Development of GF/PP Towpreg Woven Fabrics for Composite Reinforcements
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.
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