted to tests in order to evaluate their textile-like properties, glass fibre content and flexibility. Composites processed from those fabrics by compression moulding were also submitted to mechanical testing in order to assess their performance. The obtained experimental results have shown that the woven fabrics produced are cost-effective and present properties good enough to be applied in large-scale commercial markets (e.g. automotive). Future research efforts will be carried to try decreasing the towpreg frictional properties and the amount of polymer lost during the textile processing and improving the feeding technology to warp yarns directly from a creel.



Materials Science Forum (Volumes 514-516)

Edited by:

Paula Maria Vilarinho




R. M. E. Sousa Fangueiro et al., "Development of GF/PP Towpreg Woven Fabrics for Composite Reinforcements", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 514-516, pp. 1551-1555, 2006

Online since:

May 2006




[1] Malcolm, W., Todd, E. Carbon Fiber Reinforced PPS Thermoplastic Materials Implemented in a Cost Sensitive Commercial Applications, 38th Int. SAMPE Symposium, Anahein, (1993), 2055-(2065).

[2] Gantt, B. W., Edie, D. D., Lickfield, G. C., Drews, M. J., and Ellison, M. S., Thermoplastic Coating of Carbon Fibers, in Thermoplastic Matrix Composite Materials, ASTM STP 1004, (1989), 50-61.


[3] Iyer, S.R., Drzal, L. T., Manufacture of Powder Impregnated Thermoplastic Composites, Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials, 3/4 (1990), 325-355.


[4] Nunes, J. P.; Silva, J. F.; Silva, L.; Novo, P. J.; Marques, A. T., Equipment to Produce Continuously Powder Coated Thermoplastic Matrix Prepregs (Towpregs), International Pat. WO 02/06027 A1, (2001).

[5] Nunes, J. P., Silva, J. F., Silva, L., Marques, A. T. and Novo, P. J., The Development of a Dry Coating Process to Produce Glass Reinforced Thermoplastic Matrix Towpreg, Proceedings of the 9th European Conf. on Composite Materials-ECCM 9, 4-7 June, Brighton, U.K. (2000).

[6] Nunes, J. P., Silva, J. F., Marques, A. T., Crainic, N., Cabral-Fonseca, S., Production of Powder Coated Towpregs and Composites, Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials, 16/3 (2003), 231-248.


[7] F. Novais, J. P. Nunes, J. F. Silva, F. van Hattum, P. Vieira and R. Fangueiro, Production of GF/PP Woven Fabrics from Powder Coated Thermoplastic Matrix Towpregs, ECCM11 Conference, Greece, May, (2004).

[8] Nunes, J. P., Silva, J. F., van Hattum, F., Bernardo, C. A., Vieira, P. and Marques, A. T., Tailoring Fibre-Matrix Adhesion of Low-Cost Continuous Fibre Thermoplastic Composites, Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Composite Materials-ECCM 11, 31 May-3 June, Rhodes, Greece (2004).