New Zealand company, Revolution Fibres, has collaborated with Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company, Inc. to develop a next-generation nanofibre interleaving veil for improving the toughness of carbon fibre composites.
The new nanofibre veil material, called Xantu.Layr XLB, has particularly strong application possibilities in the aerospace sector.
Xantu.Layr XLB is made from Mitsubishi’s recently developed XD10 thermoplastic, bio-based polyamide resin, LEXTER. LEXTER is 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 nanofibre 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 of this new nanofibre veil is the lower cost of manufacture, resulting in a lower sale price.
Dr. Nobuhiko Matsumoto, a Research Manager at Mitsubishi Gas Chemical, said that they “were thrilled to see LEXTER in the form of a nanofiber veil and could see many commercial possibilities for applications.”
Xantu.Layr is produced using a proprietary production method (Sonic Electrospinning Technology), and is an ultra-thin non-woven web consisting of kilometre long thermoplastic nanofibres, with each one around 500 times thinner than a human hair.
When placed in-between the plies of carbon fibre in a composite laminate, Xantu.Layr significantly improves the fracture toughness (delamination resistance), compression after impact strength (damage tolerance) and fatigue resistance of the composite without adding any significant thickness and weight.
Xantu.Layr nanofibre veils can improve composite materials by providing nano-scale reinforcement of the brittle matrix resin, resulting in a tougher resin (even when used with already toughened resin systems) which is less prone to micro-cracking when stressed or impacted.
Xantu.Layr is particularly suitable for improving the performance of composite components and structures that are prone to impact/crash damage, delamination and high flexure or fatigue loadings. Furthermore, it is being used to toughen localised areas of a composite structure that requires tooling or drilling.
Revolution Fibres is AS9100d certified and is the first nanofibre producer to meet aerospace industry standards.