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Information @ a Glance

  • 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 
    quantities.
  • 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 are needed.
  • 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 chemical characteristics.
  • 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 condensation.
  • 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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