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- Pre-preg is a term
for "pre-impregnated" composite fibres.
These usually take the form of a weave or are uni-directional.
- Prepreg comes in
three basic forms: tow-preg, unidirectional
tape and fabric.
- Prepregs are
classified as thermoset prepregs and thermoplastic
prepregs, but thermosets are the most prevalent, with the epoxy,
phenolic, Vinyl ester, bismaleimide, and cynate ester resins while high-performance
thermoplastics such as polyether ether ketone (PEEK) and polysulfone
(PS) are also used to produce prepregs.
- A prepreg consists
of a reinforcement material preimpregnated
with a resin matrix in controlled
- Prepregs provide
better mechanical performance over a wide temperature range than wet
layups, that is , dry fabric with manually - applied resin.
- They are rolls of
uncured composite materials in which the fibers have been preimpregnated
(combined) with the resin. The name “prepreg” comes from “preimpregnation.”
- The two major
benefits from the use of prepregs in boat construction are lighter
weight and greater strength.
- Pre-preg allows
one to impregnate the fibers on a flat workable
surface, or rather in an industrial process, and then later form the
impregnated fibers to a shape which could prove to be problematic for
the hot injection process.
- The most common
resin is epoxy, probably because the major markets for prepreg materials
are in aerospace, sporting goods, and electrical circuit boards where
the excellent mechanical, chemical, and physical properties of epoxies
- Prepregs are ready
to use material to produce composite
parts wherein matrix resin is impregnated into
the reinforcing fibre along with the curing agent
and additives; impregnated reinforcements mainly make three forms :
unidirectional tape (0 orientation), woven fabrics, and roving.
- The choice of
processing method is determined by the cost, quality and type of
component being manufactured.
Vacuum bag processing is suited to components
with thin sections and large sandwich structures while autoclave
processing is used for the manufacture of superior quality structural
components containing high fibre volume and low void contents.
- Most thermoset
prepreg and some thermoplastic prepreg is made using two basic systems:
solution coating saturates the reinforcement with resin dissolved in a
carrier solvent, while hot melt coating used heat and pressure
to impregnate the fibres material for mass production,
is rapidly emerging as a material of choice for a variety of commercial
applications, from aerospcae to renewable energy.
- The majority of
thermoset prepregs require refrigeration to preserve their physical and
- Prepregs should be
stored as received in a cool dry place or in a refrigerator. After
removal from refrigerator storage, prepreg should be allowed to reach
room temperature before opening the polyethylene bag, thus preventing
- Prepreg market
depicted a significant growth during 2004
to 2009; however this market dropped in 2009 due to recession. In 2010
the market geared up again and is expected to show good growth in near
future. As a result of wider acceptance and emerging demand, the prepreg
revenue growth and profit margin potential.
- The demand for
prepreg is growing with high rate in new
applications also, like in tidal turbine blades.
- Prepreg has
excellent properties of light weight and high strength. Supply demand
gap is likely to decrease in near future as the prepred demand growth
rate outpaces the capacity
additions by major suppliers.
- The leading
prepregs suppliers are Hexcel, Advanced Composites Group (ACG), Toray,
Cytec, Gurit, and TenCate Advanced Composites, among them Hexcel, Toray,
and Gurit are building new capacity to meet the increased demand.
- The world wide
trend in prepreg machinery is favouring flexible, multifunctional
systems for the production of various products made from rovings,
textiles and multiaxial structures.
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